missing ‘home’ ~ Valerie

I went to New York last Saturday. It takes me a 2 hour train ride to get there from New Haven which is actually really awesome and something I’ll definitely be taking advantage of once I get a job and have some $$$. We first went to Chinatown and I had a bowl of ramen (WHICH I FUCKING MISS), and then went to Brooklyn for a food festival. They had 鸡蛋仔 and it triggered so much longing for Hong Kong’s street food and nostalgia for the times Vic and I walked through 花园街.

We then went to Manhattan via subway, and even the subway reminded me so much of Hong Kong: the people jumping through the train doors while they were closing, the sheer crowdedness and having only armpits and shoulders in my line of vision, having nowhere to hold onto so needing to balance while the train lurched forward. I’ll say one thing, though–our MTR system is SO much better than New York’s. They pay $3 USD for one trip regardless of how far they’re going on the subway which makes absolutely no sense to me???? And their system is also complicated as fuck.

So we got to Manhattan and I was again hit by a wave of Hong Kong-ness. Walking through Times Square and seeing the crowds of people, the skyscrapers, and the bright screens with flashing neon ads was too much. I was with a bunch of people who’d never experienced big city life and they were both in awe and slightly intimidated, but I felt so at home.

I miss Hong Kong. I miss being able to get anywhere easily, miss the 7-11s at every corner, miss the food that I took for granted, miss walking down the narrow streets with cars zooming by literally inches away. I miss tall buildings and people yelling in Cantonese and the Hong Kong vibe–you know what I’m talking about. I of course also miss my room, my dog (whom I facetimed yesterday), and my family (it’s family weekend at Yale meaning everyone’s parents are here but mine aren’t).

But while I was in Manhattan, exhausted at the end of the day after walking for 9 hours straight, I thought to myself, ‘I want to go home’. And for the first time since I’ve been here, by ‘home’, I was referring to Yale. I stepped into my suite at 11.20pm that Saturday to all my friends hugging me and telling me how much they’d missed me and to “never leave for a whole day again”. As much as I miss Hong Kong and as desperately as I wish I could walk through those familiar streets again, Yale’s my home now.


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