So everyone I know is, has, is about to, or is starting to think about leaving Taiwan. WHY is expat life sometimes like living in a freaking train station?!?! Okay, rant over. It’s just I’ve been doing a lot of saying goodbye to lovely people who I adore, for say, the last few weeks (and also, 2-6 months), and sometimes, words are just not enough.
Sometimes, you need a good pop song.*
Last weekend, we had a Hello, Goodbye party– for our dear friend and my de facto research assistant/Taiwanese dialect translator, Gary, who is going to California in a week for college and the wild wild world of the Bay Area; and for our dear friend and my honorary 1/2 Jewish-1/2 Taiwanese sister, Pamela, who has just been back from the bedazzled streets of NYC. I would say she came back with diamonds on the soles of her shoes, but that would maybe be exaggerating just a tad for the sake of putting in a gratuitous youtube link.
So. That’s it, Taiwan.
You’ve got to give me some tools to cope with this frenzy of coming and going, even as I prepare to send off my last Fulbright friend, and pack my own bags next month to leave on a jet plane. Luckily for me, Taiwan has capitulated a bit and has offered up some pop songs for all occasions. Ironically, the first one is called, “Zai Jian Gou Gou,” (再見勾勾) by Crowd Lu (盧廣仲, or Lu Guang-Zhong), and was a) my first favorite Taiwanese pop song, b) introduced to me by my Taiwanese friend to whom we said goodbye tonight, and c) refers to clasping hands in a particular way to say goodbye (according to my Chinese teacher from last fall when we shared songs we knew in class).
So, hello goodbye, indeed! Pop goes my heart. The other videos in Mandarin are a bonus.
Also, I want to know: what do you listen to in these situations? Please feel free to share and link to your favorite tunes for greetings, farewells, and everything in between (in any language!) in the comments! Happy Monday and to all of you, dear readers, I hope you don’t have to bid too many fond farewells to your favorite people, wherever you are and on whatever continent you call home.
盧廣仲, you are my favorite. I swear, you are the one who made thick, plastic-framed glasses cool. Cheers to you! (check out his song about breakfast, by searching 盧廣仲 and 早安.)
This guy, Zhou Hua-Jian (周華健), is actually a great singer and a favorite of some of my friends. If you like this, check out his song “Pengyou” (friend; 朋友).
Okay so we learned this song in our Chinese class; it’s all about being stuck in the rain without an umbrella, no cabs, too much traffic, nothing to do but sit and watch the rain, what a shame! Although the couple in the video seems to find the opportunity great for a little romance. It’s maybe not god’s gift to musical genius, but now, imagine a room full of intermediate Chinese students trying to stammer out the pinyin, all of whom are a tad to a lot self-conscious about class-sanctioned KTV at 8am! It was hilarious.
This song is actually from my friend Alice, in a comment on my Green Island post, and performed by Stanford Alum Vienna Teng, who is Taiwanese. It is a traditional Taiwanese style song with historical significance, due to the role of the island as a political prison during the White Terror period. I was taken in by its haunting sound, and found it a great introduction to the beautiful voice and piano stylings of Vienna Teng. Thanks, Alice!
*Or even, a crappy one. (Or better yet, a mix CD from your friend or roommate!)