Wakefield Li remarks that studying in a foreign country is more than an exercise in liguistic acquisition - it is about being immersed in new cultures.
I have a way about me. I like a thing done well and done consistently that way. I like principle and those that adhere to it. This is the case in my private and professional lives. I say grace and I say it with meaning. I say I will be at the meeting on foreign revenues at 6:30 a.m. and I'm never late. I like a plan. I like to stick to it.
It's 6 p.m. on a school day. I shut down my laptop, lace up my running shoes, grab my iPod and take off.
It's Tuesday night, and I'm sitting cross legged, meditating at a Zen center in a little corner of the bustling Taipei City. I'm supposed to be counting my out breath: one, two, three ... but my mind wanders off.
At times in life I feel as if I am the prey of buzzards. The boss, the bills, the politicians, the structures of society, each perched as an eagle on a cliff staring into the valley below. Myself, and those like me, huddled in shrubs rushing hither for an evening's scrap and hoping never to see a winged and quickly expanding shadow cross over the near ground.
My buddy Sylvester Chen offered me dip (tobacco). I told him again I was a teetotaler. He smiled and left, then returned. Sylvester's a fun and odd sort. He has a penchant for pyrotechnics, the sort of joy that makes Taiwan's many new years a time of searing delight for the man. I imagine him on the street running from explosion to explosion, a toothy grin and a look of hunger in his eyes.
It had been months since I'd seen the sun. My apartment in the city consisted of four walls and no windows, which turned my time inside into a strain on my electric bill.