Out of the UK

Leeds is a wonderful city.

One of the Balboa nights I attended as part of the Leeds Swing Society. I happened to capture the dancers in the same pose and very similar dressing! Don’t you think the two guys look just identical?

Leeds is a wonderful city. It’s big enough with all kinds of facilities yet not over crowded or expensive. I had some really good times in Leeds but later I moved to Manchester for work.

Now I’ve returned to Taiwan.

Although my homeland is Taiwan, UK is where I started my professional career. I still receive plenty of newsletters from museums, libraries, travel agencies and head hunters in the UK. They make me smile. But do they make me want to go back? No.

The only thing I feel sorry for leaving the UK is the fact that I no longer can provide accommodation to a friend in need.

Maybe one day I will go back but not now. I can go back for my friends and my partner for short visits but I do not consider living there anymore, at least not under the current circumstances.

As I often say to my friends, “I like this country, when it’s sunny.” UK is amazing with sunshine. But most of the time people just have to make it through the gloomy weather which applies to life in general.

A lovely walk in Meanwood Park

Following the news about immigration rules, social cleansing policies and benefit cuts make me feel sad but also a little bit relieved. I feel relieved because I don’t need to be part of that anymore.

I don’t need to worry about landlords checking my visa suspiciously.

I don’t need to endure hidden racism in the workplace.

I don’t need to live under the fear that if anything happened to me, no one would be able to inform my family.

So yes, I feel relieved, selfishly relieved. I can’t say Taiwan is any better than the UK in some human rights issues. But at least as a Taiwanese citizen, I don’t need to find a safe place to keep my passport secretly every time I move to a new house. I don’t need to try so hard to behave like a “Good” immigrant in order to be accepted by local people. I can enter the border without being demanded to give finger prints like a criminal.

I really put a great deal of effort to establish a decent life in the UK. No words can describe how depressing it is to drop everything behind and return home like a loser. At some point in the future, I may put myself together to try another journey but right now, I just want to take a break in my lovely home country.

Chiayu (Nathalie) Yang blogs for us this month from her home country, Taiwan. She is re-adjusting to life there after having to leave Leeds and the UK due to the increasingly hostile immigration regulations which are being placed upon working professionals living in the UK. Nathalie created a wonderful and successful life for herself in the North and was very sad to leave, she reflects on this in her “hello from back home” blog for us. This in one of the ways that we are opening up our interactive documentary project and community to members of the collective who have left the UK.

Nathalie was awarded an MA in Professional Language and Intercultural Studies from the University of Leeds. After graduating she worked as a PPC Analyst in Manchester, and is now working as a freelance writer in Taiwan.

All photographs contributed by Nathalie

Follow Nathalie’s blog: http://chiayu7854.pixnet.net/blog

By | 2018-05-21T20:56:18+00:00 October 30th, 2015|Blog|0 Comments