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.