Monday, 2 January 2012

Departure depression

I love going places, but I hate the leaving. This is true even of home, mostly because of the dog. This post is about leaving my other home; my original home.

Leaving Hong Kong is different than leaving any other place. Perhaps its because it was the first place I really knew; my original home. My uncle Hay, his wife, and little girl live in the apartment I was brought home to from the hospital. The hotel I stay at when I'm in town is just down the street from that building. The smell of the MTR (HK's subway) is my exemplar for what underground transit is supposed to smell like. The most common flavours of ice cream here are (in addition to vanilla), mango and coconut (which is what I wish was the case everywhere).

Something in me changes when I'm in this city. I walk faster. My tolerance for shopping increases (though is still low, compared to my shopper friends). I'm impatient with tourists behaving dumbly as pedestrians (another post about this is in the works). For a brief time, I live an approximation of the life I would have had if we had not immigrated to Canada.

I don't think I would enjoy living here for any prolonged period of time, but I always get departure depression. It's probably because I really adore dad's side of the family; even at age 32, all my uncles and aunts (and even many of my younger cousins) spoil me to pieces. My desires become the primary decision-making influence when it comes to meals (and my family really loves eating).

It may well be easier if I ever had the opportunity to see even a few of these people over the rest of the year (Cecelia, Stanley, Doris: COME VISIT ME ALREADY!!!! Yes, I'm calling you out publicly!!!!), but no one from my dad's family has come visiting since 2002 when my dad was in Edmonton for my wedding. Admittedly, when I'm actually in Edmonton I don't think about my HK family that much; but when I'm about to leave town and not see them again for at least a year, it's hard not to be a big ball of teary mush about it.

The thing is, there's nothing that can be done (other than try to guilt-trip people into coming to see me). I have a life in Edmonton, one that I enjoy and is full of friends I love, not to mention 1.5 dogs who I miss the second I leave the city.

So there is nothing to be done, other than to accept that a little piece of myself will always and forever be tied to this place. The mini-heartbreak of coming and going will simply be a part of my life experience on a regular basis. Unless we develop transporter technology.

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