Monday, April 18, 2016

My birth town, alien nation

I want to hear if others have had this experience, please:

Last time I visited my birth town, where I lived on the same small street for nineteen years, I didn't recognize it. I mean, I knew where I was, and all the rough features where there... But if I'd just walked through somehow without knowing where I was, I really don't think I'd have recognized it!

It was a profoundly strange feeling. Not really bad or good, but so surprising and strange. I was weirded out.

I'm guessing on two reasons: one, these days it's a pretty affluent area by a picturesque fjord, so everything which can be renewed and improved, meaning basically everything, has been renewed and improved. And of course when all the details have changed, the whole place has changed.

And B, I have myself changed a ton in the time since I left. I couldn't even come close to naming the ways. So, I'm guessing, I've also simply lost the emotional connections with the place. Whatever I had, I was never a very emotional person regarding the specifics of life which people are normally interested in. My sister for example had and has a much greater connection to the town and people than I ever have achieved. I've no doubt that is healthy.

Anyway... Has any of you guys have that same weird experience or the like?


Laurie said...

Yes i have. Right now I have moved back to the place, or nearly, that i lived in during high school, 37 years ago. Some people I knew back then are still around, and when I see them, it's totally strange. Like I"m pretending to be someone they know, or knew, but it's not who I am at all. It feels surreal. I don't really know what I'm doing here, except maybe to face something about my past I've been running from my whole life, to finish with it, love it and move on.

Eolake Stobblehouse said...

Thank you!

Another time for me: I was helping my sister renovate her house centrally in our birth town. And later we went to the beach bar (the town has a great beach) to get a drinki-poo. So we sat and chatted with a couple people, it was nice. And suddenly one of them called me by my name... And after a minute, I realized he had been one of my school teachers!
He was cool but he hadn't even greeted me when we met. I guess he supposed I'd recognized him too (I didn't have the advantage of seeing him come with anybody I knew).
BTW, he was a bit odd in that he started dating the next door girl I used to play with when we were kids, a couple of years older than me, the second she hit legal age (fifteen in DK), after he'd gotten a divorce. Not sure what to think of that, but he was a nice guy, prob still am.

Ken said...

I find that as I move through the outer suburbs to the outer suburb that I grew up in, it feels like I'm going home. Distinctive vegetation and not that many changes, although there has been a lot of high rise development near where I lived.

Going into the centre of the city is completely different. It has changed from a commercial/retail hub to being more residential. The steelworks at which I spent nearly 10 years working and is only a few kilometres from the city centre is now closed and mainly demolished. The whole place is very eerie, as it is now almost deserted whereas at its peak there were 10,000 employees so bustling all day.

I can also go over to the beach side suburbs and they are fairly much as they were. Last time I was there I drove through the poorer areas of the city and now living in a more affluent area was surprised how poor they looked. Small houses, not well looked after, and of cheap construction.

So I think part of it may be due to change and part of it may be living in areas which are quite different from where you grew up.

Eolake Stobblehouse said...

Thanks, Ken.