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Back to Hong Kong: Return migration or transnational sojourn? - page 19 / 33

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19

immigrate to Canada.

Note, so far, frequent visits initiated by a brother who had been sent to

Canada for education. This pattern of education-led migration is not at

all uncommon (Waters 2004), though for Simon’s family it took the

political horror of Tiananmen Square to overcome his wife’s diffidence.

However, landing in Canada does not address the problem of economic

well-being. Simon continues:

We’ve been there for over twelve years. I’ve always been flying back

and forth. I was an astronaut for about four or five years when we

first moved to Vancouver…After that I decided to move to

Vancouver permanently. So I sold my business in Hong Kong and

moved to Vancouver permanently. But now I’m back here by

myself. I’m working in Hong Kong, while my family members are

staying in Vancouver.

The need for economic achievement meant that Simon’s business in

Hong Kong was maintained, and he adopted the identity of an astronaut,

engaged in Ong’s (1999) Pacific shuttle between work in Hong Kong and

his family on the Pacific coast of North America. Eventually this

arrangement became socially unsustainable, the family business was

sold, and he moved to Vancouver. But not permanently, for career

objectives could not be sustained in his new home, and he is now back

working in Hong Kong, once again an astronaut. This is not, however,

the end of his frequent flyer miles, for another status passage is looming.

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