AppendAixItis

This is probably my most exciting post ever this year, because I finally came up with a new pun. The good news is that it’s a good pun. The bad news is that it is actually related with appendicitis. The other good-ish news is that I might not have appendicitis, the bad news is that if I don’t then it means I have peptic ulcers and either I have to get surgery tomorrow in an appendectomy or get a gastroscopy. Which means anaesthesia and lying on a bed with a stick down my throat or a knife in my tummy.

I’ve been in Taiwan with my grandma, uncle, and cousins, and it’s been nice because I finally slept like a regular person last night, but I’ve been having a lot of stomach pain, which today I realized was coming from near my appendix. And so now we wait for the doctor to come and tell us if I do or don’t have appendicitis. This could really be the worst time for appendicitis, given the fact that I have to go back to school and go do things that I’m supposed to do (although I feel like nobody will care if I don’t do them), but at least I’ll get my appendix out for good and never have to deal with my stupid hypochondriac fears of having appendicitis all the time. My grandmother also just informed me there’s a typhoon coming this Friday, which means if I have an appendectomy I can’t really leave here until next week, which might be a good or bad thing, depending on whether or not I can eat after surgery (my guess is no, which sucks).

But I’m getting ahead of myself. Chances are, I don’t need surgery, and I don’t have appendicitis. But just a bunch of peptic ulcers because of some magical source of stress and stomach acid. Maybe?!

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Politics Turned Poetry

This past weekend I watched my mom do two talks about her experience as an investment banker turned professor and on her new book (which everyone should buy) about Taiwan’s China Identity. And the only thing I knew to do was to write a poem about Politics (Sorry mom if this turns your speech upside down)

 

Which Home?

I landed a few hours ago in Hong Kong, and as I was landing I thought of the same time last week when I was headed back into the mountains in France. I remember seeing the mountains and feeling a surge of strength and happiness inside of me at the same time, and wondered why the same feeling didn’t come to me when I saw the skyscrapers and buildings of Hong Kong come into view. There was still a sense of home, something warm I recognized, but it felt a little rustier, less wholesome, more humid, less fresh.

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It’s been two months since I set off to go to Europe and I can barely remember how the time passed this quickly. I left the train station in Modane and set off for Milan yesterday, where I milled around for an hour or two with a girl I met on the train, and it felt like a closing of a chapter. But somehow, this time around, I was both saddened and felt lifted up by the fact that I would someday go back. I have come to realize that the mountains are what make me feel strongest, and no matter what I do it should be in proximity to that feeling of strength and happiness. Two weeks ago I finished Yasmina Reza’s book  Heureux les Heureux written from the perspective of a father mocking his son’s desire to “be happy,” because what does that even mean? And I think this is what it means, to feel at home no matter where you are. Part of me understands that as growing up on an island of mountains, where I was surrounded by this sort of strength, but in a city that continually undermines its nature by creating more city, more commerce, more coverage to shadow over its landscape, and it feels, at times, a bit more suffocating that I remember.

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And perhaps this time around, I’m understanding what it means to have homes everywhere, that though it means I will have places to be and people to come home to no matter where I travel to the older I get, it also means there will be homes I have to abandon, places I will not be able to go to as often, people I see less even though I love them, that time is a limitation that both allows us to do the things we want and also is not infinite and cannot happen in multiplicity.IMG_4843

I feel different, this time, coming home, to the people, to the food, the scenes, the topics of conversation. I feel simpler, less burdened by the weight of appointments and constraints and city life. I will wake up tomorrow morning without an alarm and work without the hours, which is, of course, a luxury, but something I never did often even when I could. I wonder what this will mean for my last year in college and the years after that. I wonder if living a day-to-day life is considered acceptable.

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I am forever grateful to the people who have made places in their homes for me, or made homes for me in their lives. I’m not sure how much I contain, but it seems that there is an infinite amount of space within me to make room for more people to love, and for that I am continuously surprised by my own strength and the size of the world and of humanity. It makes me hopeful that the world is kinder than it appears.

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