Taipei Unplugged

I grew up in the middle of a big jam circle. The Langen family never lacked acoustic guitars, impromptu harmonies, or makeshift drum kits — the drum being any hollow object that “has a nice ring to it.”

Missing home often means missing music.

Since moving to Taiwan, my new routines have eclipsed my old ones. I’m spending much more time learning Chinese than playing music, and prioritizing exploration and sight-seeing over self-reflection. These are welcome changes, but changes all the same.

In traveling, there are moments which draw you back into yourself.

For me, this moment pierced through the bustle of Yongkang Street, echoing just around the corner from my new Taipei residence. It took the form of a Japanese Bob Dylan impersonator.

Some backstory:

Two years ago, I found myself in a very similar place: in Taipei, feeling slightly overwhelmed by constant change. I was in the middle of my study abroad program, roaming around Shilin Night Market with some friends, when I heard the voice of Bob Dylan.

As it turns out, Dylan was not on an Asian night market tour. Rather, a talented impersonator was performing a very convincing cover of “Blowin’ in the Wind.”

Two years later, I hear the same sound. The raspy voice, the tambourine, the harmonica.

It took me into a strange deja vu state of genuine comfort and contentment. It took me home. Home is much more of a feeling than a place, and clichés are cliché for a reason.

Yours truly,

Liv

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