I recently visited home. After enduring bronchitis for a week (something that my doctor attributes to the “colossal pollution index in Hong Kong” at the current time), I was looking forward to the prospect of filling my respiratory system with some clean fresh air.
Coming from Hong Kong, there’s just something about going home. Stepping out of the airport and soaking it all in; the sweet vibration of that familiar Aussie brogue, sliding into a cab in a cloak of comfort knowing that your destination will be understood and knowing whether or not you are being scammed en route.
Before leaving for Sydney, someone asked what I was most looking forward to during my trip home. “The little things!”
The little things… like picking up the phone and calling my friends and family when I have a question or a spare moment to chat, rather than emailing to organise a Skype date and then sitting in front of the computer and feeling like a wally when I have asked a question and the shitty internet connection causes a delay or a drop out, that ensures that we are both just sitting there, blinking at each other, waiting, thinking “did she hear what i said?…hmmm…no answer…maybe not…ill repeat it…” only to talk at the same time as each other, again and again, filling the empty void between you with a certain air of awkwardness. Awkwardness! With the same people that have seen me throw up a goon bag in high school or cry little a kindergartner when life isn’t being fair!
You are reminded of the little luxuries that you once took for granted; “Vegemite on toast and a skim flat white please!” Or what about; “Can I swap the fries for a salad and have no tomato on that hamburger? Thanks!” Everything is understood…language barrier? What language barrier?!
Knowing that when I say “medium brown”, my beautician is going to tint my eyebrows “medium brown”, not “medium black”, which usually guarantees that the next few days of my life will be filled with endless suffering at the hands of hilarious ‘comedians’ asking me what I paid for Scorsese’s eyebrows.
What about when I’ve got a hankering? Like Sushi…Grab the keys – lets drive down to the shops and get us some freakin sushi! Sushi on the beach? Why not! Bondi or Balmoral? Doesn’t matter…we can do both! Why? Cos I’m drivin!
I look forward to sitting in morning traffic and being grateful for Kyle Sandilands sweet smokers snarl and the sound of Jackie-O’s westy-whine trying to clean up Kyle’s daily media mess.
Walking into a store and picking up my size, knowing that it. Will. Be. MY. Size. and not some Asian-adjusted sizing system, subconsciously forcing me to rethink my dinner plans.
You forget the dream-boat that is Priceline whilst your living in Asia. Walking into Manning’s or Watsons is like a minefield with products that look like one thing but are actually another, waiting to go off like little grenades. Needing a nose decongestant, assuming you are buying a nose decongestant, only to get home – spray that ‘decongestant’ up your nostril, and just before the burn really sets in, realising its actually breath freshener.
It’s odd, but another thing that I REALLY enjoy when I go home is the ability to eavesdrop again! Yes, that’s right, you all do it, don’t deny it. Sitting in a café and listening to the mindless drivel surrounding you is like reading a great trashy magazine (oxymoron?). In HK listening to the sing-songy and sometimes extremely aggressive tones of Cantonese is not pleasurable at all. Think of it like reading a newspaper – the front cover is a picture of two people body slamming each other in a supermarket, but the text is in Chinese; “WHY IS HE BODY SLAMMING THAT OTHER GUY??? WHAT HAPPENED???”. Frustrating is an understatement.
I honestly think I could go on and on and on about why going home is so nice and such a treasured time, that I love my family, that I miss my friends blah blah blah – but it makes me homesick. So I won’t.