Moving to and adapting to the lifestyles of a brand new city here, translated…
The first thing I’d learned, upon arriving in Shanghai was learn to flip over the walls.
It’s not what you imagined, a group of people, working really hard, trying to climb over the fences, instead, it’s in the virtual world, stepping over the international websites’ systems.
Especially how the Taiwanese relied on Google and Facebook, YouTube, and all of these systems, are banned in China, and hard, for them to load up, in the country, we can only use Baidu, and Tudou, along with some other servers. And still, the messages in the systems, the set up, along with the surfing through the pages, are not easily gotten used to, and incomplete; and so, flipping over the walls became my method, to ease my “homesickness”.
The moment I’d gone into our bedroom, we’d placed our luggage down, then, immediately headed to the living room, turned on our computers, and started enjoying the software that allowed us to “flip over” the “walls”—the freedom doors, the school VPN………and, we’d compared the systems too. Afterwards, we’d started flipping through the news pages, along with interesting news in and out of the country.
And, I’d all of a sudden, recalled how Tsong-Wen Shen had skipped class by flipping over the walls of the school, and found the reasoning of the world. Then, by flipping over the “walls”, finding the knowledge that satisfies us, isn’t that because of how outside these “walls”, there flowed, the news of our home. And even though, we’re away, we still didn’t want to miss a thing that happened back home.
My roommate C, told me with worries, that she feared that being in Shanghai too long, she might not be able to adapt to the tastes in Taiwan. My classmate, B too worried, that if she’d gotten used to the accent spoken in China, how will she readjust her speaking? To tell the truth, I don’t know, I just wanted to wonder, how long it’s gonna take, for someone to find the self that was before one left home back again?
That scent of nostalgia showed itself in the panic lightly. It’s just, that rarely anybody noticed how this nostalgia was wrapped up, in being in a foreign place, waited until that sense of newness got washed away, and, the burning desires slowly showed itself again. Would our accent, our habits, our thoughts, that were Taiwanese, after leaving home for a very long time, be like the rentals in Shanghai, rerooted in another culture, and able to patch things back up with one’s own fatherland after returning home once more? If the shores broke off from Shanghai, and, everything existed in peace between the straits, like the colonies, could we not ever return to our homeland again?
And so, we’d flipped over the walls. Break through the defense lines, working hard, to maintain that opening that connected us all, to our home towns.
In this article, you can see the narrator in her/his desperate attempt, to stay connected, to NOT become completely assimilated to the culture s/he had ventured into for whatever reason (school, work, etc., etc., etc.), and this, is the general mindset that ALL immigrants can relate to.