Proximities

On moving back to one’s own country of origin, translated…

I’d gone out for coffee with a good friend after returning to Taiwan, I’d told her I was moving back here to live. She’d said excitedly, “Great, we can see one another more often now. Although you’d come back from time to time before, and, I get to see you every day on Facebook………but back then, I’d felt, you were, farther away, different than you are now.”

I too, had felt that distance between me and Taiwan, shorten. It’s not just on the geographical sense, but the biological, and psychological too. For instance, I’m closer now, to tofu and Asian fruits, I can go to any supermarket or super convenience shops to get the items, and no need to go to that specialty Asian food mart to.

not my photo…

From before when I was in Poland and wanted the Chinese books, I’d needed to, think very hard, before I’d placed my orders, and, I’d asked my friends to bring them for me because I’d wanted to save up on the shipping charges. And now, with the taps of the keyboard, I can pick up my ordered items at a super convenience shop, or buy the books as I headed out to a seminar hosted by an independent bookstore. Now, there’s that sense of casual, and as I wanted to when I buy books, and there’s no wasting my money, buying those books I won’t even read, or buying the books, then regretting what I’d bought.

From before, I can only see the news about Taiwan via Facebook or the news media forums, and now, I can hear the voices from outside of my circle (although still very limited), the events I come into contact with, the crowds, and their reactions to the events, even, being engaged personally in the discussions of the topics.

But, the result of me being so close to Taiwan is, that I’m, easily effected by the things on the news. From before in Poland, my husband would watch the news every single day, and would get affected for the entire day by it, back then, I’d thought he was weird, and would often nagged, “Why are you so easily affected by your external environments?”, and now, I’d known, that it’s because of the proximities.

“we are migrating!!!”, not my photograph

Although I’d gotten worked up when I saw worrisome news stories about Taiwan back in Poland too, but, that feeling is now, more real, because I’m living here, so totally different from being bombarded by the news stories. Now that I’m living here, when I saw news regarding Poland, I’d also worried, felt angered, sorrows, and distressed about it, but, it’s different from the pressing sense of fear I’d felt every single day, living in Poland.

I’d come back to Taiwan, became, physically closer to Taiwan, but, become more distant to Poland now. Not only just the current events, but the smaller details of the various kinds of cheeses, hams, the breads, the bags of potatoes by the kilograms, those rooms with the heaters, the coffees, the snow falling outside my window………I’d started missing, all the details now. And, back then, I’d felt aversive toward Poland, couldn’t fully enjoy what these things had to offer.

So weird, that sometimes, when we traveled faraway, we’d come to become closer to some of the things in life. And in Taiwan, being close to all of these, I’d felt, somewhat, estranged to some of the things, making me want to push them away, or maybe, they’d drifted, away from me on their own.

Maybe, the distance is relative, and can exist together at the same time; being far off, and close by, being close by, and far off at the same time.

So, this, is on adapting, readjusting to moving back to one’s own home country, there’s that sense of familiarity, because you’d moved back to your place of birth, but, there’s also that sense of estrangement, because you’d not lived here for long periods of time here, and so, you may need time to adjust, to adapt, to this former homeland of yours…

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