It is now three years since I flew over from London to Taipei for a job interview. I left my LSE evening seminar a bit early and dashed for the airport, spent three days here, and then flew back and went straight to another LSE seminar.
It was very difficult, impossible, to make my mind up about whether a move to Taiwan would be a good or a bad idea. I hadn’t seen very much and above all, Diane and the kids weren’t with me, and how can you make such a decision alone? When I came back I tried my best to describe the place to them but of course I couldn’t convey anything much of what our life would be like.
In the end we decided to take a two year sabbatical from LSE. I was supposed to have returned to London in the spring of 2009, but instead, as soon as we got here, I resigned.
Was it a good decision? Yes, it was a good decision to leave London. The whole London experience was over and it had been over for a few years already (mainly since our house was too small and our children too many). Was it at good idea to come to Taiwan? Yes, probably. There are lots of great things about this country — the people above all — but there are also some problems — more than anything that we don’t have a place to live that feels like home. And sometimes I wonder whether we shouldn’t have had more time to think it all through together …
Diane sometimes talks, wistfully, about how gorgeous small European university towns can be. Hint, hint, nudge, nudge.