My work permit has finally been processed and is now in the mail. I should receive it by Monday, at which time, I will go to New York and apply for my employment visa. I fly back to Taipei next Thursday. It is another one of those 00:30 flights, so this time I realize that I have to go to the airport on the evening of May 4th even though my ticket is for May 5th. I made that mistake this past October when I missed a similar flight, which left at 02:00 on Tuesday. I woke up Tuesday morning and was lying on an air mattress in my friends' apartment in Los Angeles. Suddenly, for the first time since I had purchased the ticket, the thought crossed my mind that 02:00 was really the beginning of Tuesday. I didn't believe it, immediately, but my mind gradually built up into a panic, until I knew for certain that I had missed the flight.
Now, even though I have been back for such a short time, bustling Taipei seems like it is worlds away. It is so quiet here in NJ, almost peaceful. Yesterday evening, I stood outside with my father. The clouds gathered in the sky, prepared to rain, and joined us in audience of a single bird in a yogic stance on the very zenith of a tree across the street. The wind blew, but the bird never lost its balance. It merely swayed back and forth, its tail end gently rising gently falling--it had spent its entire life practicing for this moment, and there it was, surfing in the wind.