Resident of a Foreign Country

A little dissonance here, translated…

As I was living in Poland, people would introduce me as “she’s the Taiwanese writer living in Poland right now”. Back then, I simply, couldn’t accept this way of introduction felt that “living here right now” is more of a temporary, unassimilated situation (or maybe, the feel of a temporary visitor to this country, someone who’s not here to stay?), but, I’d lived in Poland for this long, I can call myself, “half-Polish” already, how can I still be referred to as someone who’s just visiting and living here?

I’d once hated the terms of “living”, if possible, I’d have someone else write for me, “permanently living in Poland” or “currently living in Poland”. And still, it’s, as if, karma had a lesson to teach me, I’d, moved back to Taiwan in 2016. I’d originally planned to stay here for a year first, to see how I’d adapted, but, the first few months after leaving Poland, because there’s this huge contrast to the quality of life and the external environments, the two of us feel more and more by the day: we may, never return back to Poland again.

not my photo

Coming back to Taiwan, it’s a sort of, “returning back to my roots” a sort of a homecoming, but to my husband, it’s, immigration, and to our son, it’s a total alteration of his life. This drastic change, I think, none of us can say, “that we will make it up as we go, this, is a life-changing decision that we’d made.” But on the other hand, I’d not wanted to treat Taiwan as a place I can breathe easy for a while, a stop station to somewhere else, or even, a spare tire, after all, the decisions to move back here, I’d made, through long term struggles, doubts, discussing it with my husband, weighing the pros and cons, then, making the final decisions.

I’d originally thought, that I would be the one, most adapted in this move. But, just a few months before returning back, I’d fallen, into this deep abyss of panic, I’d wanted to overthrow my own former decisions before, and stay in Poland. After I’d settled myself down, I’d finally come to understand, that I’m afraid of coming home, fearing, that I will no longer be, just a passerby to Taiwan, or a simple traveler to Taiwan anymore.

Even so, as I’d come back to Taiwan, it’d felt kinda weird, telling people, “Hey, I’d moved back here to live now”. At first, I was still, uncertain, as to whether or not I’m to settle here, and I’d said, “I’m here to stay for a year”. Later on, I thought that I was being too ambiguous, and, started telling people, “I’d moved back here to live.” As I’d told people this, I’d always gotten asked, “Why?”, and even got doubts from others, “living in a foreign country is way better, why did you come back?”, and each and every time, I’d needed to think long AND hard, how, can I explain it, so I’d sounded reasonable, politically correct, although I’d wanted to tell those who’d asked me, “I just wanted to come back, there’s no other reasons.”, but I could never quite manage these words out.

not my photo…

I’d returned back to the place of my birth, but, I’d not felt like I had, “come home”. Compared to being called “traveling and living away”, I’d felt even more unsettled in my home country now. Without myself knowing, this place had turned from the homeland I was familiar with, into a fresh, new, strange foreign place.

Or maybe, living in Taiwan for me, is another sort of immigrating. Not much different from before, it’s just, that I changed from “immigrating to Poland” to “immigrating to Taiwan”. And now, it seemed, that I’m no longer, that offended by the term “immigrating” anymore.

So, this, is still on that sense of belonging, the place you feel most at home in, and, you CAN have two places in the world that feel like home, but most people just have one, and, if they have another, it’s after adaptations to living in a brand new place you’d moved to, to call it “home” finally………


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