This is the story of how I came home. In my mid 30s, after 10 years in Asia it was time to return. Time to choose life. Choose a job. Choose a career. Choose a family. Choose a big TV.
You make a few friends teaching English in Asia for 10 years. Good friends. But friends come and friends go. Some stay. They're another story. I chose to get out. Those you leave behind say the same thing. "See you within a year." And those who got out and stayed out tell you the same thing - "It aint easy."
After 10 years you either stay or go. Become a lifer or get a life. Faced with the option of living day-to-day, propping up the bar, telling travellers' tales and hanging out with guys 30 years my junior; mundanity didn't seem like such a bad option.
My task: to reintegrate into society - decide who I am in this context, get a job, perhaps even career and prepare to find a home before my Taiwanese wife Rosey follows me from Taiwan in January. Tall order in a recession? We shall see.
Who am I? It may sound pretentious but in this country, I don't know. Am I a mod or a rocker? Indie kid or grungette? Jacket and tie or ripped t-shirt? The rules and the choices have changed, as have I. And as for being an ex-pat - that's what you are. Foreigner. Wai-guo-ren. Farang. Wehgukin. Big nose. Gora. Gaijin. Everything else is secondary. Suddenly I am no longer an outsider. But I'm not quite an insider either.
Along the way, I hope this blog will keep me sane, perhaps hone a few skills and maybe even entertain a few of you peeps too.