Monday, September 5, 2011

Tough love.

I should point out, I genuinely love and miss Taiwan, for many reasons. I love England for other reasons. Living as an expat, or indeed an ex-expat, one has a complicated relationship with identity and place. Some would say it's difficult for an expat to truly have a home ever again.

Generally, expats have chosen to leave their homeland. And they've chosen their adopted home. This leaves them in a position to simultaneously slag off and wax lyrical about both their country of birth and the one in which they live now.

So to underline the fact that I love Taiwan, here is a poem I wrote about it, after Sir John Betjemen and Slough - though I think his feelings may have been more unequivocal. Those that have lived there will understand.

Come friendly bombs fall on Taipei,
It should not be allowed to stay.
Its buildings drab, its skys dark grey,
It looks like shit.

Come friendly bombs fall on Taoyuan,
So much improved it will be when,
It's open farmland once again
And not a dump.

Come friendly bombs fall on Taizhong,
Its architechture's really wrong,
And though it's better than Kaohsiong,
That's no excuse.

Come friendly bombs fall on Kaohsiung,
By now its time has been too long,
And ev'ryone will sing a song,
When it is flat.

To all of those who love Taiwan,
You must accept what's to be done,
We must not be afraid to say,
From bottom up's the only way.

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