Love Note #1: Where Has All the Appreciation Gone?

Dear Taipei,

For decades, you have been that glamorous symbol of Taiwan and set the tones for all major breakthroughs. But most of all, you have been that dream destination for countless young people seeking better opportunities or a more promising future. You have served us well for decades, and it is no doubt that you occupy a unique place in many of our minds.

I dreamed of building my life here back in my teenage years when everything about you is like a gateway to a brighter future. I loved the modernity you resembles, and I enjoyed visiting places that I only heard about through friends or watched on television. I cherished every visit and kept records of all the amazing restaurants or cafes that I stumbled upon. I was a wide-eyed wanderer mesmerized by the great amount of diversity you contain. I had countless eye-opening experiences through those years of visits as a young and fearless explorer.

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However, I noticed a gradual change in my perception of you when I finally started out as an independent young adult three years ago. I still enjoy hitting different cafes down the alleys and spend a long afternoon at Eslite bookstore with one of my favorite books. However, certain aspects of you are also starting to wear down my patience. I can never stand the crowded MRT ride in the morning, and I dislike your lengthy rainy season to the utmost.


The constant excitement that I used to retain while visiting you is no longer there. I may have gotten too used to living here that I begin to overlook the aspects that once fascinated me. Apart from that, I start hearing similar complaints from people around me, whether is the dull lifestyle or the depressing weather that drives all of us nuts. The dissatisfaction and complaints start to take over my head, and I begin to notice my ever-deteriorating feeling towards you. For the first time in many years, I stop having the desire to return to your embrace on Sunday nights, and I even start blaming you for not offering the ideal environment and lifestyle, which ultimately lead to a mounting dissatisfaction with my life in general. I regard life in Taipei an endless trap, instead of the gateway to a bright future.

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When I was reviewing the archive of Philly Love Notes over the weekend, I had the sudden realization that a blog like this was what I needed to remind myself of the positive and good aspects of Taipei that I once enjoyed. Life here may not always be smooth-sailing, and the awful weather isn’t something that can be changed within my power. However, I do have the ability to rediscover the long-forgotten appreciation that I once had towards this city. So three days after that sudden realization, here is the blog that I will start sharing my love and appreciation for you with others. Little by little, I hope to help those who may now be disappointed in you to reclaim their faith . It may take months to achieve anything meaningful, but I am glad I have finally taken that significant first step.

Hopefully, this could be the start of something larger.

William Yang



One thought on “Love Note #1: Where Has All the Appreciation Gone?

  1. I really want to express my gratitude to you. I’m a young Taiwanese studying at Taipei. Last semester I studied abroad as an exchange student, and after I came back dissatisfaction with Taipei began taking over my head. I gradually lost my love and interests in this city, which I once had before.

    It is your beautiful words and appreciation that touched me a lot. Thank you! I love this blog!


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