While hiking through the country-side around Xindian, Prince Roy, Poagao and I got to talking about the whole issue of what we miss from home. All three of us are from the U.S., but we also have connections of varying degrees to Taiwan. Poagao, obviously, is the most Taiwanese and the least American. He gave up his U.S. citizenship for a Taiwanese one, served in the army here, and has made it his home for about two decades. PR, on the other hand, served in the U.S. military years ago, and continues to serve the U.S. as a diplomat, even now. I know he has a special attachment to Taiwan, but after his post here is done, he’ll be off to another country and continue his Foreign Service work there.

I feel myself somewhere between those two positions. I definitely could leave Taiwan, and I almost did leave to go study Chinese in Harbin last year. I couldn’t really imagine trading in my U.S. passport for a Taiwan one, either. On the other hand, I’m not at all certain of when or how I’ll leave. I remember being shocked at Rika’s party, when her friend Anne said she was definitely planning on moving back to the states to settle down. I haven’t been in Asia as long as she has, but for me, it just wouldn’t be that easy to go back. Yes, there are things from the states that I really miss. On the other hand, last time I went back to see my family, I found myself missing Taiwan. Here are the things I miss the most:

What I miss about America when I’m in Taiwan

  1. My family
  2. My friends
  3. Mexican food
  4. Open running trails within 5 minutes of my door
  5. Nature
  6. Nearly limitless online shopping bargains
  7. Having a car
  8. Having a big house
  9. Being able to order pizza at midnight
  10. snow

What I miss about Taiwan when I’m in America

  1. My friends
  2. Being able to learn Chinese every single day
  3. Nightmarkets
  4. Taiwanese Efficiency
  5. The freedom to have a beer while walking outside
  6. The subway
  7. Gazillions of tropical fruits to choose from
  8. 蔥抓餅
  9. Extremely safe cities
  10. More pragmatic law enforcement