Tuesday, April 15, 2008


I got up much later than I should have this morning, lazily went through my morning routine, reflected on what a beautiful day it was and started playing songs on my computer as I began work. And then I burst into tears and they won't stop.

It threatened to happen like this out of the blue last week on a train from London to my parent's house when I was flipping through a newspaper and a picture taken in the Home Country jumped out and smacked me in the face. It was so full of movement and life and showed a young man walking through the streets, huge smile on his face. And my eyes spontaneously welled up with tears.

I've said before that I don't really feel any allegiance to any place, but maybe the country you grow up in is the one that is most likely to stay with you through your life. Once I was chatting to a taxi driver in Athens about the Home Country. We talked about the usual conspiracy theories and whether I would ever go back to live there and I said I'd love to but it's not possible until things there change for the better. "I do miss it sometimes." I said. "Of course!" he replied, "your patrida is always your patrida no matter where you go."

I don't know what I classify Back Home as. All I know is that I don't miss the UK at all but now and then I do miss the Home Country. Like today. And I cry because what I see on TV is not the country I grew up in. It's a very disorientating feeling to not recognise the life you once lived because it's become so bizarre and dangerous.

Well, I wish I could take all of you to the Home Country and show you what it's like because now and then, like today, I really do feel sorry for it. Now and then, I remember what a happy childhood I had, the songs I listened to and the parties I went to with my girlfriends. Now and then I think of what they might be growing in my village this year. Now and then I smile when I think of how great sugarcane pulled straight from the ground tastes.

Every now and then, a song hits me so hard I can't breath because years passed since I last heard it and now the words mean something to me. Every now and then, I wish I could sing those songs to Mr Zeus and that he'd understand them.

I'll get over it. I know I make it sound more romantic than it really is. But what can you do? Despite everything, you miss the place where you grew up.

Having shared that, I do feel better and the tears have stopped.

No comments: