Global Citizens

by Jinryu

I was reflecting a bit on the trip to HK/Malaysia just today, because the recent topic of the social theories class has moved on to globalisation.  Now that [CM] is in Australia, all of a sudden a bunch her your friends want to move to Australia, because it seems that it’s a bit tough to get jobs in Canada.  I’m sure the idea that everyone seems to be earning 20$ an hour CAD/AUD for pretty run of the mill jobs doesn’t hurt.


But I was wondering: are her friends serious? I was thinking– how many people I know would be willing to move like that.  Most people I know are very “Canadian” or rather, I guess  I’d say, really Montrealer or… well, that’s not fair. It has nothing to do with being a Montreal– more specifically than any tag of geography… they’re really sedentary.


I looked back at blogs I wrote from five years ago, and then ten years ago.  The thought of getting out of North America seemed more like a vacation novelty when I was half my current age.  Now?  Now, the world is so different because of a few vacations.


And part of it is that I no longer “go for vacations.”  I mean, I take vacations in the sense that I don’t go to work– but when I go to places outside of Montreal, I don’t feel like a tourist.  I feel like a global citizen, if you want to call it that– I feel that I can go anywhere and rather feel that there’s a certain aspect of a sense of home in it, not because of nostalgia which doesn’t exist (since I probably have no memories of a new place, obviously) but more because going to a new place allows me to get in touch with something in me that I couldn’t express in another geographic location.  Does that make sense?

[CM] has been great for me in so many ways.  I love her, really I do, but frankly, the experience of it all feels like it’s beyond that word.  For one thing– she has changed my definition of home.

I have mixed feelings right now about geography.  It may sound a bit sad, but, right now, I feel as if I’m slightly homeless.  Which is a strange feeling to have– considering I’ve moved back to my parents’ place.  This is where I’ve lived for over twenty years– so why doesn’t it feel like home?

Well, to be sure: there is the nostalgia of certain things.  Lighting in our living room is pretty lousy (there are no ceiling lights in it, just some lamps in the corners whose presences change depending on my parents’ mood), but I do like going to the living room after dinner and playing a bit of piano.  I also like scrambling up the stairs on all fours (oh, yes I do!) like how I’ve been doing since I could walk.  My dad was always yelling at me that if I’m jumping around on the stairs, one of these day’s I’d knock my teeth out: that’s why the technique was was invented.

But home now has come to be defined by additional criteria.

Part of being at home is where I can have the freedom to be a total recluse otaku– whether it’s so that I can go to work, and come home and just play until sun-up, fall asleep a few hours and go back to work; or if it’s to go in a cycle of night shifts, day sleeping and afternoon paper-cramming– I liked the freedom of being a slob, so that I could basically focus the minimal amount on life functions, and then channel the rest into a pressing passion.

Part of being at home is having peace and quiet at 9AM, in it so I can cook pancakes in peace, just for myself and [CM].

There are other reasons of course.  But home is no longer a geographic spot.  I’ve found my home in several cities, scattered now across points across the planet.  Ten years ago, I never wondered what the world outside of LaSalle was like.


I should extend congratulations, while on this subject.  There was a time when home was South Korea; and while I was there, it was because of people like Zanshin– spending late friday nights soaking in a jimjilbang (public bathhouse), going for some kamjatang afterwards… he’s one of the first global citizens I’ve ever known, before I even had any idea of what the term ‘global’ meant.  

He just announced he’s getting married!


What do I take from the idea? Well– life can continue anywhere in the world.  Life happens everywhere, right, so it seems only natural.


I wonder what it was like to think about living only in one place– because I can’t remember anymore.  It feels like this is how I was always meant to be.  And despite all the stress that goes with the triage of  fitting all of one’s essentials into a pair of checked luggage bags and a carry on– I’m certain that every plane brings me closer to who I am.