Taipei. 25 degrees Celsius. Palm trees. Jungle- like nature surrounding the city. Finally paying 1 $ for a beer again. Yaoza!
One week ago, I thought that coming home would be fine; I’d be so busy that I wouldn’t notice and within 2 months’ time, I’d be back in China anyway. Now, however, I find myself dealing with an ambivalent reality. Reading my notes from being home last fall, I realize that I didn’t get squat out of my last year at university. There has not been any personal, academic or professional development in this past year. It was a massive waste of time: something that I quite simply needed on a piece of paper. Here, colors are brighter and life is faster and more vivid.
But then, I was faced with a grim reality when I visited Beijing this time. Seeing everyone again and revisiting all the familiar places was wonderful (oh, so wonderful!), but to my mind, there has been such a regression since I left, that the trade-off is simply no longer sustainable. Last year, I did not think so much about how the governance affected me. Now, however, I am for the first time actually too scared to write about the issues. The stakes are, at the moment, too high.
It seems to be the common dilemma in this company, to deal with our love for the region while facing what actually lures beneath the surface. To me, Taiwan and Korea seem like the most liveable places in the world. They are a wonderful mix of imprints from surrounding cultures, while that in fact makes them unique. However, both of the times I visited South Korea there were threats of nuclear annihilation/ actual shells launched at the territory from the North, and Taiwan is experiencing constant friction with China, while not being recognized by the international community. Hong Kong is pretty poppin’, but the eventual inclusion into China has already begun to show its nasty marks.
So what does one do? I really have no answers to this one. When I think of home, I think of security, health (not a given everywhere) and a high quality of living. But I also think of unemployment rates, conformity, pathetically narrow-minded debates and boredom. And the fact of the matter is, that I get offered SWEET deals in China.
Wouldn’t it be great just to travel all the time..?