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#HNGRY2019 Update 2.0

Greetings from the road from Vienna to Tiszavasvári. So far my teammates played the ABC-I-Spy game, sang a couple of road trip appropriate songs while I took a nourishing nap.

The past couple of days in Vienna felt quite surreal. We spent the weekend attending Awakening Europe along with the Hungarian pastors. The presence of the Holy Spirit was so thick and so tangible in the stadium and around the city—people praying for the sick in the streets; seas of people jumping, dancing, and crying out in unison—heaven was open, I definitely saw a glimpse of what eternity will look like.

My favorite silly revelation during the conference stems from the song “How Great is Our God”. All song lyrics were shown in English and German. Apparently the phrase “how great” becomes “so gross” in German. I saw the screen, blinked twice, laughed then proceeded to tell God, “Well, I guess you ARE SO GROSS—the way you pursue us so diligently, the way you “so grossly” loves us so much and call us favorites.” We laughed for a few minutes then I proceeded to soak deeper into worship.

In terms of less punny discoveries, I found out how little I relate to “being proud of being *insert nationality”. There was a session for dedicating Austria back to Jesus and I sat there thinking, ok, how would I feel if there was an hour where thousands were praying for Korea or Taiwan. I knew that I would feel no pride for any countries ever—nationalism never made sense to me. I’ve always thought singling out one country felt ridiculous in this day and age. But I also knew that there is a blessing that arises when we lift up a nation in prayer. As an international multicultural human, borders have always made me feel unvalidated. This session was here to remind me to be extra considerate of the reality that countries exist and sometimes God does want to bless a single group of people. Definitely something to keep learning.

Danny told us that the youths cannot sleep from all the anticipation and excitement for the coming youth retreat. We’re all also excited except we all long for sleep—oh, we can definitely sleep. Now there’s about three more hours till we get to Tiszavasvári. We’ll have a worship service as soon as we get there then we’ll start the retreat tomorrow. I look forward to seeing all the children that I’ve met before. I cannot believe that I met some of them almost six years ago, I bet they’re taller than me now (Europe makes me feel very short).

Thank you all for the words of encouragement and your prayers.

Love,
Koko

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Update 1.0

Greetings from Dubai Airport!

It’s been a slow journey and it’s surreal that it’s finally happening. I have many hopes for this next month and a half. I’m mostly delusional from such a dry flight so don’t trust a word I say. This is my update video that I filmed just a couple of days ago: 

I apologize for weird sound quality.Please don’t hesitate to contact me in any which way. I’m always so thankful for your love and support. 
Love, 
Super Sleepily Yours (koko)

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#HNGRY2019 Support Letter

Dear You,

You may have known me as a naive, young kid, trying to find my way through the winding paths of life. Or you may have known me just a few here-and-there’s ago, where we might have talked about our hopes and dreams.

Whether you’ve known me for long or short, you are receiving this video letter because we’ve had meaningful conversations about a dream deep inside my soul.

To recap, a general timeline of my life consists of multiculturalism, endless visa applications, many plane trips, and infinitely trusting God as my provider.

After graduating from uni last year, my visa in Taiwan expired. I said see you later to the place I’ve spent most of my life, and finally experienced living in my passport country for the first time after my kindergarten years. It was cold, unfamiliar, and totally confusing. Staying in Korea made me realize that I don’t want to waste another second wallowing in a life that just ends in an endless cycle.

Then I thought back to my second mission trip to Hungary. Working with the Roma people has often reminded me of myself. Romas are more commonly known as Gypsies but that’s a racial slur. They are a group of people that lack conformity and identity. They’re outcasts. Most of my life, as a TCK who’s always been a big conglomeration of identities, I knew their answer to affirmation was Jesus.

I also wanted to empower them through arts—to redeem their story with crafts and use it as a platform to break their cycle. 21 year old Amie was so sure of her life long pursuit. Now I’m 24.

I was still in Uni, though. Any ideas of moving away and starting entrepreneurial or ministry work sounded crazy. But graduating, working a short while in Korea, seeing the world through a more seasoned lens got me thinking that crazy isn’t impossible, crazy is necessary.

