Sunday, 28 January 2007

My old hometown revisited



I visited my old hometown for a couple of days. I was born in that town and lived there the first twenty and some years of my life and every time I take the train and travel to the surroundings of my childhood, I lose the weight of years and become young once more.

It’s funny in some ways.

I walk the streets of the town and my eyes seek for people I used to know. I look and try to see familiar faces in the crowd of the market-square, in the malls, everywhere.
I see nobody I know and I realize that I look at people who are too young, who are the same age as I, when I left this town.
I should look at people, who walk by with grey hair and grandchildren.
Well, maybe I exaggerate a little, but you get my meaning, don’t you.

And that’s the funny thing about travelling to the place you’re coming from. You return to your childhood, you become a child once more and yet, you have the knowledge and experiences of an adult. You don’t have to be afraid like a child. You can feel yourself safe.

No wonder so many people return home after the long years some where else, to the roots where they come from.

Will I?

15 comments:

hpy said...

I won't go back and I'll explain you why. When I go back for a moment where I was born and where I grew up - and that doesn't happen very often - I have the feeling that I shoud be at home. I believe that I should know what happens, how people feel and think.
But I'm a foreigner in my old hometown. And it's much harder to be a foreigner where you and your old friends, even people you don't know, expect you to know everything, and where you know just NOTHING.
There are just some old buildings you used to know, but the city's much bigger. People don't use the same words (for someone who has changed not only the town and the land but also the language), you don't know what they look at on tv. You don't eat alike. You have nothing in common. But you, and they feel that you should still be like you used to be.
And maybe you are - and that's why you left.

SusuPetal said...

I can understand your point of view very well, HPY. Could it be because you have left your homecountry as well?
Many of my friends and relatives who have moved abroad, have talked about same things, how they feel themselves foreigners when they come back.
And then they leave again.

Or, maybe, they are the same as they used to be and that's the problem. That is why they left, all those years ago.

Saara said...

Mmm... Now you try conquer the whole world? Cool.

Those were just like my feelings when I go to Jyväskylä.

SusuPetal said...

Whole world or nothing but the world.
Or was it the truth...

Same feelings, Saara. Funny feelings.

Niina said...

Kai tänne voi kommentoida suomeksikin? Ei oikein toi englanti taivu. Lukeminen kyllä sujuu.

Kiva lukea tällaisiakin juttuja sulta.

reiska said...

Tanks! Ick liepe Ingles gavarit, kreit pleis Yu gotcha hear! Gud präksis. Ick vill bak suun.

SusuPetal said...

Hei, Niina, totta kai tänne voi kommentoida suomeksi tai millä tahansa kielellä(niin kuin Reiska tuossa), eri asia ymmärränkö sitten niitä toisia kieliä(niin kuin tuon Reiskan).

Reiska, lav ju tuu.

Marleena said...

Thank you for this blog as well, Susu. You're such a multi-talented lady and a writer. Can't stop reading you :)

SusuPetal said...

Thank you, Marleena, for reading me:) It's nice to know that you're still around.

maria said...

Good luck to your new blog. This is a great venture. :)

SusuPetal said...

Thanks, Maria, I need all the luck with my English:))

Tulta syöksevä lintu said...

hpy, it is quite true what you say about becoming a foreigner in your home town after all the years spent elsewhere. It may also have to do with what you are up to while away; whether what you do is something beyond the scope of all the social practice that normally takes place in the former home city or town. I felt a sort of double effect in going away both to the university and simultaneously to live abroad. Gradually - and it didn't take that long at all - even most of my relatives begun behaving somehow awkwardly. It was difficult for them to accept the complete deviation from how they had always led their lives. Such utterly unexpected alienation. I still do go back, occasionally, though. But the city has become a bit haunted. One looks the people and the same routines and continuities with some distance.

SusuPetal said...

Answering, though you addressed your comment to HPY.

That's true what you wrote and it can be one reason to feel oneself a foreigner in old surroundings. I think one other reason is time -when you leave your home/town, you're usually young and you've not yet grown up to be the person you're gonna be. You'll grow up to be yourself somewhere else and when you return/visit your old hometown/country, you feel yourself a stranger, because the memories you have, are those of a younger person and the reality you step in, has nothing to do with your memories and feelings from yesterday.

Tulta syöksevä lintu said...

SusuPetal: Though it's also kind of cool to feel oneself a stranger, isn't it? Loitering along the wind-blown main street, seeing the locals scurrying away from your path to hide in their houses, doors of saloons closing, spurs of your boots rattling menacingly... or something like that, should I recall...

SusuPetal said...

Yes, maybe it's cool, but at the same time, I know painfully well that I look the same for those who are foreigners in the town I'm now living in:)