Friend Diaspora

15 Jul 2002

I haven’t been posting since I’ve been home. This journal is about China, after all. I’ve been home for 2 weeks, now, though, and I’ve found I have something to say.

It’s been 2 years since I’ve graduated, and coming home is strange now. It’s always nice to see family and friends, no doubt about that. And it’s so nice that my family is always here; I can always come home to them. I almost feel a little selfish that they can feel no such reassurance about me, with my faroff lifestyle.

What’s strange is not family, though, it’s friends. Few of my friends are here in the Tampa area. Alex is still here, for now. Dan is off in Gainesville. Illy is still in Gainesville too, but probably not for long. Hathai is in Georgia. Ari is back in Ft. Lauderdale. Dave and Christina are in New York City. Colin is in Mississippi for training. Paco is… who knows where! You get the picture. My friends here are just so scattered.

I’m set to go to Japan in August to see old friends there. The thing is, my friends there are pretty scattered too! I’ll see some in the Tokyo area, some in Kyoto, some in Osaka, some in Hiroshima, some in Fukuoka…

So I’ve come to realize that the place where I have the greatest concentration of friends is… Hangzhou! Most of them are Chinese, but some of the most important aren’t.

It’s just weird to have one’s friends scattered to the winds and then spring up behind different faces on the other side of the globe…

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John Pasden

John is a Shanghai-based linguist and entrepreneur, founder of AllSet Learning.

Comments

  1. It’s so true! I can really relate to what you said! I spent the first 20 years of my life in China, after I graduated university in China I went to Australia for my IT degree, and now I am living in the US. Everytime I went back to China I have to travel a few cities to see my childhood friends, as for all my friends from Australia, they are scatterd all over Australia, SE Asia, and Northern Europe. We stay in touch online, but it’s totally impossible for everybody to get together again.
    Feel the same way too about my parents in China.. Do feel really guilty that I am so far away from them, worse yet, me being the only child.

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