So I’m back in Taipei: cushy home; hugged a bunch of people I’ve missed; talked to Danny, my big brother at church who’s in charge of the missions department. He invited me to be on a longer mission trip as I told him “I think I’ll just move to Hungary.” In return he asked me what stakes I was willing to take and I said whatever.

The plan is to be at Hungary for a month and a half starting mid June. This will be a little trial for me to experience and see everything going on in their ministry. Meanwhile two mission trip teams will visit: one from BREAD OF LIFE INTERNATIONAL and another one from BOL Youth & Young Adults. I’ll work with both teams while developing relationships with the Hungarian pastors. Danny asked me to think goals, and dream wisely.

Without hesitation, I said yes. Then I caught up on the details later.

The BOLI team’s main goal is to host a youth retreat for the teenagers in the Roma church in Tiszavasvari, it’s the town where I went for the last three trips where lots of Roma people live near the Hungarian-Romania borders. The past three times I was there, I worked with a minimum of hundred rowdy kids. This time, the expected number of attendance is an astonishing low of twenty. I am so excited at this intimate number.

After the retreat, we’ll head to Budapest to host interest nights for people to know more about BOLI as we prepare to launch there in the near future.

The BOLI team will leave on the 25th and I get a week off!

After a week-long break, the Y&Y team will come. During our month in Budapest, we’ll spend our weekdays learning Hungarian and doing outreaches. Every weekend we’ll go to Tiszavasvari to teach practical classes to children and teenagers.

I’m very excited about this trip. I’m very glad I’ll be escaping a grueling Taipei summer, which is not the point. As ecstatic as I am, I still have a couple of worries here and there.

A few years ago, my umma told me the story of how she ran away from home to be at YWAM when she was just a bit younger than I am now. She’s been repeating that story more and more to affirm me that I am fifty times more capable than she was then, how I have the support of family, friends, and an army of angels. I’m pretty sure she had the protection 7k armies of angels, but who am I to argue? She told me to follow what I think I need to do. Sometimes it’s not about waiting for a calling but acting upon what brings me life and joy. If it brings me joy, God delights in it.

So with that blessing from people all around the world, I’m happy to be sharing and updating you through my newest journey that will take place from June 14th to August 1st.

Please pray for me and if you feel led, do support me financially as I do have to raise around 70 thousand NTD (2300USD).

There are several ways for you to donate:

  1. Patreon: where you get to fund me monthly.
  2. Make a one-time donation through Paypal
  3. If you hold a Taiwanese or Korean bank account, you can wire me
  4. or, if you see me often: just plain old cash will be great too.

Thank you so much for listening to my story. Don’t hesitate to ask me any questions.

I can’t wait to tell you my next update!

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cleaning

It’s been a month since I came back to Taipei. There were many screaming and hugging sessions as I caught up with many faces I’ve missed. I wrote a poem everyday in April (check out #escapril), watched one too many movies, caught up with my tea shop cravings, and roamed around the little alleys I love.

Coming back made me realize how short and traumatically educational the three months in Seoul was. I also have forgotten how complacent I can be within the comforts of home — I’m a proud homebody sometimes. Amongst an abundance of complacency, I’ve regurgitated the thoughts hidden at the back drawer of my mind, wo/andering where this liminal space is going to take me. A lot of cleaning took place: dusting out my room, repainting our house, throwing out old clothes, finding out that my twenty-year old bed is now infested by bedbugs, and talking over and over again about the what-happened’s.

After a conversation of only five-ish minutes, Danny had me decided on going to Hungary for a month and a half. I told him of the unkind culture of Seoul, about the extreme excitement and frightening sunlessness that is theatre work, and the thought process of how I don’t want to waste another minute of my life just finding a job just to get by and just for the sake of it. I’ve known for the last few years that I’m called to empower the Roma community in Hungary.

During our short talk, I was reminded of how my scope of reality is still composed of if-you-want-it-just-do-it, a world with direct causes and consequences. Of all people, I should know better that events are not maths and human relationships aren’t fairytales. My heart was ready to dive in headfirst but Danny caught me of my impracticalities. He suggested I first stay in Budapest for a month and a half while two different mission trip teams will come and go. He told me to really think about what I want to accomplish and really be practical during the stay — to consciously build relationships with the people in ministry and learn about my own capabilities. He booked my tickets immediately afterwards.

