All the photos from back then are blurry, as if to prove it must have been a dream. My camera broke for a bit, maybe a reaction to the sudden heat or the humidity as it worked fine again later. I just found the photos and it all came back to me, the dreamlike first week when so much happened and I didn't mind that I'd moved 6,000 miles away from home and wouldn't return for over a year. I had so many lucid dreams as a result of not knowing where I was.
This is what I remember.
There were fishtanks in bars and drinking games with Chinese numbers and the city lights of Taipei reduced to pinpoint blobs in a blur that could be anywhere, anytime after the invention of neon lights. There were new friends I planned to go to Japan with and never saw again but it was okay, there were koi carp bigger than my head and there were fading lights in the park at night with the tower blocks standing over us. There was KTV and an aboriginal guy who didn't understand why I didn't want to go back to his house on my first night in a strange country, as though sleeping in my own new bed wouldn't be strange enough, and there were clouds lit up by the chemical sun as it set on the beach and there was me in the bathroom with my new bad skin, built for colder climes. There was a place I named Factoryland and there were temples and lanterns and streets I found and lost and found again and there was a mountain full of statues and taxidermy and everything in between. There was a ghost ship built from a jade dragon and there was blurry sushi which arrived on tiny trains and there was a typhoon which happened under cover of the blurry grey evening and I had to stay safe inside my temporary home before I moved to my new apartment which later became home to the point where it didn't feel blurry, not even with hindsight.