Blog Flux LinkLog: Outgoing Link Logging and Click Tracking for Em duas línguas

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Clicking on home

Kevin Lim of theory.isthereason ponders on the location of "home". He was responding to Peishan's question:
Is it that important to have a home? To feel like we belong to somewhere, to someone, to something?

Straydog (there are more of us rafeiros!) comments:
I believe we must remove ourselves from the old notion that home is something physical. That is just an address of your current abode. By going with that old definition, many people would be homeless.

Kevin doesn't mind living anywhere in the world, "so long as there's an Internet connection" and wouldn't mind having a static IP address! And Alex Halavais accepts that he doesn't have a good answer for that question "Where are you from?"

Well, for the record my home is Setúbal, Portugal, and my universe the Serra de Arrábida - as long as I've got a computer and a good internet connection. And my world is made up of the communities I belong to through the internet - regardless of where people are physically located. The ring on my doorbell is more likely to be a FOAF or someone I've worked with online than it is to be someone from my bairro. Whether or not we've ever met physically, we share a trust and a language that isn't just English or Portuguese. And so far none of them has ever invited me to their house in the guise of being a normal person with a barrote!

Ask me where my terra is without the internet connection and perhaps I wouldn't know what to say. I'm a White Kenyan by origin feeling at home there only through reading blogs written by Kenyans I've never met - in whatever part of the world they are located. I lived some years in England and feel as connected to the people who fade in and out of my screen through Growl (on Skype) or Adium as I do to those in Portugal, the States or the rest of the world.

In my day to day life I live out contradictory feelings of defensiveness when I think anything Portuguese is under attack - and impatience and irritation when I think something looks blindingly backwards (especially in education). But, being an estrangeira it pays to keep those thoughts to myself. The times I feel totally at home are eating grilled fish on Avenida Luisa Todi, cycling up the Arrábida, and on my sofa with the rest of the world. Anywhere north of Lisbon is another country, regardless of its Internet connection. Apart from wanting Kenyans to win lots of Olympic gold medals and feeling responsible for the lixo (rubbish) in the Arrábida left by idiots, I can't scrape together a tiny piece of nationalistic pride about any place. I do know my terra couldn't be somewhere that's cold or where you can't see the sea.

I'm coming to see that it's a bit of a bonding thing for global nomads and third culture people: stories about where you get to when you click on home.


(Blog admin. note to myself: I MUST change to Wordpress, it's driving me bananas not having categories.)

Tags: , , ,


Blogger Kevin said...

I think that global normads have more in common than they realize... one way for them to hook up is through sites like where they can exchange travel tales while flying.

3/23/2006 01:54:00 PM  
Blogger Harry said...

Strange phenomenon indeed.

Home for me is definitely Portugal. I have to go to the UK from time-to-time to remind myself that I really would never want to go back.

As for nationality, that was wonderfully clarified at the England-Portugal match of Euro 2004. I was ecstatic when England scored first - a deep-down rooted reaction.

Let us know your feelings on the London Marathon, with Kenyans, Brits and Portuguese battling it out.

3/23/2006 11:21:00 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home