I’m still on the path of unraveling my hopes for this new venture. Two weeks have passed since my plane tickets have been booked but my heart’s full of uncollected feelings and stories of life and death (of which I won’t get into details) spin around in an ominous whirlpool. Bedbugs are still crawling somewhere in my bedroom and my half-eaten avocado in the fridge is slowly rotting. I’ve told myself that I won’t wallow, today I write — I’ll write and stay grateful for breezy May, cozy soups, and lengthy hugs. A trip of awakening is in store for this homebody, ready or not.

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i don’t want to write

March 10th-ish 2019

‘It must be the terrible air quality,’ I tell myself. ‘It must be everything like: not having friends, not being able to be in a community, not getting my favorite oolong tea at the tea shop next to church.”

Wednesday, Seoul air quality peaked to the point where I thought the world was filming Blade Runner or it was time to meet Jesus. I got to the theatre and sat down at my desk helplessly, I have never felt so dazed or spaced out. Tracing back the little events of my week, I breathed three little phrases: ‘I’m courageous, I’m kind, I’m enough.’ Repeat.

Ashley and Fanny just visited, umma made delicious meals, there’s a vegan bakery with the most scrumptious scones and garlic bread, I get to listen to some of the most talented people in the world sing some of my favorite Disney songs every evening, and my lungs can filter out this terrible air—sort of.

Counting down the days back home is no way to live. Umma has been a comfort to me but she misses her comfort. Her choice of attending a 40-day seminar seems like an insane decision to her now. We encourage each other through thanking each other’s existence and yummy snacks like digestive cookies paired with tea and coffee. Day counting is a forbidden activity.

Appa found a genius way for me to return to Taiwan—genius, obvious, yet tedious. The working holiday application process for Taiwan is less chance-oriented than the UK one. It’s a lot of documents collecting and it turns out I have no vaccination records in Korea. Umma has been very umma-y about going to the health centers and getting the nurses to transfer my records from the official Taiwan documents. I love and hate the fact I lived outside of my passport country. There needs to be an international health care system or something, please. So with this plan, I may be back in my turf by April.


flash forward to April 2nd

I didn’t want to write. Our little guest house was a tiny room with a tiny kitchen and a tiny bathroom. Sure, I went out but roaming around alone, but alone can get lonely. Sure, I had a cushy space but it wasn’t home. I wanted to craft but there weren’t any tools. I wanted to go out but couldn’t find an adventure buddy. These weren’t excuses. The waiting zone gives you a different reality.

My gig at The Lion King ended as soon as the stage manager I was covering for came back earlier than expected. When I got the news, I was ecstatic rather than indignant. Every little detail about this job felt like a dream come true but the more I stayed, the more I knew I didn’t want to do this forever. I told umma and appa with a sigh of relief, they praised the Lord.

In a way, the three months in Korea was just a practical lesson. Seeing how Seoulites socialize made me thankful of my upbringing. Breathing in the metro stench full of booze and smoke made me long for Taipei metro where the seating arrangement actually allows personal bubbles. I was put in a situation where most theatre students would kill for—just to learn that I don’t want to be in that world. I’m not saying I hate Korea—I love its delicious food, vibrant culture, and mega-long history (I still have yet to learn more about it)—but I can finally say I have first-hand experienced its cruelty and the fact that bubble tea is around 100NTD.

Now I’m home. I forgot how comfy my own bed felt and that it takes more than 5 steps to walk around my house. Hanging out with my beautiful friends after church Sunday reminded me of how much I love people and how much I missed my home-y church.

The working holiday visa lasts for a year, though something nudges me “not quite”. I keep saying I want to write more so I shall. Though I’m still learning to embrace the doesn’t-have-to-be-perfect mentality, I will force myself to type up something each day. I decided to join this little challenge called ESCAPRIL where people write a poem a day based on the prompt. Poetry always felt too pretentious but I’d like to have a go at it. You can find them in the Koko Writes section.

