Love Note #17: Why I Decide to Continue the “Love”

Dear Taipei,

14 months have quietly passed since I started this project, the blog that I hope to spread positive energy to help remind myself and others why we can and should love you. It was not easy, I have to say, since there were and still are more moments of despair than moments of joy in my past 400 days living in this city. I started with motivation and drive, lots of it, because I thought the moment I started writing posts full of positive energy, I would be able to overlook all negative parts that still happen in my life and embrace you convincingly. Truth is, it has been much harder than I thought.

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I still can’t quite get used to the humid and often unpredictable weather in Taipei, especially during the long rainy season when all you can do is to lock yourself at home and feel like everything is getting moldy. There certainly had been moments when I just wanted to book a flight and go anywhere that is less humid and less rainy. My dissatisfaction doesn’t just end here. One big turn-off in Taipei is the stagnant salary scale that all working professionals, especially the younger generation has to put up with. A big part of the reason is the unwillingness of Taiwanese corporations to attract talents by offering competitive salaries while still expecting employees to loyally sacrifice when the companies need them to. On top of that is the harsh condition for employees’ paid leaves, which the government only requires companies to award 7 days of annual leaves to those who have worked over a year, and there is definitely no shortage of instances where companies refuse to let employees exercise their rights. The inability to keep the labor force satisfied and motivated simply becomes a huge incentive for people to seek opportunities with much better conditions elsewhere, because if you are not rewarded for your efforts, why should you keep putting yourself through this? I can’t deny that these factors did make me try to walk away multiple times in the past 14 months.

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But beyond these tough conditions that me and many Taipei residents have to deal with, there are still things to celebrate in this city of imperfection. I never have to really worry for my life when I walk on the street, and I can always find something to satisfy my occasionally untamable stomach even after midnight. This city also boasts probably one of the cleanest and most comprehensive public transportation system in the world, especially for how much you have to pay for it. The quality we get is unimaginable elsewhere. And there is the vibrant food scene which enchants me whenever I am away. To me, this is also where I have witnessed tremendous personal growth, be it tough lessons or sweet moments, I can never have gotten to where I am without this process. To simply put everything behind and leave is surely easier said than done for me. So I decide to keep this love going, even if things sometimes get turbulent and tricky, I shall keep focusing on the positive part, while never letting the negatives truly bring me down. As the saying goes, you may find a new enlightenment once you turn at the next corner. I believe you have more to offer, and I have more to discover too.

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William Yang

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