So instead of beginning this blog at the proper beginning, which would have been an in-depth, and I am sure stunningly well-written and charming description of the long flight into Taipei and a week and a half of intensive teacher training with a bunch of awesome people. However, that is not where I shall begin. I have decided to begin this blog close to the middle. Not the exact middle, that would mean waiting another month, plus it would be too symmetrical for my liking. So here, five months in to being a visitor here in Taiwan, I begin. This morning, I was in Keelung, walking around the streets, early-ish on a Saturday morning. I was happily wandering, making the images below, having no destination in mind, simply letting the act of seeing determine the next left, right, straight, or the well-known, "oops, 180 degree turn." The small businesses, of which cities in Taiwan are comprised, were beginning their day. Here, people preparing bean sprouts and greens for a small eatery; there a taxi being washed; in the next entry, people buying bait and tackle for fishing expeditions.
For everyone normal life was proceeding, people that had known each other for years, having their daily conversations, fathers pushing their kids in strollers, old men smoking together and lounging at the temple. Everyone, that is but me. Suddenly, I felt like such an intruder, like I had no right to be walking along these streets, that I should go back to the tourist streets and behave like a proper foreigner. I rarely photograph people abroad, so it wasn't an issue of should I take this photo or not, I had no camera in hand as long as people were about. It was simply a question, "Do I have a right to be here? Am I just being a voyeur?" The answer is beyond me to answer and certainly I do not think there is one answer in the slightest, but it is definitely a question that I have encountered before in my travels and one that keeps jumping up and bopping me on the head at times. I liked the idea of starting this blog now because the "new", the "beginning" is always exciting, but it is what happens some months in to being in a new country (or relationship or job) and how one handles it that I think might be where the learning begins so that is why I am starting now. Anyways, that was my morning, cheers!