Other than writing daily, I plan to craft, talk future, and actually travel around Taiwan. Looking for a couple of adventure geeks to go to the Orchid Islands in November or something. Let me know—I’m a great travel buddy.

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Slowly

I woke on the morning of February thirteenth, muttered to umma “I should check the results for the working holiday lottery thingie”. Turned on the laptop, clicked on the notice that announced who got the lucky golden ticket (not to the chocolate factory). According to the Korean alphabets, Ko should have been the first few on the list. I scrolled to see the little section of Ko’s and Kim’s. I even Command+F for my name but it wasn’t there.

Finally I had to tell umma of my name not being on the list and we had a little time of prayer where I was upset for a while then felt peace about everything. Feelings are inexplicable when what you wanted for so long disappears with something so heartless as a lottery selection list. The world is cruel with its visas, citizenships, and borders. Years of attachments and connections are too sentimental to come into account of where a human is allowed to set foot according to border politics.

But there wasn’t a moment for me to feel bitter. I had to tell all my best friends (like ten people or so) that I didn’t get it. Fanfan rang me immediately which made me just wanna be at Taipei—buying a duoduo-green, complaining about the humditiy. Danny asked me if I was up for Hungary, we agreed we’d keep it in conversation. Wei-wei asked me what God told me about the results, I replied that doors are many. Wes said he’ll come murder and eliminate all the selected humans so I can be picked instead, I just laughed.

Then I proceeded to make myself a cup of tea, prepared to go to work where I get to watch a musical about the animal world of Africa where visas don’t exist.

To be honest, everything is shocking and calming at the same time. Plan B-Z seems to be laid out for me and it’s going to be another tolling age of researching. I’m not excited, yet. Though I must say enthusiasm and hopefullness don’t have to match up to each other.

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I have a job now.

Laundry is spinning around as I type this. I look over and wonder if I added too much detergent because the bubbles forming inside the washing machine seems a little too excessive. Not sure if I was just too excited from all the energies teeming around me or the overly caffeinated tea I just had a few moments ago.

But all this chores things will end because umma decided to attend a seminar in Seoul. Ergo, she’ll be joining me in this tiny little one room space for the next month.

Monthly update seemed like a great idea when there was a time of infinite waiting around. Now the world seems to like throwing a lot of newness at me. As overwhelming as everything is, I feel protected and well-provided for. My Mondays are dedicated to triple R’s, rest, recreation and reflection, as it has officially become my day off.

Off-Mondays were a concept that has stayed with me since I was little—appa was a pastor so Mondays were for sleeping in (at least for him), and during my last year of Uni, I also had the laziest no-class-Mondays after long hours of running lights at church.

But no, my new (and first) job is not a church job though it is job that makes me feel at home.

Through a couple degrees of separation, as mentioned last update, I got connected to a stage management production company and they hooked me up with The Lion King in Seoul. When we were just talking about it, it seemed reasonable. The idea of it was fascinating. It felt like a dream job. I thought why not.

So after a very short interview with the actual head stage manager of the touring company, I was told to come to work the very next evening. By work they meant I should come watch the Friday evening show.

Upon the very familiar beginning notes of Circle of Life, I was stunned. “Wait, they don’t need me here, how the heck am I supposed to be a part of a freakishly well polished show? This is insane. Absolutely bananas.” Baby Simba was adorable, the hyenas looked gruesome, Timon and Pumbaa were just as silly as I remembered in the animation, and oh gosh all the theatre magic was just on point.

Saturday and Sunday were my official “learning the track” days. Saturday and Sunday in Saturday lingo is aka two dow shay, more commonly known as two-show days where everyone and everything is in a hissy mood after act 1, it’s a real phenomenon, look it up.

Matinee on first show was overwhelming. Evening show was filled with lot’s of “ooooh, that’s how it’s done”. The Sunday matinee, I finally felt like I was getting initiated. Sunday evening, I got to do a few cues myself, I was very smug.

