A Timeline of the Places I’ve Been (Adventure to Emptiness)

September 2012: I moved to Taiwan from South Florida, and I didn’t look back.

Before my first visit to my husband’s home country in 2009, he lend me a movie directed by Ang Lee called Eat Drink Man Woman. Have you seen the opening scene? It’s culinary art at it’s finest. After I watched it, I immediately called him fascinated to know more about the island. Honestly, sometimes life can really surprise you. One moment I’m in Maine watching the movie, and the next moment I’m standing in the very same overpass that was shot in one of the scenes. I saw the overpass every time I walked home from Shida. I smile just thinking about it.

2009年第一次造訪了我先生的故鄉前, 他給我看了一部李安導演的飲食男女。你看過開場的畫面嗎?那真是烹調藝術的極致。我立刻打電話給他, 並夢想知道更多有關臺灣的一切。有時候命運真的會給你一個驚喜, 上一秒我還在緬因州看著這部電影, 下一秒我卻站在這部電影中出現過的天橋場景上, 我每天從師大走路回家時都會看到這座天橋, 我每當想到這個, 我的嘴角就露出笑容。

vibsMarch 2013: I moved to Shanghai, China 

I never thought in a million years I would find myself in China. I was shocked when my husband’s Taiwanese international company decided to have a branch right in Shanghai. I’m sure I was annoying tourist and for that, I really do apologize and want to thank everyone for putting up with me during the time I settled around Hongkou area. It really does mean the world to me. and I am glad I got to call Shanghai home for a little over two years. (I really did feel like I was in a Woody Allen movie, honestly).

我與老公在咖啡館閒聊,突然我往窗外看, 覺得想要拍幾張照, 我不知覺的想到紐約及伍迪愛倫的電影。我將相機置於桌上, 摒息以待, 並開始按下快門,我不知道拍出來得效果如何,我不是伍迪愛倫, 不過我不在意,因為世界上已經有一個伍迪愛倫了。我不是攝影師, 也不是旅客, 我只不過是一個過客而已。aa3The view from my very first apartment in Shanghai.

Camera 360August 2014: We left China to return home in Taiwan.

Dawen and I went to our old neighborhood we’ve lived in for 11 months one last time. We haven’t been in the area for the past 6 months and it already changed greatly. I admit, I will miss my old neighborhood more than where I am now. Having said that, it’s time to move forward.

C360_2014-08-25-22-31-41-484C360_2014-08-25-22-43-45-059It has been over a week since I moved back to New Taipei from Shanghai. It feels right to be in my second home right now. Dawen and I have been constantly on the move for the past two years. As I was having my usual stinky tofu enjoying the view of Bitan, I realize I can stay here for a while. Scratch that, I can see myself growing old here.

已從上海搬回臺北一週了, 搬回我的第二故鄉感覺一切都很自然。我和大文過去兩年不斷地遷徙, 但當我吃著臭豆腐並觀賞這碧潭的風景, 我覺得我能在這裡再待上一陣子。喔! 更正! 我認為我可以在這裡住到老。C360_2014-08-26-16-19-58-888When I was living in Shanghai, I was yearning to go back to my old life in Maine and now that I’m staying at my mother-in-law’s place in New Taipei, I no longer have the desire to do so. I felt like I have been holding my breath since I left the States; I have forgotten to stop and take a look at where I am.

I’m now looking around and I do like what I am saying.

當我在上海時, 我希望回到我過去在緬因州的生活, 如今住在我岳母位於臺北的家, 我不再想回到緬因州。我覺得我自從離開美國後就像停止呼吸一樣, 忘了停下來去欣賞周遭事務。

我現在正欣賞著我周遭的一切, 我可以說我很喜歡我所看到的一切。

我和大文回到了我們住了十一個月的地區看看, 我們搬離那裡已經有六個月了。我必須承認我會比較懷念我以前住的地區, 話雖如此, 現在已是離開的時候了。

December 2014: We return to China.

shanghai5
I took this picture on a day where I had no anxiety attacks. It was a rare moment, and I enjoyed every moment of its calmness.

Remember not too long ago I wrote my farewell to Shanghai? I think I made G-d laugh so hard, he (or she) fell out of his (or her) chair and landed on my head. Where am I going with this? I’m moving back to Shanghai, of course! I’m actually kind of happy about this. There’s unfinished business and I simply just have to return. I guess I really didn’t need to write what I would miss about Shanghai, after all. My bad. Taipei to Shanghai, Shanghai to New Taipei, New Taipei to Shanghai. To think I actually wrote, “I honestly don’t know where I will be next.” G-d is truly laughing at my expense.

記得不久前我和上海說再見? 如今我讓老天笑死我自己,怎麼說呢?我又要搬回上海了!當然,我對此決定是蠻高興的。有太多未完成的事給了我回上海的理由。我當然無須再陳述我為何懷念上海。總之,從臺北到上海,再從上海回到臺北,然後又從臺北回到上海,這真的就如同我所寫的,我真不知道我接下來將去哪裡。上天這下子真的會嘲笑我。

2015-03-21-17-32-48_decoI may have been a fat girl, but I was happy at least…even when I had fake Taiwanese snack in Shanghai. It didn’t matter to me, to say the least.

Jpeg

Septmeber 2015: I flew to San Francisco after over 3 year Hiatus from the States.

All I can say that the whole deal of having “reverse culture shock,” was an understatement of my life. Despite I’m present here in the States, I still manage to feel absent.

September 2015: I moved to Atlanta, Georgia

I still have no idea what I did while I was living in Atlanta. Did I even live in Atlanta, or was it all in my imagination? I don’t think I want to know. Well, one good thing about Atlanta was that it had Authentic Indonesian food. I think that is all I remember, honestly. (Seriously, what did I do over there???)

December 2015: I went back to my childhood towns in Maine for the Holidays.

While it was kind of sweet to go back where you grew up, I never felt so foreign or out-of-place than I do over there. It was cute, but this place that was supposed to be home never truly felt like home to begin with, and I’m quite okay with that.

At least my husband got to eat my dad’s famous veggie omelette for breakfast. That’s a plus.

img_20160804_163955
I at least have Kosher pizza over here.

July 2016: I moved back to South Florida, and I must say that it is one big joke.

Despite I didn’t look back when I left in the first place, I manage to go back where I felt so empty. It’s like somebody gave you this gift that puts a smile on your face only to take it away and chain you to a place you can never call home. Ever. Hopefully, 2017 will give me sweet, beautiful news, but till then my soul is hibernating…even despite South Florida doesn’t have a “real” winter, but like my Grandmother said – the only thing South Florida has is the weather, but that’s basically about it. So true, I can’t argue with that.

hellomofoSetepmber 2016: I went back home to renew my resident card!

It was a much needed trip, to say the least. I’m happy to anounce that my relationship with my mother-in-law has improved. Also, I miss her cooking, wisdom…and the fact that I felt I had a normal life. I was content. Key word: was. I am just bummed that I had to leave after just being there for two weeks. I was a nervous wreck.

Well, I’ve gotten fat, so I do have something to keep my mind off from things: like going on a diet. Till next time…

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