Monday, November 07, 2005

Where we belong

I haven't been to EfM for three weeks now. I don't much want to go tonight either, but I will make myself. It's not painful to go, and I don't have anything else on that urgently requires my attention. There are not that many weeks left and I want to go to every last one of them that there is. So why don't I much want to go tonight? It is more a general feeling of having been disconnected from domestic life. I guess. Ironic isn't it - too much of it drives me insane, and too little of it does not make me happy either.

And now onto more mundane matters.

I stayed up till three in the morning last Friday, writing that conference paper. I was aboslutly shattered by the end of it. The conference was good though, good atmosphere, good papers, good crowd. Mine was pretty well received, although I should have said more. As usual, not enough time.

All these people so enthusiastic about understanding, analyzing, positioning Hong Kong. Hong Kong as their home, Hong Kong as a subject of study. A peculiar space, a strange mix of people, they want to argue it is unique. Well which place isn't? I was touched by how much they are attached to this land, and surprised to find that I am actually one of them.

To feel that you belong. To engage so actively in making sense of this crazy sense of attachment to this shithole of a place. Where the air stank, the government is shit, the people rude, the coffees overpriced. Yet we love it. Like the security blanket that you grew up with. It's knackered, it's not really that special, but you try your best to make it so.

Where else do I belong? My own family, my dad, my brothers, my relatives? I haven't felt part of that family for a long time now. My family now? The one that I helped to build? It is still here, still good, still mine. It is also changing, not sure for better or for worse; it's scary to admit that to myself.

Yesterday I slept whilst B took the boys to Sai Kung. I slept for about three hours, I think, and when I woke I went and run. The sun sets much earlier now. It was already dark by quarter past six. I did not feel strong. I sweated, I was thirsty, I was hungry, and I came back to an empty apartment.

Do they miss me as much as I miss them?

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