July 11th, 2010

need for speed

I don't know how to make this post, but I am going to try to anyway

Sometimes, I think about the way the history of colonization is written onto us, onto our skin, onto our bones.

My dad still sometimes talks about his great-grandfather, my great-great grandfather, and how he lost a lot of his land due to opium addiction. My mom still talks about opium addiction as if it were a shared history, as if my great-great grandfather's story is not unique. And it isn't for her, for the people of Taiwan. I didn't recognize the Chinese name of opium when my dad told me this story, so she had to describe it to me, how the foreigners brought it with them, how you smoke it in long pipes, and how it made rich people very poor. She didn't talk about it the way I learned about the Opium Wars in high school, like it was something that happened to someone else so long ago we barely have to remember it.

In Taiwanese airports, they have signs posted everywhere about how drug trafficking is punishable by death.

So at the end of Empire of Ivory, Collapse )

Sometimes, I wonder if those scars will ever fade.

Sometimes, I wonder if we even want them to.

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