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Back to Hong Kong: Return migration or transnational sojourn? - page 16 / 33

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16

We’ve all previously mentioned before, the working system,

the energy, in this little place is actually much higher than we

have in Canada.

And from the same focus group:

Hong Kong is more bustling, it tends to be more lively, there’s more

of a night life…and it’s more attractive to young people.

Respondents are working long hours to launch or consolidate their

careers; focus groups were held of necessity over dinner in the evening as

participants left a heavy day’s work. But now we must intervene in this

narrative of return and ask the question: to what extent is there an

expiry date to this energetic pursuit of careerism?

A number of families interviewed in Vancouver who had made the

decision not to return alluded, sometimes emphatically, to the desire to

escape a life in Hong Kong shaped by the single-minded pursuit of

economic advancement (Ley and Waters 2004). In the words of one

couple:

Mr Yee: When we were in Hong Kong we both felt very busy for life, and

we both wanted some life changes. And so we travelled a lot

around the world to Australia, States, Canada. We went to Toronto

and Vancouver. One morning in the summer in Vancouver, I

stepped out the door of the house of my distant relative. I felt the

air so fresh, and the sun so bright and everything so beautiful. And

then I said to my wife that’s the place that we want to go…

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