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  • 8th Jan, 2005 at 11:51 PM
I have come home.
To a land where men look as I look.
A land where women speak as I speak.

I have come home.
To the land where I was born.
The land where my culture grew.

        I travelled ten thousand leagues,
        Across the land, across the sea.
        Here to see my fatherland,
        My people, my family.

        A score of years, I've lived
        Halfway across the world.
        Now it shows, as I look about,
        And realise I don't belong.

I go back home.
To the land where men think as I think.
The land where women live as I live.

Simon Law
9 January 2005, 12:49.
Hong Kong, China.

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Comments

( 10 comments — Leave a comment )
elliptic_curve
9th Jan, 2005 06:30 (UTC)
That's a really beautiful poem.
go_team_ari
9th Jan, 2005 07:47 (UTC)
So I heard you went to Hong Kong.
sfllaw
9th Jan, 2005 13:40 (UTC)
Yeah. I've been flooding Planet Debian with my entries. But at least I'm not posting "memes" or quiz results.
mricon
9th Jan, 2005 14:42 (UTC)
musicdieu
9th Jan, 2005 19:50 (UTC)
That's funny, I feel that way almost every time I visit BC as well. I haven't visited Poland yet since I left. I am positive it will feel very similar as well, though.
pphaneuf
9th Jan, 2005 20:19 (UTC)
I've always found this strange, because I remember when I left my parent's place when I was 16, to go to cégep, I thought to myself upon arriving in my rented room "this isn't much, I'm only at the beginning of my own life, but here it is, it's my home now". I'd see all of my roommates "go home for the weekend", and I'd stay in my room, because it was home to me.

When I hear some of our expatriate coworker saying that they're going home for a weekend or for the holidays, it rings strange to me. They are leaving home, to go visit their families.

Maybe it's all in my head, but I'm not being ungrateful or anything, I remember where I come from, but this is my life now. If I have to feel away from home 99.9% of the time, it would suck.

So, yes, I liked the poem, because to me, it speaks the truth.
joenotcharles
9th Jan, 2005 21:34 (UTC)
For the first time, when I was back at Christmas, I found myself stumbling over which end of the trip was "home". It was weirdest when I was at the EI office. "Yeah, I'm here to correct some errors on my form - no, I live in Montreal now. I'm just home for Christmas. Oh, I have to deal with this in Quebec? Ok, I'll have to do it when I get home. Home to Montreal, I mean." I kept throwing out the word "home" with two entirely different meanings in the same conversation. Most of the time I didn't even notice until the people I was talking to got confused.
pphaneuf
9th Jan, 2005 21:52 (UTC)
I see that all the time, and it feels weird to me, but I know it's because it's me who's weird on that subject. That never came up for me, I go "visit my parents", then "I go back home in Montreal".

What I wonder is this: for "normal" people, when does the place they live becomes home?
denizsarikaya
9th Jan, 2005 21:48 (UTC)
I can't even answer the simple question of where my hometown is. There's the town where I was born. There's the town where my parents were living in when I was born. There's the city we moved to about a year later. There's the other city we moved to about a year after that. Then, we moved to another country and moved around between company towns (all owned by the same company). I even lived in a town in the U.S. when attending high school before coming to Montreal nearly a decade ago for University.

I've been to visit the country of my parents many times. I've never seen the region I was born in with adult eyes. And I'll never be able to visit again the country where I spent my formative years and most strongly consider nostalgically as home unless I take a job there or decide to become a more observant Muslim and have a likewise minded man with me.

And I know I won't settle in the country of my family, because I just don't fit.

Travelling often and far teaches you to make your home where you can find it. To invest in friends and call these networks your friends, but to never depend too much on them, in case you need to move again. Thankfully, the Internet makes the last not as terrible an ordeal as it used to be.

Thanks for the poem, Simon. It brought a nostalgic tear to my eye, but also a strong sense of kinship because of the shared culture clash.

Hope your trip turns out to be fulfilling, and that your journey home is boring. :)
pphaneuf
9th Jan, 2005 22:04 (UTC)
It's sort of funny, because I don't have quite a complicated path, but the question of my hometown is a bit confusing for me too. My parents were living in St-Denis, but I was born at the hospital in St-Hyacinthe, and we moved to Sherbrooke when I was something like 8 months old. Depending on the people I talk to (and the lack of a word like "hometown" in french), they want to hear one of these, but I often wonder which one it is. :-)

So for hometown, it can be confusing, but there's no mistake about my home. It's where I am. Where would I go back to, otherwise?
( 10 comments — Leave a comment )