a matter of zip codes

Carry le Rouet's center town by the port.*

When the apartment's sink is the kind that will survive a nuclear bomb & the bathroom & toilet are a bit questionable, it was the sea that enchanted my husband to settle in this now more than 30 year old building with his eyes closed. And I just had to shrug my shoulders & give a tiny sigh. But he chose right & I was compelled to unravel any secret "domestic" flair I may have, filling in the blanks with my own expression of style in home decor. A struggling minimalist at heart, I now look at our 5 year old's worth of residence & you just can't help but accumulate - to clump - and you wonder how just two people require more space for necessary stuff in a span of a few years. Then we breed familiarity, warming our own little space but when does a space become significant, a place becomes home?

I wondered where I'd be if not here, or anywhere else & if I'd have the strength to be moved by my tickling feet to somewhere new. But being where I am now propels me to seek that sense of home, whatever that is. Although, having an effective escape plan is still in our minds, I guess the pursuit of a home can wait. Like the old people sitting by the port of Carry, watching under the sun what is beyond the sea, knowing in their hearts that they have finally found home. Someway or the other, we'll have to choose sometime in our life where we want to stay put.

But most of us will probably have more than two zipcodes in our lives, for whatever reason that may be, before we find our home. The world has never moved as much that it has become smaller. Old people in Carry some who never lived anywhere else & see people come. Malou, who's been here in Ensues for 17 years. The Filipino seamen we bumped into in Martigues who spend 3 to 6 months at sea. With the moving world, can the old adage, "home is where the heart is"
still describe home the best? But how come we still crave for the boxes of our childhood memories in our parent's place? Isit your innate culture or adopted country you were raised in you truly associate to home? There is really so much more in building & making a home.
When I look at our apartment's balcony, I see the four seasons of France. Looking out the window, I see the boulangerie where my unsconscious smile is often appreciated & for that I often get free croissants. I see the pressing (dry cleaning) who sincerely made me feel welcomed when I still couldn't yet construct a whole sentence in French. And Pierre, the hairdresser, who informed me about Malou just three months after we moved in. Random kindness from around the place we call home.

But thoughts of back home & wandering around made me think about being somewhere else. Something convinces me that I can leave our lovely barrio without hesitation. I guess home is much more than where your heart is, or more than your childhood memories. Home will be the place where you can say, "this is where I want to grow old." It is kind of a lovestory, isn't it?

*Carry Port photo enhanced by Kala.


From Manila to Paris, then to Marseille & to the Côte d'Azur, now in Singapore, clinging to a map of three worlds, where everything becomes all relative.


  1. YEHEY, ako una, wohohohooo!

    mak, korek ka, sa tagal an tira mo sa isang lugar, naging feel at home ka na rin, lalo na maganda ang neighborhood!
    marseille is a nice place, sea and you will find a lot of everything anywhere nearby.
    And masarap dyan ang boulabaisse (ewan if tama spelling) fish soup siya, with fish fillet and croutons,only in marseille mo matikman in its best.
    O siya, gros bisous!

  2. I can see why you've nested where you are. The view is definitely amazing. I can imagine the sunrise and sunsets.

    I've always referred to the country of my birth as "back home". I have always envisioned myself going back home - retiring in a beautiful house by the beach but life changes and who knows if my dream will be fulfilled. For now, my home is where my heart is.

    Loved this post.

  3. Home? Hmmm, I guess Dijon will just be a stop-over for us. I still have to figure out where home is... the last time i was in pinas, i didnt really feel at home .. now you made me thinking...

  4. Hey Carry is the chic coin of Bouches du-Rhône! I love your place Makis, you have everything there...sea, mountains, restos and markets. The commune is particularly clean and peaceful and I guess people are warm :)! And how about having a beautiful seaside walks from la Cote Bleue down to Marseille and Martigues!

    I've always call a place home when love and when your love ones is around !

  5. Francesca :Yes, Marseille & its region is beautiful! Medyo mahirap nga umalis pero if given a chance to move somewhere equally beautiful or better, we're ready to pack our bags & go :)

    Hi Leah! Our apartment gets the morning & afternoon sun but I have to say that sunrise & sunsets here are not as beautiful as back home. BUt we do get the same spectacle in the sky once in awhile :)

    That makes two of us, Ana but I do still feel at home in Manila kahit ba kulang na sa tambay eh :D

    Yes Hazel, Carry is really nice but tourist season sometimes do get in our nerves :) And at times, we take for granted all the beauty that are just under our nose, diba?