Love story

The China Post - - LOCAL -

Iwas 17 when I first stepped onto the is­land. I stayed there for five years: one in Lan Yang Girls’ High School (蘭陽女中) and four as an un­der­grad­u­ate stu­dent in Na­tional Tai­wan Univer­sity (國立臺灣大學) where I stud­ied po­lit­i­cal science.

When I’m talk­ing with friends or rel­a­tives, they of­ten say that it must have taken a lot of courage for me to leave home. For me, this had more to do with the reck­less­ness of my very young age than courage in it­self: there are things you only dare do be­fore you turn 20. I never re­gret­ted. For some un­known rea­sons, I felt Tai­wan was the place I should be liv­ing. I like to think that cities, lan­guages and so­ci­eties can be com­pared to hu­man be­ings: we get ob­sessed about them, have a crush on them, we hate or we love them. Tai­wan ap­peared to be my Mr. Right. This un­con­ven­tional love story dragged me away from my home­town and ev­ery­thing I was used to.

Some­times, I found my­self lost in what seemed to be the mid­dle of de­spair: hope­fully in those mo­ments of lone­li­ness — and for­eign stu­dents al­ways have some — there is al­ways a cure. Some of my for­eign stu­dent friends would take a ran­dom bus at a ran­dom hour of the day and make a com­plete tour of Taipei city; mine was walk­ing for hours in mid­night Taipei streets, from Daan (大安) to Wan­hua (萬華), Zhongzheng (中正) to Shilin (士林), etc. Those night trips were the quick­est way to cheer me up. The ex­tra­or­di­nary beauty of Taipei re­sides in its messi­ness: it is not the ar­chi­tec­ture but the soul of the city that strikes you; ev­ery street has a life of its own. My Chi­nese im­proved quickly, I made friends and those hard first months of home­sick­ness fi­nally came to an end. Lan­guage is an in­cred­i­bly pow­er­ful tool and a key to peo­ple’s hearts. It helped me un­der­stand, to read through new glasses what was hap­pen­ing around me and en­abled peo­ple to emo­tion­ally con­nect with me.

To me, there is noth­ing more pre­cious than the re­la­tion­ships I built with my friends dur­ing those five years: we’ve been spend­ing days, months and years to over­come our dif­fer­ences. The gen­eros­ity, the pa­tience and kind­ness of my friends in Tai­wan moved me deeply. In­deed, one of the great­est ex­pe­ri­ences in a hu­man life is to love and be loved in re­turn.

Cen­tral Bank of the Re­pub­lic of China (Tai­wan) Gover­nor Perng Fai-nan (彭淮南) warned on Thurs­day that China’s “Red Sup­ply Chain” (紅色供應鏈) will pose more threats than ben­e­fits to Tai­wan’s econ­omy in the next three-to-five years. He sug­gested three reme­dies to counter the sit­u­a­tion: an easy-money pol­icy, ex­pan­sion­ary fis­cal pol­icy and in­creased mar­ket de­vel­op­ment in South­east Asia.

If you have been ob­serv­ing Tai­wan’s eco­nomic growth, why don’t you share some thoughts to be pub­lished in next week’s PrimeTalk? Send sub­mis­sions to com­mu­nity@chi­na­post.com.tw and in­clude your real name, na­tion­al­ity, con­tact num­ber, some photos and a pro­file. Spec­ify “Eye on Tai­wan” in the sub­ject line and en­sure your sub­mis­sion is be­tween 300 and 500 words. Writ­ers whose pieces are se­lected for pub­li­ca­tion will re­ceive one month’s free sub­scrip­tion to The China Post.

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