Thursday, June 21, 2012

Major Tom In Hong Kong

David Bowie's "Space Oddity" is one of the very first things that I ever remember liking that my parents didn't like.

I say "things" and not "records" because my memory comes from such an early place in my life.

It's doubtful that I remember the song on its first release in 1969 -- it wasn't a huge hit in the U.S. then anyway -- so it's most likely the 1973 re-release that I remember so vividly.

As we rode around Marlow Heights, the song came on the radio and my parents moved to change the dial on the car radio.

I piped up from the backseat of the car: "I like that. I want to hear that."

My parents relented and they didn't switch the station to another set of AM Top 40 tunes.

I listened to the story of Major Tom and his different looking stars and felt myself out there in space with the Maj, a gazillion miles away from my mom and dad in the front seat of the monster blue Chevy.

Tonight I sat in the back seat on the ferry home from Central to Lamma. The song came up on my iPod Shuffle and I drifted off again.

I am always tired here.

And, like Major Tom, I can see my destination even as I drift further and further away from it.

My family is in America.

My closest friends are in America.

My girlfriend is in Macau.

And I don't speak the language here.

Every day I'm exhausted as I switch on like a robot and drift back to the ferry, to the MTR, to the streets.

Yes, my job is pretty great sometimes but the enormous pay cut I'm living with to live here is starting to take its toll.

And success at my job here, as the only non-Chinese person in the office, will cause me to feel a sort of psychic alienation as some of my coworkers will probably end up resenting me, or shunning me.

When do things get easier here?

When do I land?