Wandering the back alley streets around Taichung, I come to the Shin-Dong Department store to watch the bowing lady greeters welcoming customers in the morning.
They're lovely, these immaculately and impeccably dressed real-lie mannequins, smiling and serving the public's every whim like untouchable mascots, introducing the customer to the possible treasures that lay waiting inside.
This is what it's like to be a foreigner. You stand behind the glass looking in. You know that the culture is there. You know that the people understand something you don't. You get a glimpse of it, but you can never enter inside and take it for yourself.
Well, you spend a couple of years in a place and you have moments of realization like this. That's all. Good luck, ladies. You'll need it.