A Travellerspoint blog

Beginning Again

sunny 20 °C

Settling in here was easier in a lot of ways than I expected. Not just because I’ve built a life so many times now, but because I know I can’t leave. It’s not a prison so much as a haven, a place where everything is still open, but shuts down what is necessary when there is a risk from the virus.
There was a possible outbreak about a month ago. A pilot who had been showing symptoms wandering away and a doctor that had been exposed. They quarantined everyone exposed, thousands of people. But, a few weeks later, everything was fine. We just avoided Taipei for the Lunar New Year. There were mistakes here when SARS hit, but they definitely learned from it.
Beyond that, everything is normal. Restaurants and gyms are open. Nothing is really stopped beyond the tourists and students that used to come. There is no real talk of a vaccine here yet, but there are also not many people so it should be easy enough to get the vials when enough are produced.
This is part of why I didn’t want to write this. Not just because I don’t want to talk about COVID, but because it is not a real threat here. I’ve known people who got it. Not everyone made it. It feels safe here, but safety is always an illusion. Life can end by accident as easily as it can be created through one. The universe is bigger than we can imagine, and the only true infinite is its absurdity.
I didn’t want to be here originally, and every plan I had fell apart. The life I was looking forward to is not gone, but it is far more difficult for me to visualize than it used to be. It’s not bad, or good. Simply different, and in a way that’s more disappointing than if I had surety that it was gone, that it could never be. Failure is one of the easiest things to achieve.
In the beginning I spent a lot of time playing videogames, wandering worlds that aren’t, but that extra time gets shorter every day. The last time I was in Taiwan, I was in the best shape of my life. Climbing mountains, kung fu, and a job that required nearly constant movement. Now, I can feel my age. The pain from taking the steps too quickly, the empty battery feeling after a long day, and far more weight gained in China and during lockdown than I would like to admit. I’m not yet old, but I definitely feel worse than before I went into the Peace Corps. I’m hoping with work and time I can rebuild the strength I had a few years ago, but there is so much to be done.
I’ve restarted my Chinese lessons, and I’m continuing Spanish lessons. Kung fu and the gym have their blocks set aside, as do dnd and planning for dnd. I have begun to explore my new city and the surrounding countryside on the weekends, but it’s harder when I don’t have the crew meeting at the train station in the morning. I’d rather take the day and relax, put off hiking until the afternoon when I can safely cancel because it’s too late to start.
There’s also a lot I haven’t written, random stories and moments of inspiration that never made it to the page. Beginning is the hardest part of it. I’m sure I’ll get to them soon enough, if I can keep myself writing. That’s the thing though, there is always more to life than I can ever do justice to.

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Posted by Porticaeli 16:11 Archived in Taiwan

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