Wednesday, August 17, 2011

What to wear?

It's the small things that are difficult. When I left England, I was 26 - a relatively young man, still accustomed to doing young man's things. I bought records, went to gigs, wore somewhat trendy clothes, went out several times a week.

Now, I return 10 years later unsure where I fit in. Most people my age have careers, mortgages and families. I'm unemployed and live with my parents, while my wife is on the other side of the world. I've spent the past 10 years living a very congenial, transitory life, working just enough to live and going out as I wish. Not really an option when you're trying to earn enough to get your wife into the country and potentially support her when she has even more difficulty getting a job than you!

I literally do not know what clothes to wear. In Taiwan it's hot in the summer and cold in the winter. Period (full stop, I know - but we can save that for another post). In the summer you wear a shirt or t-shirt. In the winter you might need a jacket. Critically, the same clothes will do you any time of day or night. You just need an umbrella if it rains - but they can be picked up anywhere. Here, I have to think. It's hot now but will it get cold in the evening? Not too taxing, you'd think, but...

Fortunately I haven't had to buy any clothes yet, but when I do, what shops do I go to? Cool or sensible? Boutique or M&S? These are the everyday things you never think about that make up part of who you are, where you are.

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