Anniversary past

It was eight years ago, August 23rd 1998, when I first arrived in Taiwan. I forgot this auspicious date this past August, perhaps in an attempt to keep the length of my internment as vague as possible. Everyone always asks how long I have been here and being unsure if being apart of this long term foreigner click is good or bad, I never really give a definite answer. Time is a blur anyway – it still seems like yesterday when I was playing on shag carpet with my then ballerina friend to the tune of “Like a Virgin” by Madonna. Didn’t I just meet Sheryl on the streets of Antigonish, her holding a stack of books, me trying to look cool but failing (as always)? I still remember the smells of Taipei, the heat, it wasn’t the smell of sewer, the dominant fragrance of Hsinchu, but of eucalyptus (perhaps). It was pungount and nice and new. Memories of events are always stronger than the events themselves.
I swear that on August 23rd, 2008 I will fly out of CKS airport, or whatever name they will call by then, for the last time.

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