Monday, December 16, 2013

"The Pleasure's in the Missing."

"It's how many pages?" 
"Can't help but think that the pleasure's in the missing."
These words, in Eleanor Catton's Man Booker prize winning book "The Luminaries," are uttered by one of the main characters, Thomas Balfour. The story is set in 1866,  New Zealand and he's referring to those seeking their fortune in the goldfields of New Zealand and to those running away from their past. "Can't help but think that the pleasure's in the missing." Surely these words could be uttered by a great number of expats, not only here in Singapore but everywhere.

"Most boys keep one foot on the boat, you know. Head back as soon as they've made their dust...-and then what do they dream about? ...They dream about the diggings! Back when they could hold the colour in their hands! When all they did here was talk about home. Their mothers. Yorkshire puddings. Proper bacon. All of that....England-that's the old country. You miss the old country. Of course you do. But you don't go back."

For more on nostalgia, see also

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