With humble beginnings, I learned how hard it is to make it in America as a small-business owner. After a while of beating down the doors of companies, I realized that maybe it's just time to see something different. So I set off on a soul-searching trip by going to Taiwan. In my travels I have experienced what a wonderful, tranquil, and peaceful environment Taiwan has to offer to a dreamer.
As a longtime resident of Taipei City I have to say that some of the best tourist destinations in town are not in the suburbs. Rather they are right in the middle in a place called “City of Taipei,” the part of the metropolis enclosed by Zhongxiao West Road on the north, Zhongshan South Road on the east, Aiguo West Road on the south and Zhonghua Road on the west.
Do you know that I can eat Japanese food? Well, you do now, and so, five years ago, did three 7-11 clerks, a businesswoman, and a very drunk man handing out flyers.
I have lived here now for over six years but this is the first time that I have really looked back on it. I came here from Hong Kong, the place where I was born and grew up and went to school. It wasn't the most smooth transition that the world has seen. To tell you the truth, in my young years in Hong Kong there was some troublemaking going on.
After my graduation from a master's course in Hsinchu, I worked at a high-tech company here. The hours were long but I enjoyed it because I got to use what I'd learnt in school in my work. After a few years, however, I started to realize the difficulty of living as a foreigner in Taiwan even without the language barrier.
I was on a balcony overlooking Tamsui River. It was evening and fishing boats were curling along the water. They were hidden in the darkness but for a constellation of moving red lights. Their engines filled the air with an inconsistent splutter.
It has been 2 years since I moved to Taipei, and began working at a Taipei-based Japanese company. My background is somewhat unique in that I am Japanese and my husband Sijung is half-Dutch, and grew up in Taiwan.
Three years ago I was seeking a place that would provide me with new knowledge and the freedom to follow my dreams without dying of starvation. When I arrived in Taiwan I quickly realized that I had indeed arrived at the right place.
Did you hear the chirping of birds out your window this morning? Or perhaps the peaceful breeze rustling through the trees, gently mixing with the low, serene tones of Taoist monks chanting their sutras at the neighborhood temple? Well if you live in Taipei, the answer is “No.”
Besides working with Taiwanese colleagues during my graduate studies, my eye on Taiwan hadn't truly come into focus until arriving in Taipei just three months ago to teach at a local elementary school.