[chinese blood, irish heart] - DEFUNCT: Home is where the heart is... but where is my heart?

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Home is where the heart is... but where is my heart?

First of all, check out my Irish friend's awesome electronic band Le Galaxie, their latest album's been out for over a year, and the album cover's is of Hong Kong's very own Lippo building! Also taken by another Irish friend. But yes, I'm a little late in promoting it but I had just been reacquainted with their music since that very guy emailed me out-of-the blue today regarding a video featurette I did of the band ages ago.

Anyway back to the title...

Many people ask me if I'll ever return to Ireland and I always shrug in return. And if I'll stay in Hong Kong? I also shrug back. Truth is, I'm starting to wonder if I'd truly consider both to be 'home'. Naturally my place is birth is the obvious choice but I just don't see myself back there in the forseeable future. I think I lost a lot of friends since I've left (especially the acquaintainces, so to speak). And three years ago I had such a yearning to leave sometimes I feel in a perverse way that my skin condition was a good thing because it gave me the stimulus to come and stay in Hong Kong. But now fast forward, I'm beginning to feel a sense of detachment. There's a Cantonese term I've recently learned and it's pronounced as 'saw ley', meaning lonely or detached. But it's a term exclusively used in urban life and is especially apt for a metropolis like Hong Kong. That is, despite the vibrant social life and you bump into people every where, you still feel somewhat alone or isolated.

Perhaps it's because I have no sense of 'home'? Stuck between both worlds? I've actually had this conversation with a few expat-Chinese and they feel the same - the 'home' part anyway. I always thought I had the best of both worlds considering I'm well versed in Chinese traditions and speak the local lingo. But now I don't know where I stand. If I can't call Ireland or Hong Kong home, then there's no real other choice is there? Perhaps I'm destined to be a vagrant.