Today, I prepaid my Taiwanese phone bill for a year; I paid my Taiwanese credit card bill in full; I wrapped up all bank related items. The suitcase is on the floor ready to be packed.
In a month, I learned how to swim. I made new friends and created new opportunities. I yelled at Taiwanese men for their rude behaviors. I pounded on a car when the driver backed into me in the school parking lot. I stood in the middle of the street crossing in rush-hour-traffic to teach the aggressive drivers a lesson and gave them the finger. I confessed how little I understood the language when I was trying to purchase a mobile phone. It was a very humbling experience in front of the irritated young man. I learned to whip someone using both English and Mandarin. I ran down Heping Dong Road when I needed my serenity.
I am leaving in a few days to return to NY, a place where I have a house, an apartment and a job but not where I always feel I belong. It certainly isn’t where I would rest my weary soul. I am leaving from Taipei where it’s temporary and yet consistently permanent. Not really my home but it sometimes resembles one. At times, the characteristics of Taiwan shows me who I truly am. At other times, I am such a New Yorker that the Taiwanese people look at me in confusion. This is the woe of a child who left her birth country during the critical years of her development and adopted a new one for survival. Her identity is split right in the middle. Her heart belongs to no country and no one.
She is a gypsy.
Can you hear the sorrow of being a gypsy?