I LAUGHED when I was half carried, half shoved into the MTR the other day. I laughed when the man next to me stood on tip toe and tried to look down my turtleneck. I laughed when I got pushed off the pavement in Nathan Road and I laughed when the saleswoman in the electronics shop refused to let me see a Walkman until I promised to buy it. Was I going mad? No, I was experiencing the ''no problem'' euphoria associated with those expatriates who are on their way home for a visit. Nothing could bother me. I knew that in a week, I would be in my old bedroom surrounded by my old Garfields and John Travolta posters, my Snoopy sheets, Miss Kumquat trophy, Dr Seuss books and a packet of Nutter Butter Peanut Butter cookies I left under the bed a year ago. I had visions of spending my holiday lying on the family room couch with a choice of 48 cable television channels in front of me. My parents would leave me alone with the remote control, only interrupting every once in a while to feed and water their daughter, the couch potato. Reality shattered my adolescent dreams when I called my mother to tell her my flight details. ''You'll be here for Chinese New Year so I've arranged a dinner for us and your aunties and uncles,'' my mother said. ''How many?'' I asked cautiously. ''Only about 40 or so,''she replied. Warning bells went off in my head. I don't have that many aunties and uncles. My parents have been pressurising me to get married since I was 12. Were they trying to throw me a surprise wedding? My mother, ignoring my gagging noises, said: ''Your grandma will be pleased to see you.'' My grandmother was a character I wanted to see. She's at the ripe old age where she doesn't care what she says to anyone. But then, I am told, she never cared when she was younger either. ONCE when I was a teenager she announced in front of a boyfriend I must have got my flat chest from my grandfather's side of the family. Another time, my grandmother asked me in Chinese to tell my friend she had shifty eyes. I must be a glutton for punishment, but I wanted to see my grandmother to catch up on the gossip in Hongkong and Taiwan. We always spend hours together looking at all the Chinese magazines my grandmother gets in the post. She points to pictures and says: ''He's gay but can't tell anyone because all his fans are women. She has an illegitimate child who is studying in America. That was Miss X. He has a mistress living down the street from his wife and a block away from hisother mistress who used to do blue movies in Taiwan.'' Good old grandma. I thought about some of my old friends who five years ago with their newly-bought condominiums and sports cars thought I was crazy wasting my time in Asia. The recession has hit hard and many are living with their parents trying to pay off their American Express bills. I spent my last trip home trying to convince my computer analyst beer-bellied friend it was not a good idea to leave his job and try modelling in Hongkong. He finally gave up when he found out the chances of the Grateful Dead touring Asia were slim. I was surprised to find out the last time I was home my high school classmate Gary was now a fully qualified paediatrician. This is the son of the local minister, who got so drunk on prom night that his friends had to drag him up the church lawn leaving him draped on the cross. That was exactly the way Gary's father found him the next morning, an hour before Sunday service. Gary was subsequently grounded for the rest of high school. My last visit home coincided with my parents' plans to tear up the concrete driveway. I awoke at 7 am to the sound of my bedroom wall shaking up against the bed. For a fleeting moment I thought I was in Mid-Levels. Who knew, maybe this time my parents would decide to build a Jacuzzi in the middle of my bedroom when I got back. Maybe my grandmother would find another incredibly embarrassing story to tell about me during Chinese New Year dinner. Maybe I would find out the town drunk was now a nuclear physicist. Until it all happened, nothing mattered: people could be rude and pushy and block both sides of the escalator - I still laughed, because I was going home.