Emigrant

Β Hong Kong 香港

It’s taken me over a decade to focus on my birthplace.

I used to come to Hong Kong every couple of years, back when my grandparents were still alive. Being a rather lazy and petulant kid, I was pretty much dragged kicking and screaming every time, and never really enjoyed the many trips. Outside of seeing family, every trip seemed to involve spending weeks staying at a hotel next to a mall. The few times we left the confines of one of the seemingly thousands of shopping malls never really left an impression on me, and as a result, I never got to know the city or how to get around short of hopping into a taxi and magically teleporting to wherever my family needed to be.

The last time I was in Hong Kong was for a mere eight-hour layover, which I greatly enjoyed — spending it with my good friend Jacqueline, who took me around the city for the first time without it being a family obligation. That was five years ago. The last real time I spent any significant amount of time in the city was 14 years ago.

It’s a strange feeling being here. I look like everyone else, I speak Cantonese like everyone else (although with a pretty noticeable accent and diction of a non-native), I have plenty of extended family that I’m seeing, the food is comprised of many of my favourite dishes, I know the culture since it’s what I grew up with in Vancouver’s large Hong Konger community, and yet… This is my homeland, but it’s not home.
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