i typed up what i wrote below, i'm really glad i recorded my thoughts at the time. i love reading my old entries, it's really just amazing how they still seem so fresh and relevant to me after all this time even though they're maybe a bit idealistic and guileless : ] i wonder what i'll think of myself in another 3 years!
it probably sounds kind of gay but i think it's incredibly valuable to write to yourself. love you all!
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the people of taiwan are a humble population of honest men and women. they seem to carry with them a careless disposition for laughter, speaking very informally and casually usually with veiled humor in every other sentence. their dress, more for practicality than for vanity, too, reflects their attitudes. perhaps it is only my tourist's unpracticed eye that sees this, but this is a country in which the people are far more innocent than in the united states. children here are born to respect what they have and make use of it. passerby go to unbelievable extents to help abcs get to their destinations; it is as if there is an unspoken rule - no, standard, more like - of brotherhood there. as they say with a bit of pride: "i'm taiwanese, i am a trustworthy person." i will never forget the night a heartbreakingly young and tender-looking couple took up my friends and i to their expensive hotel overlooking the city of taipei, and then brought their friends to take pictures with us. in their minds there was never any thought of risk or danger in becoming so close to complete strangers met in a dark parking lot; not once did they glance at each other in apprehension or questioning. it is never appreciated but always touching when one can confirm that there are indeed truly good and unmarked people in this world, away from the jaded civilization of 'home.' i am so tired of the endless criticism and 'intellectual' cynicism practiced by so many people here. they need to learn how to shut the fuck up.
ever since the trip, i've come to see this sweep of days that rushes by me as more than a single object; it had always seemed to be a little line with a slider with which i could skip through days, recalling nothing, living for the next week when the one i was in was bad, planning my life and building it towards a single weekend where something special was to happen. does that make any sense? =) i resolve now to take the days one by one, finishing one fully before moving to the other. somebody taught me this, but i doubt they'll ever know who they are and how they imparted this lesson to me. speaking of lessons - more than once did i look around and think to myself - this is where my parents grew up. their values sprout from their upbringing here. there is a strange connection to taipei as my home, an earnest and wholesome attachment to this place i have no memory of. why? it is one of those things that cannot be understood, one of those places that camus spoke so highly of. in the hustling and bustling confusion of the big city, during the times we got lost, i was happy.
after only a month there, i feel absolutely refreshed, despite the cold showers, squatter toilets, dirty water, hot weather, and whatever else i didn't have that i was used to. eh, it was well worth it. the experience alone was wonderful, yet it was some of the people i met on the trip that made everything definitely positive. what a surprising array of unique people in a mostly-abc* trip! and i hate abcs! crazy! it was so easy to like them and get along with them. hehe, bus rides and giant group outings that always disintegrated were my favorite =) i'm worried as always that we'll lose interest and contact eventually, but that's unavoidable. hopefully we can get that reunion up in october.
*abc - american born chinese