For a long time I haven’t written a thing. Even when I was still in Taiwan, I wanted to write and I really needed to do that, but many things happened: I had to pack my exchange year to a 2okg suitcase, say goodbye to all my loved ones and leave those 1o months behind me. It should sound sad, doesn’t it? At least till now it doesn’t feel like it. I know that the hardest part still awaits: coming back to High School. I am spending the second week of readaptation in Crete island with my family. Of course vacation, beach, wonderful food helps me to enjoy life and don’t think much about what I left in Taiwan. Considering all of the fears, which I had about readaptation, I think I am doing great, I can’t be very joyful about my skin and organism though… It seems that four airplanes and three different climate zones haven’t made my body as happy as my soul is…
I tried changing my blog’s name, but unfortunately, at the moment it’s impossible. So you will need to read my posts, which won’t be written from Taiwan anymore, but will be written from the person, whose character was changed in Taiwan very dramatically.
Before my trip home, I was very worried about my handset which was full of books, three different airplanes. Thinking further to the future and changes that Taiwan brought me, I was worrying about my relations with family, friends. I was full of questions, doubts. My “coming home” mood was changed, when couple days before my plane took of, I met an old friend-traveller. Once in Lithuania together we worked with kids and at that time, I was filling up all the documents for my exchange year, with him we used to talk about travelling, places, where he has been. When I met him in Taipei, he reminded me that feeling, that “hunger”, which motivated me to leave in the first place. After that meeting and conversations, I realized, that I don’t want to come back home so much. Please, don’t get me wrong, I am very happy to be back, I was never as happy as that moment when in Vilnius airport I saw my friends and family waiting for me. I was never as happy, as that moment when I hugged them and we laughed together. Just because for a year I lived so far, my oppinion, about what do I need to be happy and what do I need to work for, has changed. My friend, while saying goodbye in Taipei, asked me: “So where next..?”. I imagine, that my parents, who are reading this now thinks: “where, where, to school!” this is the exact place where I am going to set my foot in the begining of September.
What have I discovered while back at home?
While you are in an exchange you understand, that you have changed, but how an why, you understand just back home, when suddendly you are put to your old environment again. At least this is the way everything is happening to me. My relationship with family got better, other people or parents’ friends, who knew or have heard, that I lived in Taiwan, started talking with me more respectful (as I am not a child, but not an adult yet). The “How was Taiwan?” thing is not disturbing me yet, maybe because I haven’t had a lot of time to really talk a lot about it… For parents or other people usually I just say a fact or two if it fits with the main point of the conversation. Sometimes I get questions, but usually even those questions are from people, who aren’t very much interested into long and detailed answers. I think the most exciting thing was to talk with Taiwanese girls (they lived for a year in Lithuania with the same exchange program), who came over for a Taiwanese style dinner. We disccused everyting, in Chinese we talked about things, that we wouldn’t have wanted to talk about in Lithuanian or English. I was so glad, that we understood each other and my parents were glad to see me actually having conversation in Chinese too. Because of the Chinese language and not hearing it around myself for 24/7 I got an “appetite” to communicate in this language. The most ironic situation I had in “China Town” shop in Crete: while observing Chinese looking sales-woman, I walked up and down between long stands with dresses, perfumes, handbags and I left without saying a word to her… Whatever, maybe next time. In the end I just thought that the Lithuanian girl in Greece trying to talk in Chinese with “China Town” sales-woman, would have been a strange situation. The time will come, when my appetite will grow and I will forget to care what others think.
Not so long time ago I met Emile, the girl, who went to Taiwan with the same exchange program, the year before me. She told me that one of the things she had spotted while being back was not seeing problems, which weren’t there (we have a thing in our country/culture to make problems bigger then they actually are). Then it made me realize, that I lost this feature of my character in Taiwan as well. I coprehended, that while in Taiwan I learnt how to stop in the eye of emotional hurricane, think for a second and calm down. Perhaps it’s going to be one of the most valuable gifts, I have brought from the Far East Asia. Last day together with my family and our friends, we went to a beach which was on the rock (it was just simply too hot in the sandy one). While jumping from the cliffs I injured my leg a little bit, but that bruise with a little bit of blood didn’t stop me from swimming and jumping more. When I got to the shore, they gave me some watermelon (yes, the same, with which you can see me in the picture above) and in that moment inside I smiled so widely. Those kind of moments before a year didn’t look surprising for me, I didn’t even try to discover what I really felt in that exact moment, I didn’t try to think how truly happy I was. I was thinking about future too much, I was planning and always telling myself, that it could be better. Now, after I had spent a year as an exchange student, I am happy about everything. I am not afraid and I’ve stopped paying attention to my doubts and my own attitudes. I guess this is what “the way to be a grown up” looks like, sometimes it’s even strange how easily I can let go of the things or my own truths, which before a year I was so strongly believing in. Because I left to Asia, I saw and I learnt, how I can communicate, live and understand world from the otherside. And that is awesome, that is unrepeatable and it’s not describable (well I am here trying second in the row…)
I have promised, that I will continue writing, so I will keep my promise and soon will be sharing my posts about Crete. Greece and Crete – it’s one of the most popular holiday spots for Lithuanians and other Europeans (they have many cheap flights to here). Without amazing beaches with very clean water and wonderful food here is a lot of to see, now and visit. About everything and more soon! Now I will share just couple moments…