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Homesick - It was the summer of 2001.

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Homesick It was the summer of 2001. The sun was obscured by smog and the air was thick with water vapour. We arrived at Hong Kong airport, pushing our precious belongings along on a trolley. After checking out, we emerged from the airport and took a taxi to Hong Kong Island over the new suspension bridge. The taxi took us all the way to the other side of the island and stopped in front of the apartment in which we were staying. When we arrived, I stepped out of the car and immediately felt out of place. I stuck out like a sore thumb with my strange tan and peculiar style of clothing. My family and me were a brown smudge in a sea of white. To date, I have still never understood why it is that the population of Hong Kong feels such a need to be so pale. Personally, I've always thought a nice tan was a good, healthy thing for the body. Either way, it's just about impossible to live in the Middle East all your life and not have a tan, so my one family of tanned Chinese looked quite strange. ...read more.


My parents were even considering buying it for use after retirement. "All it needs is a good renovation," they said. I agreed, all it needed was a renovation indeed, a huge renovation. It was a very old apartment, floors needed new tiles, windows needed replacing, walls needed painting, but after all that, I thought it definitely had the potential to be quite a nice apartment. The next day, we battled our way through many streets teeming with loud but friendly locals and finally made it to a busy Chinese restaurant. Inside, we were immediately hit by a wall of sound, the source, more noisy Hong Kong people. My eardrums felt like they would explode in my head. My parents seemed not to notice, in fact, they seemed to enjoy it, but then again, they were raised here. I thought of our house in Dubai where one could lounge in peace without constant yelling from people around, all trying to be heard over the other people. We eventually found a table and sat down but had to wait for our relatives to arrive before we could start eating. ...read more.


However, my mother managed to persuade me to go looking in a few more shops for lower prices. I vowed that I wouldn't leave Hong Kong without that Walkman. After buying my Sony Walkman, my mission was complete; I now had no more reason to stay in Hong Kong. I was ready to go home. That was wishful thinking, we were to stay in Hong Kong for another two weeks. Another two weeks, longing for the comfy beds of our Dubai house, longing for the tranquillity, the space. Those two weeks felt like two months. We visited more relatives, ate more food and bought more goods. Having spent all my money on the Walkman, I bought little else. During the two weeks I grew more and more impatient to go home and when that glorious moment came, I was overjoyed. We threw our luggage in the trunk of the taxi and made for the airport. The time finally came when we boarded the plane. I settled into my seat and tapped the screen of the small TV to turn it on. I felt relaxed and strangely satisfied. We were on the plane. We were going back to Dubai. We were heading home. ...read more.

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