As the summer ended, on a slightly chilly night, I sat on the 17th floor balcony of Wistron Kunshan Guest House and watched the busy traffic of Bailu Viaduct in the drizzling rain. The fleeting headlights unlocked a sealed memory. I seemed to have gone back to a time more than a decade ago, when I was only 30 years old. I was a man with dreams and life goals, stepping onto a foreign land, vowing success, and making my family happy.


Thinking back, when I first came to Beijing as an expatriate, apart from being apprehensive, I was also excited. This is the homeland capital that I had read so much about in textbooks. It is the heritage of 5000 years of history. The brave and the gallant have risen to the top in this place. I might be just starting out, but I had every intention to follow in the footsteps of those before me and make something of myself. I knew I was the writer of my own history in the imperial city. Before I knew it, almost 20 years had passed. I have been to every part of the homeland. The magnificent views of the country make every painting pale in comparison. The liveliness of humanity is ever captivating. However, I always seem to have a hole in my heart. I know it comes from missing my family and the contrition of not caring for my wife and daughter.
For an expatriate who goes abroad without family for years, I always miss my family back home. During the daytime, I try to put my best foot forward at work. When night falls, I can’t help but miss my family. But being in a foreign city and the head of my family, I can’t bring myself to moan and must constantly maintain decorum. Therefore, I can only cope with the loneliness in private, and can rarely take any concrete action to deal with it.

Looking at the passing headlights, I had a sudden urge, and so I picked up the phone. It was the seventh day of July on the lunar calendar – Chinese Valentine’s Day. I called my loved ones in Taiwan and chatted with them. My daughter laughed, and said it was a surprise that her boring old dad called to chat with them on Chinese Valentine’s Day. She said it was kind of romantic. At that moment, I felt that the hole in my heart seemed to be healing. It turned out that even if we were thousands of miles away from each other, a nice greeting could shorten the distance between us. I think that is the most romantic Chinese Valentine’s Day that I will have ever had.