Many people, after many years of working overseas, don’t feel like heading home anymore. On the other side, there’s also a bunch of people who would like to go home, but couldn’t really do so!
No matter which group you belong to, they all have this similar experience when they start their work life abroad.
Some folks here have often realized the subtle differences between their temporary home and their homeland when they run their errands at government institutions, banks, post offices. Good customer service is guaranteed there, something which gives you the instant feel of being treated like a citizen! But over in our homeland, we are being treated like slaves, having to see the black faces of the officials! We only want our lives to be slightly better. There isn’t a real need to sell your kidney to get the latest iphone. You can be happy while earning the minimum wage too! As long as you work hard, life can be a joy too! Some places of interests, art and life museums for example, in Singapore are affordable too.
Back home, everybody is striving for his or hers pay packet. If you are after material things, saving up is the way to go. Queuing overnight and getting your hands on the latest Xiaomi model – that kind of joy still can’t beat the joy on your friends’ faces when they have the newest IPhone in their hands. Why must I work that hard, subject to torture, while they keep changing their iphones? Why oh why?
Here, I am only asking for road directions, but someone was kind enough to send me home. I lost my wallet, and there will be a good Samaritan to return it. People here meet and make promises. When they run into difficulties, there will always be help nearby. The air is fresher here, and absolutely no worries of PM2.5 hurting your body. No food scandals to worry about too!
But it’s very different back in homeland. People simply shrug and wave you off if you were to ask them for road directions. You would be thankful if you lost your wallet and manage to get back your identification card and ATM card. When encountering real life situations out on the streets, everybody will be trying hard to evade, minding his or her own business!
The moon always seem brighter, rounder at the other side. Those who don’t feel like going home will have to continue working hard and strive for a better life.
The longer you stay overseas, you tend to have this feeling of not gripping your mind. You may satisfy your material desires, but not necessary your mind. After a night out drinking with your friends and colleagues, you go home alone, all lonely and frightened. Try hard to integrate into their social circle, and you soon realise they are actually wolf in sheep’s clothing too! They appear to be friendly to you, but actually are miles away. To be honest, when their economy was starting to take off, their quality was also found lacking. You would suddenly have this realization that the people back home are actually more down to earth, and have that humane touch. Now, the sudden craving to go home has never been that strong!
Having bought the air tickets, and arrived back home, the differences are about to be found out. Following the green man on the traffic is still the usual ‘look left, look right and look left again’, It is still an almighty struggle to scramble for seats on public transport. Litter is still commonplace out on the streets of shopping centres. The air quality has never improved much, and people still feel suffocated out there. What to do? It’s been hard adjusting to life back in homeland!
Don’t worry, there is bound to be some improvement in the quality of life here. Relatives, friends, and fellow comrades, I will pay them a visit and do some catch-up.
But why, just why I can’t somehow get into their conversation topics? Whatever I said, we can’t seem to connect. The new words I picked up from overseas, they can’t understand a single word of it! And the saddest thing…I can’t even seem to pick up the latest word terms in my homeland!
All the aunties and uncles will ask me whether I am attached, and why I didn’t bring an overseas boyfriend along. Parents will nag at me to settle down fast, saying the girl next door is already married with two kids!
Sigh, looks like I have distanced myself from my homeland. I wanted to chase my dreams, but they said I am naïve and childish. But the material desires they crave for…aren’t they the same? Looks like I have to stay overseas for much longer, and plan my future there.
Hesitation – to return or not to return, this has turned into a question of struggle.
Having lived abroad many years, I have grappled with the pros and cons of both sides. It’s not really necessary the best if you were to head home. But there are eventually things worth heading home for!
As the distance grows longer, my social circle narrows. The things they post on social media, all their life photos of children, happily married life…it’s given me a mix of sorrow and happiness! It’s raining there, but it’s all sunny here. While they are stuffing red packets with money, I am here working overtime. How I long for the courage to head home to head home – but there’s still something holding me back here.
Alright, let’s give it a few more years.
Life abroad is like that. You satisfy your material and mental desires, but you always feel like you are missing something. You don’t feel like you want to read up the latest news from homeland anymore…it is simply not of any concern anymore…the words I used to say with pride…it’s all hard to come out from my mouth now. But I feel a tinge of regret when I see my parent grow old…
That all familiar homeland, the place which I longed for…and have no courage to head back…just what is holding me back?
Sigh, let us take its own course…live on…wait and see…And just like that…I have aged…
This article was original by NextSingapo.com