Love in Taiwan


So why do I do this to myself? I’ve done it not once but twice. You might think that that would make it easier to handle, tackling any event should be easier the second time around, but it’s not. I know what to expect, and I know it will be terribly sad and that there’s nothing I can do. But that’s the price to pay to meet these amazing people.

Pixie and Lilian kindly put together a scrapbook for me before I left Taiwan, I’m on a plane now and I just recently worked up the courage to read it, instead of just skimming over, my mainly drunken, pictures. The result: I’m truly touched. I could never imagine that my friendship means as much to so many people, as their’s does to me.

Takuma: 難道你一天比一天帥?哈哈。 謝謝你在我書寫了。你說對,我們都還年輕, 我們生活的機會不少,我希望我們的將來都有機會在見面!

Jan: Dude, I know the others don’t understand engineers sometimes so I’m glad we became friends, my only regret is that I ever bought you a Smirnoff Ice. It will be forgiven but not forgotten.

Melvo: After being in Taiwan for this long, I now know more than ever that The USA is the greatest! I’ll be there someday, but if you want to catch up in Australia before, I’m fine with that too.

Zach: I’m glad you took something from my endless ramblings, my only hope is you can share them with some other naive young lad, in case he’s having trouble getting out of it.

Masako: Thanks to you, I now know what true Japanese food tastes like, we definitely should have cooked a little more, but each was great from the first sushi to the last feast.

Shinochan: 不好意思,我要説明我的臉。其實我不常生氣了,可是我很喜歡吃魚啊!哈哈。 我真的等不及跟你說英文,所以如果你有澳洲留學機會的話, 我們不能說中文。 Is that okay with you?

有芳: 我覺得臺灣有很多好玩的朋友, 可能找得不容易, 可是師大每個學期有新的學生,應該找得到新澳洲的朋友們!

Phil: Wait?! You feel sorry for yourself? God… Dammit… I guess in the end we realised we were so alike that we couldn’t learn anything of each other, so we scrapped that and had fun instead and I’m glad we did. Remember, You wanna make this plane? You’ve gotta run like a man! Get your knees up!

Kazumi: 難道Tequila在臺灣一邊是我最大的問題一邊是我最喜歡的飲料?哈哈。 我等不及回來臺灣一起去MiCasa!

Gamy: The first time I heard your deep mellow soothing voice was like listening to a very large bird sing. I look forward to seeing photos of all the new people you’ll certainly meet in Taipei, I’ll be following your blog.

Keith: I also remember not remembering our interesting conversation, so I can’t really affect your campaign, no matter how much money the media offers me. Your signature is also acceptabe for a president, keep that in mind.

Asher: My best 同學, I’m feeling a little sick now on the plane, i’m concerned its that N1H#3JD virus, that 高老師 keeps mentioning. Hope things go smoothly at 文大. I hope the next time we meet we’ll be playing Israeli or Australia Monopoly Deal.

Pixie: I cannot thank you enough: this book, resorts in Kending, train tickets, boat parties, landlords and landladies. I wish I could help you out in the same way but your English is too good, if I even come close to the same level of Chinese I will be a very happy chap. Thanks again.

Lilian: LOL, what are you even laughing at, like. I’m still skeptical that your an engineer, all I know is you mentioned a few chemicals a few times. Good luck with your Masters, I really hope I never do graduate, might go back to 師大 for the rest of my life.

Trett: Thanks, for sparing me a certain image of you that I know is pasted in Alex’s book. I always enjoy our conversations about films, so if you have any suggestions send me an email, Australia can hear the internet now too.

Frances: That’s a little bit of a low blow, isn’t it?! How much further could I get out of way than by going back to Australia? Haha, I’ll be working on my singing skills for the next time.

Shannon: It has been nice to meet you! I’ve forgotten just as much English while I’ve been in Taiwan, but that’s okay. I hope you can find some roommates as nice at Paul and Masako after she leaves.

Albee: Thanks for your little message, I just managed to read it on the plane, I think your English improved a lot, even in the short time I knew you! Good luck with wherever you choose to study abroad, it’s an unbelievably amazing experience.

Anna: I’m yet to understand your Japanese massage, but I know you’ll do better with my English because we both now that 我的中文不夠!哈哈。 I can’t say how grateful I am that you were my friend in Taiwan, it’s certainly been the most memorable and happy part. You are welcome to come to Australia whenever you like. (You can ask Paul if you don’t understand something because I am going to, haha!)

Alex: You message blew me away man, now I can understand why you didn’t want me to write in your book, I guess your not one to put in half effort, except for maybe this last week of class, haha. Thank you for the single most amazing experience of my life. Maybe not as memorable as driving through Russia, but infinitely more survivable. I know we had our disagreements, I’m a dickhead and I’m always right, except for The Walled City, but thanks for hanging in there with me. I remember considering going home last May, I was sick and whinging, but you convinced me to stay and I’m eternally grateful. I will see you somewhere along the east coast. Love.

大家: 非常高興認識你們!真的網不了我臺灣的經驗,我們應該五年以後再去Revolver喝酒。

TO EVERYONE: I’ll never forget the experiences I’ve had in Taiwan, and all my friends that have been a part of it. You are all welcome to come and visit Australia, but no matter where, I hope that we can meet again!

Love Gage.

ImagePhoto courtesy of Gamy Wong (


taipei art cinema 2

I can just see the top of 101.

It probably doesn’t mean that much. On a clear night like this, for most, it is probably just a few steps away, too the nearest corner or balcony, to admire the view. For others it might be in their peripherals, as a subconscious reminder of where they are.

The soundtrack changes, beating basketballs and cicadas in the grass become the stereo sound akin to any art house film. Tires and feet on the path move in and out of my wall of listen. Arrhythmic segments morphing as the gears, of two bikes side by side, move back and forth.

My shadow creeps along the grass; the blades, slicing and intercepting at any movement. Yet, I stay in tact. As I reach the bridge, I notice the perpendicular gurgling of flowing water and engines clash.

On the far side of the river a million lives stare back at my from windows, they can see 101 as well, but their music is different. The water and engines of the abode are harmonious. Controllable. The washing machine combines the water and mechanics like only a machine could. To them, the rigidity is calming. To me, intimidating. It’s a mere compensation.

Is this life an art house film?

Maybe it’s not important.

I can still see the top of 101.happynewyear