Liam Gallagher has a new band. I use the word new advisedly. Having randomly come across them online I took a look at their website and was stunned by the similarity of the artwork to that on my 1960s LPs - notably Syd Barrett era Pink Floyd. Apparently, Oasis broke up a year or two ago. I thought they'd long since folded. The new band appear even more derivative than them.
Now, I may be 36 and coming to terms with no longer being young as such, but it would have been hard to miss Oasis breaking up if I'd been in the UK. It's not that it matters. Oasis breaking up didn't matter, me not knowing doesn't matter and Beady Eye almost certainly won't matter. But I have gaps in my knowledge, spaces the man in the pub would presume from my age and demeanor to be filled with certain common knowledge - the web that binds society together. Which wannabe got chucked out of Big Brother? I thought it had been cancelled a year or so back. Apparently not. It doesn't matter
With these gaps in my knowledge, there is an irregularity to me that makes it hard to fit in.We spend years forming ourselves according to the art, media and products we consume, the people and places we associate with and the fashions we wear. By the time I arrived in Taiwan, I'd left that order behind.
I wasn't supposed to fit in. I was a WaiGuoRen - an alien. With nothing but a bike and four bags, I was free to build from the ground up. Back in the UK, I have previous. Even if I were to abandon all my friends, family and old haunts, I still carry the baggage of the previous relationship that makes me nearly, but not quite belong. Not alien but offset.
Having said this, I feel quite comfortable for now living with my parents in the small town in which I grew up. Those friends of mine who've similarly returned from Asia have seemed equally at ease in circumstances I know to some would be an endurance.
For those who've been so far for so long, the relationship with home can never be the same.