I was injured and stayed in Nanning for about 40 days, the city I grew up in. However, I had no feeling of home when I was back there.
Many would think it’s natural, that the place you spent most of your life in would be your home, the place you were born would be your home, or the place where most of your relatives are would be your home. I just discovered it was actually not the case.
Yesterday as I arrived in Taipei, I sensed the familiarity I have with the city. The neighborhood was so familiar to me – the bubble tea shop, the restaurant, the doorman, the garbage truck, the fruit juice seller, the 7-11. But I couldn’t sense any of that in Nanning. Nanning has many new roads, new bridges, new buildings, new people, but those only it something else – a place I didn’t know before.
As I moved around and grew, I discovered that the place i felt home is the place I am most familiar with, is the place where most of my friends are. The city’s vibe and its people also play an important role. In Nanning, I cannot find people with whom I could have an intellectual discussions on topics I am interested in. When I have conversations with my families besides my parents, I could only refer to things that happened many years ago. And we have such different views on the few topics we could discuss – political situations in china, the environment, or entertainment.
Where is my new home? I am not sure. Maybe in Toronto, maybe in Houston, maybe somewhere else. I might already have a lot of homes. I might never find the next home. That’s a part of the process of discovery, part of the sadness, and part of the excitement.