Sunday, February 21, 2010

231 - Forgetting familiar faces

Eleven days ago, my mother flew from Hong Kong to come visit me here in the UK for her Chinese New Year holiday off work. We spent half the time in Canterbury, where my university is located, and the rest of the time in Edinburgh, the Scottish Highlands and Londontown. Before the 10th of February, I hadn't seen her for more than 4.5 months, and to be honest, I had sort of forgotten what she looked like in person. Right now, her physical appearance is fresh in my mind as I only saw her off at Heathrow airport last night, but it'll be another four-and-a-half months before I see her again, and I know I will gradually begin to forget her semblance again until the day I embark on that 16-hour journey finally.

Of course we have all this technology that allows us to talk to each other and see each other with the click of a button or two. But it's just not the same, if you get what I'm saying. This experience of moving away from my home in Hong Kong, to a place where I have to pretty much make it on my own in all aspects of my life, scares the living crap out of me all the time, but it has really shown me what fears, discomforts, and individual strength can be brought about inside me by something as simple as geographical distance.

I do have two or three close friends staying here in the UK, who I've known for a long, long time. The more I thought about it on the train back to university from London, the more I realized that I actually forget people's faces and voices very easily with prolonged absence. There are actually many people in my life that I have forgotten the faces of, and the mere voices of. Sure, I know where they go to university now, and sure I hear things about what they're doing. Sure, I talk to them every now and then, and sure we play games online together, and we look at each other's photos, and it's pretty much like spending time together in the flesh...

...but it's not. There really is a difference, one I cannot find the words to explain adequately. It means something to be in one another's physical presence. It means something to hear the sound of their voices, and their distinctive laughs. And it means something to see each other's expressions, to feed off each other's gestural and facial reactions, to see each other's 'thinking face', or 'eating face', or 'waiting-to-cross-the-street face', to walk side-by-side, and to hug and kiss, and hold hands, or interlock elbows, as you're walking.

I miss home so much. And the familiarity of people's faces and the geography of Hong Kong is probably what gets to me the most.

Well... except the food perhaps.


Food definitely trumps the faces... and everything else.


Uniquely Charis said...

I really like ur blog. You just share all your feelings and situations going through ur head. I guess, u wouldn't see tat in my blog. Ha Ha.
I do understand the feeling of leaving someone. You just missthe person so much but you'll have git to wait a long time before meeting them again. I've gotta admitt tat I cannot even bear the absence of any of my family members even for just 1 day!
I remember last year, when I had my Primary 5 camp (2days 3nights), tears would just well up in my eyes as their images flashed through my mind. But of course, I would hide my face, in an attempt not to let anyone see me crying. I know it sounds ridiculous, but that's me.
If I were u, I think not seeing my mother for 5 months would be even worse than 2012 doomsday! I think you were really brave not to have cried.
If I were you, I would study very hard 4 my tests, so when my mom comes home, she would be delighted to see my good results. You could try tat too! I'm sure your mom would be proud of you.

Michael said...

Charis: If you like the way I just share my thoughts, you might like my other blog, "If you're going through Hell, keep going.". I'll stop by your blog later to see. :)

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