What Do I Know About Taiwan?

Taiwan Travel Blog

Not much or at least not much worth anything. I could tell you all about the geopolitics of Taiwan or the effect of the international system and how it explains Taiwan’s non-status in the international community. But none of these really shed much light on what Taiwan really is.

I’ll always be a foreigner here. I’ll never be able to adopt the point of view of a 臺灣人. I will never know what it means to live under the shadow of China, with the periodic threats of invasion and annihilation. I spent the majority of my life living in one of the most powerful states in the world and now I live in a country that isn’t considered a state except by a handful of countries around the world.

Regardless, my issue is with those that think Taiwan can be boiled down to a few key interst points that make for good Youtube videos. Taiwan is more than stinky tofu and Taipei 101. It is a living organism with its own beauty, mystery, and horror.

I don’t think it is possible to capture this. How do you capture a living organism and distill it? I see people struggle, I experience boundless kindness, and my only reference is the swine and swine herders in America.

In Taiwan, I have been able to live an authentic life. I’m finally able to embrace the complete and total freedom that is forced upon us. In America I found unfreedom and in Taiwan, I found liberation and freedom. I have been forced to reconcile with myself to look at myself and face the uncomforting freedom.

Here I’ve begun to dread death. There’s too much to experience. I mean experience in its most encompassing form. I want to take all I can from this word. There is nothing more disgusting than surrendering your freedom for comfort.  What you can is bondage disguised as comfort. It’s to surrender our human essence and reduce our humanity to below the level of the beast. To surrender your freedom is the greatest sin man can commit.