Sunday, 26 February 2017

Where Are You From?

That's not always an easy question for me.

I was born in Japan, so I could say I'm from Japan - but I'm not a Japanese citizen. I'm an Australian citizen, so I could say I'm from Australia - but I wasn't born in Australia. I spent most of the first few years of my life in Kobe, Japan, so maybe I could say I'm from Kobe - but I didn't grow up in Kobe. I grew to adulthood in the city of Ipswich, Queensland, Australia, so I could say I'm from Ipswich - but I don't live in Ipswich. I'm mostly based at the
city of the Gold Coast, Queensland now, so I could say I'm from the Gold Coast - but I'm not a local here: I was nearly 30 when I came here. My parents, grandparents or great-grandparents weren't from the Gold Coast either: they were born or grew up either elsewhere in Australia, or in England, Wales, Sweden or Germany. So where I come from, depends. Therefore before answering, I always have to decide why someone's asking - then I can decide how best to answer. It's usually easy enough to decide why someone's asking - but often enough it isn't easy. When it isn't easy, and I hesitate for just a moment, someone might wonder what's wrong with me. They'd think I was downright queer if I actually said, "It depends". But I'm always kind enough not to throw the question back on them, by asking "What do you mean?"

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