The thing about living abroad, or specifically living here in Taiwan, is that there is always a strange division. What I mean is there's Taiwan and your "Home". The vasy majority of the foreigners I've met here don't consider Taiwan their home but rather see it as some kind of extended vacation; even though people stay here for 1, 2 or even three years. The other or real Home is like a safety net, we all know that at some point we will return to wherever it is we came from, and be "home " once again. It is this mentality that keeps us from learning the language, learning the culture and really immersing ourselves in this place. Also, it is probably why I hang out with so many ex-pats. It's refreshing at times to compare Taiwan to "home" and knowing we're all only here temporarily it enables a certain detachment from the world and place we ACTUALLY are living. It's an excuse not to learn the language "why bother?.... I'm going home soon anyway" or "I'm not sure how long I'll be here." Lately I've found myself stuck in this mindset and it's been a bit depressing.
Taiwan is my home. I love it here, afterall I chose to come here, chose to stay for more than a year. It is my home and since I returned from New York I've been even more aloof about Taiwan....comparing it to New York, I've become more critical of the cultural differences, and have been looking at Taiwan with more of an outsider's perspective than before my trip.
But acting that way is not fair to this country or the people. I mean it's going to be pretty pathetic when I leave here knowing very little Chinese or very little about the culture I've been immersed in for so long.
Taiwan is my home, I've been here a year and half......and as such I need to stop acting like I'm on some extended vacation and start acting like a responsible human being, immersing myself in the language, culture and just accepting the fact that the Taiwanese way as different...at times confounding, but unique and fascinating; and hopefully adapt, rather than resisting....