Being an immigrant necessarily means existing as a cultural paradox. There’s often very little one can do, for example, to change the exterior markers of otherness in their new surroundings. And when you go home to visit, you necessarily exhibit all of the ways in which your new adopted home has changed you. You live in a bifurcated space caught between two places.
That sense of dislocation or, I guess, more accurately, the ability to fluidly exist in both locations - immigrants bi-locate like Padre Pio eyyyyyyyyyyy! - is something that influences how much I think about the concept of home. I love, love, love the idea of hometowns and belonging to community, and what it is that makes certain spaces special to the people who inhabit them. And maybe that’s all down to this sense that I sometimes feel like a person who’s still searching for home.
Jurgen Klopp has also done a bit of moving around in his life. And something that he’s revealed in his recent press conference ahead of the match with Watford is that he seems to have a very similar sense about an affinity to the places in which he’s lived.
“Look, I really like to identify myself with the region I am living [in]. When I was born I was 100 per cent a boy from that region – I spoke the dialect and all that stuff. I went to Frankfurt first and then to Mainz to study, and I love the region still today. I went to Dortmund, which is completely different, I have friends there. So now we are here and are here with 100 per cent. I’ve met so many nice people. There’s no need to separate us from something. It’s not that I’m used to all the things which are common here but more and more and I like it. It’s interesting and it’s a nice thing to have.”
Speaking directly to the question as to whether or not he feels he’s Scouse given his time living in Liverpool. He indicated that he believed he didn’t feel officially adopted in the Scouse community, but that he felt “half a Scouse.” Which, well, that feels like a very immigrant answer indeed.