I could probably go on and on about what happened the first three days of my very first real professional job. Everything feels surreal and I’m just in disbelief. I decided that writing about it will definitely help me along, so I’m starting a new blogging section called Theatales where I get to talk about tales that happened in my past theatre experiences and the ones that are to come. To say I’m excited is an understatement.

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jan 2019

The accumulative snowing minutes I’ve witnessed for the last month is five. Five short minutes where I saw teeny flakes floating down like heavenly dandruffs. My only heavy snow memory is when I was five—appa and I had a snow fight while umma was inside most likely cooking lunch.

It’s almost a week since my parents returned to Taipei. Living alone isn’t all glorious nor is it a total train wreck. Now I have the total freedom to be vegan (which I always was half-ish but I didn’t want to be picky about what umma cooked), and have ALL THE PRIVATE space for myself at the tiny guest house.

Seoul is still foreign. When the calendar page turned to 2019, I joked to appa that I no longer have an identity in Taiwan. Although I have a passport and an ID in Korea, it felt like I was exiled from a home of almost twenty years. But borders and countries don’t care about how you feel, they care about your papers.

And speaking of papers (awkward smooth segue), I submitted all my documents for UK working holiday visa sponsorship. The results come out on the thirteenth of February. Even though the sponsorship selection is by lot, I just feel like I will be picked. I call it ruthless hoping. I haven’t figured out what the next steps are if I do get the sponsorship, I’ll probably jump a bit then scratch my head as I read through sophisticatedly written Korean. If I don’t, I seem to have plan B to Z lined up for me. Either way, it’s a lot of waiting around for announcements and trying to stay connected with people.

Plan B for now is to be a part of a stage management company that I got connected through two degrees of separation. The head of this group is a well-known stage manager who has taken part in countlessly many imported-to-Korea-Broadway musicals and also the past Winter Olympics opening and closing ceremonies. Never would I have dreamt of being connected to such a human. We met up and he listened to my situation of waiting around and he in turn gave me a list of jobs that he would love to give me. As one of my favorite song goes, timing is crucial. I’m waiting for a certification that will take me onto my next stage in life, whereas he was offering me something that had to begin immediately. The conundrum was real but my heart was at peace and he said we’ll keep in touch.

The past few months when I was talking to my big brothers and sisters, they all encouraged me to just chose something and stick to it. Stick to what you love but don’t forget about God and his dreams for me. I know my path isn’t strayed. I know goodness and grace follows me. As much as I want to join in the exciting realm that is musical stage management, I want to be in London. I’m not saying I will immediately get a job in theatre or in ethical fashion as soon as I arrive in London. I cannot guarantee that everything will be easy but I know it will be worth it.

I still love to replay the words Anna frustratingly beckoned me to answer during my weird phase in high school: What do you want?—Not what’s easy! If I wanted easy I would be at the most boring job that paid me enough and gave me a visa in Taipei. Comfort is easy. Staying with parents is easy. Being close to friends is easy. Now I want something drastically different. Waiting around is the uneasiest ditch you cannot climb out of until an outside force gives you a “yes”. Living two and a half hour flight away from all your comforts is bananas. Most of all, what the heck is wrong with Korea’s online banking system? Can an IT expert please explain to me why it’s so difficult?

So that’s all to say nothing still makes too much worldly sense. Still quite jobless in Seoul except for my online English teaching gig. I miss being able to create things so I started to handwrite letters to those who want to receive. The most creative I got lately was with creating potpourri by drying tea bags and orange peels. Amie is still Amie. I’m quite content despite the fact that I moved my lodgings four times in the last month. Permanent address was always a pain to fill out when I was applying to universities. (Can I just write Heaven?)

But as always, I know that prayers are always covering me. I also love receiving feedbacks from you after you read my rambled updates. February will be another hump I will have to climb—I honestly can’t wait to see more snow and FINALLY get an answer to one of my futures.

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Taipei City

10 Aug 2018

Dear Home,

I’m sorry to have denied your rightful title for so long. I don’t think I’ve ever loved you till recently: how comfortable you have grown. You were this disgusting humid prison that I felt stuck on for the last seventeen years of my life. I hated your sauna-like summers, rainy days that made umbrellas obsolete, and snowless winters. What’s worse was, all the friends I grew up with never seemed to want to stay with me on your uneventful land. Summers have always been the most bitter times of fake freedom.

