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August 02, 2005

Stories For Your Grandchildren

Oh the joys of being foreign.

You spend your early teenage years wanting to get away, get out. You hate the people, you despise how superficial they are, how they overlook you because youíre not good looking, not quite good enough for their (low and irrelevant, as you later discover) standards, you donít really stand out. The occasion class clown, the silver medals but never gold. You sit and look back, wow, no wonder you had such low self esteem. Your surroundings really didnít do you any favours.

Then your chance is here. Your ticket (literally) out of here. You end up in a new country, different people, different surroundings. You still have the superficial knobheads prancing around, but hey, youíre going to get them anywhere you go. But something is different. Youíre finally detached from what you know as home. Youíre away from the parentals, the judgemental family and ďfriendsĒ.

Suddenly youíre content and happier than youíve ever been in your entire life. New friends, new life, new you. For once in your life you can actually be yourselfÖ.a little bit more. People actually get your sense of humour. And of course thereís alcohol, the drunken escapades which will remain in your memories forever, the first thoughts of your rebellious youth when youíre married with kids sitting in your posh office smoking a cigar. Stories to tell your grandchildren!

Then itís time to go home for the holidays. The last thing you want to do is go back to all that you think is wrong and bad. You step off the plane, walking through the airport, and already, 20 mins after you land back to your land youíre annoyed and irritated at the people. The rest of the holidays are spent you being grumpy and wishing you were back at university with your mates and your pint.

This cycle repeats every holidays. Until, you go back one time, youíre a different person. Youíve grown a little over the last 2 years. You begin to realise, hey, home isnít so bad after all. You spend time with your family you once despised due to youth and immaturity. You reignite friendships with your mates youíve neglected. You make the best out of you being home, because the memories you share will last forever. Things will never be the same again.

Then, something happens, the big bang, where you get totally fucked over and youíre totally alone. Then you canít wait until you go back home next, to the security of your family and home comforts. You may even shed a tear when your plane touches down on home soil. You suddenly forget all the little shits and mosquitoes and scary thunderstorms and everything else that you hate. Because it doesnít matter. Youíre home and safe away from the evil.

And with what you know as home you have your family and friends there for you, to keep you distracted happily. So youíre going through a rather, bluntly put, shitty time, but hey, youíre not alone at home.

You fly back with some of your pride restored. Youíre ready again to take on whatever shit is thrown at you. Along the way you meet new and wonderful people.

You look back and wonder where the time has gone, and how your views and preferences have changed. What happened? You just grew up, accepted a few things, let others go, and now here you are.

———————

Sometimes I wish I could just totally prefer one place and totally hate the other. It would make things so much easier. Itís always a nicer thought to keep the good memories and forget the bad ones.

———————

So Iíve been asked many times what I want to do after I graduate. There used to be a time where I immediately replied ďI want to stay in England and work, no I donít want to come home, my life is thereĒ. But now itís different, because in the last year I have realised home is not so bad after all. I still maintain I want to stay in England after I graduate and get a job. But as we all know the chances of me getting a job are slim and if Iím screwed I have to go home.

Iím still going to be the girl who gets riled up and irritated by an obnoxious kiasu twat 20 mins after landing. Iím still going to be the girl who shouts and swears at the bastard drivers. But Iím still going to be the girl who will wish for the security and amusement of 10–15 close family members in one room eating good food and arguing. Surrounded by kids, grandkids, uncles, aunts, cousins. Family the Asian way, the only way I would want it. And Iím still going to be the girl who will love partying until 3am, then going for mamak (food) and crawling into bed 5–6am after making sure all friends have gotten home safe.

Itís so confusing. Thereís so many pros and cons about both places and I love them both equally. But there will come the time where I will have to choose one, or one will be chosen for me. And that thought alone scares me, and upsets me.

It's sad isn't it. How easily we take things for granted. All the stuff you get up to, with or without friends and family, one day it'll never be the same. One day they will all become only fond memories, and stories for your grandchildren.

This blog is for the one who left me behind with our Pimp Daddy and a KFC-filled belly. Thanks for the memories and my sanity.


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