anotherlongshot (anotherlongshot) wrote,

the lure of taipei and chinese-ness.

Reading Yun's latest entry made me think about my Taiwanese relatives.

Wait, before that:

You're a Yaoi fangirl.

Are you a yaoi fangirl?
brought to you by Quizilla

The picture is so not nice though, and if the guys are characters from an anime/manga, I have no idea who they are. They should have a bloody RuMit dammit!

Well, anyway, what I was going to say before I got distracted by the quiz (my first attempt) was that I adore my Taiwanese relatives. I think they're really cool. I guess it helps that my dad's pretty close to his siblings, so that whenever we visit (which is not frequent enough, if you ask me), they'd all be like, "Yelen ah! Look at you, so pretty!" and "Yelen's bro ah! So tall!" (in beautiful-sounding Chinese, of course) and other warm, enthusiastic greetings along those lines.

My brother's 176 cm, by the way, and he's four years younger than me. Not a very nice feeling.

To cut a potentially-nonsensical entry short, I guess my point is that sometimes, I half-wish that we lived in Taiwan instead. I think about Taipei every day (seriously). And I still can't get over the fact that I would have brilliant Chinese if my mom hadn't moved me to Singapore when I was 7 to learn English. I'd rather have shitty English than shitty Chinese, if truth be told.

And Taiwan...I read an article in the papers today. China tried to pull some stupid stunt by proposing some stupid project that would physically connect Taiwan to China via an underwater tunnel, or something along those lines. I've grown pretty undecided over the issue but I think I still stick by my anti-reunification stance. It's true that we're all Chinese, but the Taiwanese people already have their own national identity that is quite separate from China. I mean, it'll be damn nice to be able to get to Beijing from Taipei, but fuck, to me it's just weird, for reasons I can't explain.

Oh, screw it. It's complicated. And stupid people like Chen Shui-bian and the education minister who tried to revamp the History syllabus by erasing China from Taiwan's history or whatever aren't helping matters any.

Okay, let me try: Taipei, in my mind, is romantically-idealised as the bustling Chinese city to defy New York and all things American/Western. Yes, the irony is rather hilarious, considering the fact that the Taipei 101 mall mainly depends on branded Western goods for business; but despite the facade and the things people buy, there is still something quite different and Asian/Chinese about Taipei which I really liked while I was there. It's the Mandarin accent: a pleasing lyrical lilt that respects the rules and conventions of the Chinese language, so unlike the crass way in which most Singaporeans butcher the beautiful language without even realising it. It is, in fact, merely the fact that people speak Chinese over there, and I didn't mind the Taiwanese/Hokkien too much either.

I don't think this is making sense, and my headache isn't helping the lack of coherence; it's hard to explain. And it gets even worse when you throw in my childhood memories into the mix and produce a nonsensical, irrational nostalgia for a place that was home only for a few years, whose homeliness has long since faded with the recesses of time. I don't think Taipei can ever be home...but it doesn't matter, for I don't think Singapore is home either. There's no way that someone like me can ever truly belong in a place; Taipei is not exempt.

But I'm still incredibly drawn to it anyway, just like I'm very curious about Shanghai. It's the city factor; more importantly, it's the Chinese factor. New York City has lost some of its allure over the past year, as have many Western places and things. I still love Literature and English, but I'd always be incomplete if my Chinese remains stagnant for the rest of my life.

Fuck, why do I realise and know things only when it's too late? If only I'd known earlier. I guess people truly are inherently stupid.

All right, this entry does not have a clear point, and I'm meandering all over the place, and right now, I think I'm stuck in the ditch. I shall get myself out by ending this right here and now.

And one more thing, completely unrelated: Relationships should be like fireworks: beautiful, breath-taking, but ultimately transient and illusory.

And we shouldn't expect it to be any more than that.

(I'd loved to be proven wrong, but that would happen only when the human race finally becomes extinct. And that will happen; the world would be returned to the animals and nature, the way things should be.)

Tags: being chinese, taipei

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