Still, I know you like the back of my hand. I’ve lived in ten different houses just within the city—one time I had no clue where our new place was coming back from the dorms in Taichung. Despite all the moves, my favorite corners of you never seemed to change. I also began to realize that your alleys are more numerous than I can ever walk around.

So when I first realized I would be stuck with you for university, I was in so much denial. Then I gave myself a slap in the face and asked myself to really learn you better. What was supposed to be four-ish years turned to five. I still can’t write a smooth essay in Mandarin or handwrite anything more than a self-introduction.I never went on that exchange that I dreamed of since freshman year because I decided that roots take time to grow. I’d like to think the years leading up to university was the time my seed was being sown, the roots took a while but it took the shape of the people I have grown to love.

I was so ready to be out of here. Seventeen years, too long—I’ve muttered for ages—but even the most hated home is still a home. Now that I know that you’re going to be officially kicking me out by the end of the coming December, I’m just bitter. I’m angry that I’m not allowed to live a cushy life where I get to grow old in the same old city. I’m angry at the thought of the person described in the last sentence. I cannot imagine a life where I don’t move around but, all at the same time, I dream of a scenario where I can just stay, have three cats, build a little house with a pool. My friend and I were discussing the definition of a “normal” life. We both agreed that we’d hate it.

So as much as I think I hate you, I probably don’t. It’s kind of like Lady Bird. Sometimes I love a film for all the stupid reasons but this one isn’t one of those. She reminds me of the time I cried over the cost of universities overseas. She reminds me of the time I was very adamant about people spelling my name with a -ie, not a -y (I still am). She reminds me of every little interactions I had with umma over the last few years. She reminds me that I want to uproot everything and move away. She reminds me that I’ll miss you infinitely when I’m gone.

“Don’t you think maybe they’re the same thing? Love and attention?” Sister Sarah Jones asked Lady Bird.

I guess I do pay attention to you, Taipei. I know you’ll most definitely rain on that one day I forgot to bring an umbrella out. I know the metro will squish me into a panini 9-10 a.m. and 5-7 p.m. I know that you never send me 251 at the right time but if a 236 passes then 251 is just on its way. I know all the good deals the fabric market. I know that Google maps doesn’t know you better than I do, sometimes. I know that there are three 7-11s on that street within walking distance from each other. I know all the shortcuts around the streets of Gongguan, Shida, and Ximen. I know the best food stands at the oldest night market. I know that you keep changing that sometimes it’s hard for me to keep track.

In paradoxes, there are paradigms. My whole life has been a kind of a paradox surrounded by this paradigm called love. I know I’m called to be a steward to the relationships in this place I still don’t want to admit as home. It’s hard to grasp that a place could be a home. I also know that I’m called to be a pioneer, to explore. Both of these identities are clashing into something I don’t know how to deal with. I’m ready to leave yet I don’t want to let go. I want to stay angry and bitter so I can just up and leave but I can’t hold a grudge against the place I first grew roots.

If I were to make a list of things I don’t understand right now, I wouldn’t even know where to start. Life doesn’t seem to be about making lists but I keep constructing this endless spiral then I have to tell myself to stop—breathe. Then I see Taipei 101, it wasn’t even there when I first came here. It gives me just a little comfort that homes are many, and I’m proud to call you the city I grew up in.

Love,

Amie

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winter

november

Another four pages of my calendar book has passed. As I flip through it, I see many names of people I love. On one hand, I’m confused as to how I managed to not exhaust myself but on the other, I can feel that my heart tank is extremely full.

November was spent mostly on preparing—preparing for IELTS (for the working holiday visa application), preparing decorations for Danny and Mandy’s wedding, preparing to fly out, preparing accommodations in Korea, preparing my heart.

The most exhausting part of it all was the process of making myself obsolete. As a leader of lights team at our church (we rent out a night club every Sunday morning), and as the only person who had official education in lights, I micromanaged a lot of things. But I really didn’t want it to be this way. I knew what empowerment looks like and it took a lot of conscious planning and training courses for my team to run totally independently. I’m just happy to say that the special Christmas service ran super smoothly and I was a proud retired mum.

