New year’s eve, 2013: I take my bicycle out for a spin in the cool winter air. There is no rain for a change and I make the most of it, cycling from Wénshān District 文山區 to the edge of Xìnyì District 信義區 and the beginning of the graveyard ride through the Taipei Necropolis. Later on I ride out to catch the fireworks at Taipei 101 before calling it an early night. The next day I rise bright and early to take the high-speed train to Kaohsiung 高雄 for a friend’s wedding banquet.
New year’s eve, 2014: I take my bicycle out for a spin through the Changhua 彰化 countryside with no particular destination in mind. I find myself in a cemetery, pictured above. Tonight I will go to Taichung 台中, maybe see some fireworks, and call it an early night. Tomorrow I will rise bright and early and take the high-speed train to Taipei 台北 to meet some friends of mine from Japan.
The similarities in these two occasions are striking but not entirely subject to the whims of chance. I have chosen to be here in Taiwan 台灣, after all. Next year I think I’ll choose something else though. It would be nice to feel closer to people again. If not I had better find a cemetery wherever I am—this is the beginning of a tradition on the last of days.