Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Does it make me a bad person?

For me, homesickness is practised in much the same fashion as religious observance. Half-heartedly. Sporadically. Non-committedly.

Prayer is reserved for time of need, times of admonishment for a life hurtling down the wrong cul-de-sac on a skateboard without brakes, for moments of dubious grievance. I'm not what the Pope might call a practising Catholic, and that naturally is because I was born and raised a diluted Protestant. Still, my point here is to demonstrate that I seem to think only of family and friends at home when my Istanbul existence has intermittently sapped me of the required energies to get out of bed and face another day in a city that never sleeps, let alone closes its eyes and dozes during a World Series Test Match on Easter weekend.

Like a un-Catholic guilt-ridden Calvinist, I think it rotten that I'm so self-involved, forgetting birthdays, bypassing anniversaries, avoiding milestones that in our age of instant messaging appears irrational and mean, self-centred and ungenerous. Unlike my grandmother, extensive lists for sending celebratory greeting cards have no place among possessions cluttering my desk and I have metamorphosed into the kind of brother who often cannot instantly remember the precise age of his siblings. When I sense a birthday, I call a third party for assurance, hang up after delivering sycophantic praise and then make the call that keeps me in everyone's will.

I think it does make me a slightly less-than-admirable humanistic type.

Homesickness rarely presents itself. I think I might even be a bad Australian. I don't miss the place, just its inhabitants who count themselves among friends and relatives. I almost envy people who miss their family home, mother's cooking, time spent with relatives, childhood picnic on white, sandy beaches. Unluckily I'm just not made that way and I long ago gave up hoping that by thinking I was, I would become somehow, well, more sensitive, more nostalgic.

Perhaps the ability to communicate in so many new and inventive ways allows all of us to indulge less in homesickness-type feelings. Maybe I'm never really out-of-touch, just never really rushing to buy a ticket back home for a visit.

And the saddest truth of all is the only thing from home I actually crave is meat pies.

I think it's time to look within. Personal development may be what the psychologist would have me order.


Simone said...

You know, I never miss Australia when I'm not here and when I am here, I frequently wish I wasn't! I too am a bad Australian. Even worse, I don't even like meat pies!

But I do like some people here - family and those I regard as my friends - and of course living a relatively easy and affordable life isn't such a terrible thing, especially when there are other challenges to deal with.

Although if it wasn't for the very effective ways that my family manages to make me feel guilty about merely thinking of going to live elsewhere, I'm pretty sure I'd be long gone. Sad, but true.

ASLI said...

Ben yurtdışında olduğum zaman Türkiye'yi her zaman özlüyorum. Ve Antep'teyken de İstanbul'u çok özlüyorum... Yurtdışında yaşayan arkadaşlarımın çoğu bir gün geri dönmeyi hayal ediyorlar çünkü bu ülkeyi çok özlediklerini söylüyorlar. Ve kendilerini yanlız hissediyorlar. Türkiye'yi bu kadar özlenilir yapan şey nedir? Aslında bilmiyorum. Çünkü burada yaşamak bazen gerçekten zor. Sanırım bir Türk yanlız yapamıyor. Aile ve arkadaşlar bizim için çok önemli.Eğer bir yeri çok özlüyorsan, orada kesinlikle çok sevdiğin insanlar vardır...
Avusturalya hakkında en çok özlediğin şeylerden birisinin 'koca bir parça biftek' olması ilginç tabi.Bir parça ruh ister misin??
Neyse, ben burada yaşamanı çok seviyorum. Evini fazla özlememen seni kötü bir insan yapmıyor, ama senin her zaman burada yaşamanı dilemek sanırım beni bencil bir insan yapıyor...


ASLI said...

Ve makaledeki fotoğrafı çok sevdim. Duvar yazıları komik. Sanırım bir toplantı var??