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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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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