Addressed To Fann





Hello readers! Today I wanted to upload the farewell letter that I wrote for my favorite / best mentor throughout my two and a half months in Taiwan. She is the absolute best, and that conviction will be unchanged forever. I hope that you like the read! Tai Dong trip will be next~~~


Dear Fann Laoshi (Fann God) ,

Now that you’ve read my letter of recommendation, let us begin your letter. Ya know, I was sure that in this world I wouldn’t meet anyone like her ever again, and then I met you. Fann Mei Yuan, Fann Laoshi, or “The Fann God”, I’m grateful to all the Gods and Goddesses in the skies for they have gave me the opportunity to meet a extraordinary individual such as yourself. The beautiful flowers, the radiant stars, and the azure skies, they all pale in comparison. A castle that vanishes at the first gust of wind or a skyscraper that crumbles when touched, there are numerous insignificant things in this world. Alas, my encounter with you, must surely be the most significant occurrence. You are no mere Chinese teacher, I’ve discovered that you’re a woman with innumerable talents, unique views, and boundless world-spanning experience. You’re just not cool, you’re beaming with cool, the aura envelops your every word and action.

Initially, I wanted to write two pages; however, even “Reuben The Incessant” knows that the quality of a letter is not defined within the parameters of length; rather, it should be characterized by the composition. I digress, I want to tell you that I appreciate you indefinitely by mustering all my feelings of love in this one page letter. To date, you’re my greatest mentor.

Within these past two months, you’ve given me courage to face the mountain that is the process of Chinese acquisition. You’ve given me constant support, my dreams slowly inching closer. Alas, you’ve given me time and opportunities to create meaningful bonds with others. I always bowed low to thank you, and tried to tell you how grateful I was – though I’m sure my words carried none of the fullness of my feelings. In these past two weeks, during my walks to and from ICLP, I sometimes would think how to express my love towards you, how I could mold my words into water to create a eloquent flow. I was thanking you for…well, for something I’m not sure I can explain even now. For showing me the beauteous parts of Taiwan, I suppose.

As I write this letter, I keep thinking that “goodbye” is the word I’ve come to hate the most. I mean, it’s filled with sadness; often, it’s not the goodbyes that hurt, it’s the flashbacks that follow. The cascade of memories surging into your mind, collapsing upon your thoughts and your heart suddenly turns into a melancholic world. The longer I’m with you, the tougher it is for me to part ways with you. I’m afraid, that you’re going to be in my memories forever. I’ve thought about it aplenty, but how could I possibly forget someone who gave me so much to remember? There’s no lack of painful things in this world, but hunger and loneliness must surely be two of the worst. Thanks to you, I didn’t know a moment of either of them. Greeting me with your cordial smile at ICLP and Tuesday’s office hours. You’ve guided me to numerous unforgettable destinations and wondrous sights, especially the trip to Tai Dong. Owing to you, I discovered “Kunming Islamic Restaurant”, and despite all that I ate there, I didn’t pay a cent. Truthfully, I don’t know when we’ll see each other again, or what the world will be like when we do, but I’ll think of you every time I needed to be reminded there is beauty and goodness in the world.

Following the four-day excursion at Tai Dong, I was elated to discover that my world had broaden a bit. After all, I’m a small person living in a big world. I won’t forget the glossing stars in the sky, the quiet streets occasionally hearing scooter sounds, the amicable people that treated us like family, the colossal mountains overhead, and the sea that seemed to sway perpetually. In those days, my cup has always been overrunneth, I don’t have a single regret there or even here in Taipei, just good memories. It’s depressingly awful to realize that the spilled water will never return to its container. The water droplets that hits the ground when it rains, the bustling sound of vehicles hurrying onward, and the beautiful green parks that never seemed too out of place, I’m going to miss them all. ICLP, TPP, and perhaps even the Lounge.

If happiness had a form, what would it look like? I’m not sure either. Happiness is also subjective, so that only makes the fog thicker. Personally, I’m interested in figuring out the answer to this question; therefore, I’ve long ago decided that I’m going to return to Taiwan in December. Hopefully, I can teach Chen Laoshi’s elementary school class, visit ICLP, and go to Tai Dong again to see Tou Mu. I have an inexhaustible list of things that I want to do, see, and accomplish. Often, I would worry if I really couldn’t come back during the winter, due to some unforeseeable vis major that may be the single inhibition that restrains me from traveling here. Legends say that when you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it. Universe, I hope you’re hearing me right now, because I could sure use your help!

Legend also says that there are feelings so strong that they’ll reach the other person no matter what; therefore, I hope that my letter and my emotions will tell you how much I appreciate your presence and guidance. As you may know, this is a farewell letter, so sooner or later I must say goodbye. In life, there are all sorts of goodbyes. There are sad goodbyes, and sometimes goodbyes you’re thankful for, that take a load off your mind. It often happens that someone you say goodbye to unexpectedly returns, all self-conscious. Then there are times when, anticipating that, you put on the front of a short goodbye, only to have them not return so soon. And then there are goodbyes that last forever, true goodbyes that only happen once in your life. This is not a true goodbye. I might say goodbye now, but I’m positive that I’ll see you again the future. Myths say that if people were balloons, all you need to do is tie them to your heart and never let them go, so I’m going to tie you to my heart, so to never lose you. I promise to come see you again, no matter what it takes. If there’s anything that you taught me that I treasure, it’s the language of enthusiasm, of things accomplished with love and purpose, and as part of a search for something believed in and desired. I want to chase my dreams and find pure matter, for it’ll never spoil, and it’ll always come back. I hereby rise a cup to the future!


Reuben Tang