November was also a month of endless films. Golden Horse Film Festival got me waking up really early or stay up unreasonably late. I only bought three tickets but Fanny got like… 7? I also know someone who bought 10+. I reasoned with myself that I am in no situation to be spending that much money.

Then November closed with an exam. Everyone said I’d do fine on the IELTS but I honestly wasn’t too sure. Everything about the exam was intimidating—it was early in the morning, one of the test takers didn’t make it on time and got disqualified immediately, they make you do finger scans, take an ugly picture of you, and the room was extremely cold. I never was good at exam taking and this one took a lot of concentration I was lacking maybe because I’ve been out of school for a while. Oops, oops, oops. But I came out in one piece and my scores were satisfactory.

Another unexpected occurence was a thanksgiving party hosted at church. The decor was on point, and I helped set the mood with lights covered with lots of amber gels. When I set down to eat, it took me straight back to McGill dorm thanksgiving meals where Aunt Sharon would decorate the tables with all her favorite autumn things and we were required to talk about three specific things we were thankful for. As I love to say, home is plural. I’m excited and terrified at the increasing number of homes I have yet to still accumulate.

december

It ends with a plane ride. The buzzing sound of construction and the loud commands of walkie talkies are somehow comforting. Airports are homes. Wizard of Oz never made sense to me, Dorothy is just a whiny, spoiled little girl. Announcements ring. I never line up until the last minute—who wants to be inside a plane early when you’re going to be in it anyways? As the engines roar a bass line of white noise and umma falling asleep next to me, I pray with a silent hope. You’re at the beginning.

Honestly I don’t remember what happened in December other than the rush of adrenaline preparing for Danny’s wedding, actually decorating Danny’s wedding, and the aftermath of it all. The toughest part of this wedding was the flowers—three gargantuan boxes of fresh baby’s breaths. Everything had to be done the day before and I had a troop of Kate, umma Kang, and anyone at the church office who had free time. Chaos ensued as we tried to call two Uber XLs then arriving at the venue to find that it was still confetti-ed and trashed from the event that just took place. The table arrangement communications were all wrong, little things here and there seemed missing, and I missed my bed terribly. But thanks to little wedding elves who love Danny and Mandy so much to the point of staying to finish up decors until 11pm then coming back the next day around 8am, this was probably the most enchanting looking wedding that I have ever decorated (no offense to my other ones, they all have their own adjectives). Let’s just say I slept 20 hours per night for the three following days after the wedding.

The map says we’re currently hovering over the southern tip of Korea. Turbulence shakes. My fingers are dry. Whispers are heard. I always emphasize that I’m not “going back” to Korea. I can never go back to where I only belonged in my vaguest memories.

Forty minutes till I land. It was just Christmas a few days ago. I’m still trying to wrap my head around the fact that I won’t be seeing Taipei 101 explode when the new year rolls around. Frustration and bitterness aren’t the words I’m looking for. It’s not even excitement nor happiness. Right now, I’m grateful with what it is right now—high above the ground, thankful that airplanes work and that I’m privileged to be even in one.

Peace and serenity. There’s a storm and I’m in the eye.

Thirty-five minutes. Captain just announced that it is -9C in Seoul. I hope it snows. I think I’ll be warm enough. I’ll just have to step out. Step out and dance in the snow.

PATREON

I always joked around saying that I need someone ridiculously rich to support me in all my endeavors (kinda like the Medici family in the Renaissance). Then I realized that this is still possible through the internet, though it’s not just one filthy rich person but a community of supporters backing me up. So yes, I am now on PATREON. You have probably heard of this platform if you follow Youtubers or indie artists of any kind. This amazing portal allows anyone to support me on a monthly basis which is basically a steady income for someone who is going through so many instabilities but still loves to create (like moi).

If what I do is pleasing to your eyes, ears, nose, senses, anything, please consider becoming one of my unicorns. I will appreciate you so very much.

www.patreon.com/amieko