For a long time, I was only ordering one thing on the menu: the no name noodles. That’s the only line I would memorize from the menu (obviously only written in Chinese): 無名麵 (Wúmíng miàn) – 60$. As a consequence, we would also call the restaurant this way: the no name noodles restaurant.
I’m often waiting for that green light, that next train departing for another mechanical lift up to the top that’s going to kick my shoes away, ignite myself like the first time, with that dizzy taste of vertigo in my mouth.
Butterflies are flapping in my stomach while riding up. Am I going too high?
My feet are not touching the ground anymore by the time you take my hand in the streets of Kyoto.
Like a family, we took care of each other. We cooked together after our shift. Emma used to help me to separate the white and the yolk to bake chocolate mousses. Vincent helped me getting train tickets out of the Family Mart’s vending machine where everything was written in Chinese. I used to go swimming with Emma at Our Beach. I used to sleep with Vincent at the 7/11 convenient store before watching some hot air balloons in Luye.
I still remember the first day we went to our beach. It used to be her beach, the spot Emma chose to go swimming almost every day, meeting fishermen sometimes. I was following her racing her bike, trying to memorize every turn and streets, and was a bit confusing when I first arrived. It’s not a sandy beach. It’s a rocky beach, not really a beach, with a lot of garbage from the Night Market. But there was something extremely extraordinary about having the chance to go swimming every day. Because that’s exactly how it felt: a chance.
I wanted it wilder and more adventurous. This is why I chose to leave Taipei to travel the East Coast of Taiwan. According to my plan, I was supposed to spend two weeks in Hualien and explore the Taroko National Park as much as I could, and slowly make my way down south, stopping here and there.
But you know me pretty well by now, and you know that I suck at sticking to the plan.
There’s a place that I, unfortunately, carry up with me no matter where I go: my cabin of sadness.
Until a few years ago it didn’t have a name, neither a shape. However, it had been there just as far as I can remember. It was just a dark place I would go sometimes, without even knowing why or how.