要從波隆納回倫敦的早上，外面依舊閃著陽光，我的心情五味雜陳，想到好久不會見到凱特，又很怕這就是我插畫生活的終點，還有荷爾蒙正在經歷變化，前往機場的巴士上，我後座的先生突然間唱起Green Day的九月結束時請叫醒我，這首歌是我上次來義大利到處都聽見的歌，本來就非常催淚，結果眼淚就一直滴，好不容易控制住了，他又把巴士當舞台，唱起另一首也讓我很有感觸的歌曲，是Bruce Springsteen的「在黑暗中漫舞」，他一直重覆著一句歌詞─沒有火苗是燒不起來的，然後我又受不了，我是心裡都快燒起來的人啊！而且他的歌聲真不賴！才會讓我的情緒一觸即發。
On the morning when I was about to return from Bologna to London, the sun was as dazzling as ever, but I felt a mixture of emotions. I was rather sentimental upon thinking that I won't see Caterina for a long time. Also, I was afraid that this will be the end to my illustrator life. I was also undergoing hormonal change as well. On the bus ride to the airport, the Italian sir sitting behind me suddenly started singing Green Day's Wake Me Up When September Ends. It was the song I heard everywhere when I came to Italy last time, and it is still a tear-jerker for me. As a result, tears kept springing. It took some effort for me to control myself, and then he walked down from the back of the bus and sang another song that triggered off my sadness again. It was Bruce Springsteen's Dancing in the Dark. He kept repeating one of the lines--You can't start a fire without a spark. Well, I've always burned with hot fire inside! Anyway, his voice was just fantastic, which explains why I was so not myself...
I didn't have time to feel sad when I reached the airport because I had to look for my check-in counter. I took the budget airline Ryanair. When I left London, the lady didn't have a clue if I needed the Schengen visa, but it was four a.m. in the morning. She believed my words and stamped my ticket for me within 10 seconds. I really appreciated her imprecision. In Bologna, the Italian lady wasn't sure either, but I told her that as a national of Taiwan, I don't need the visa to travel in E.U. She felt the need to confirm with the authorities concerned, so she made several calls. Well, I have to say that the name Republic of China is confusing. I kept hearing her saying "China" to her colleague, and if she looked under the category of China, of course she couldn't find anything. In the end she said my case was very suspicious and she was sending me to the police station in the main terminal.
I thus found myself in the police station. Well, I ended up with a surprising discovery. The police, both men and women, are very tall and extremely good-looking. Everyone has the typical Mediterranean tanned skin color. When they saw the Taiwan word on the cover of my passport, they waved their hands reassuring me, "Oh Taiwan, no problem!" They even let me take the fast track to go through the security check. Had it not been for the ignorant lady, I wouldn't have a chance to interact with the handsome police.
When I was boarding, the flight attendant said she was looking for me for she still needed to stamp on my plane ticket. I told her in a calm yet firm tone that with my Taiwan passport, I don't need the Schengen visa to travel in E.U. countries. She kept apologizing to me politely. After I got on the plane, tears rolled down my face again. Coming from a small country, we need to have a lot of self-pride. If we don't insist, we will be forgotten.
When I was going through the customs in the Stansted Airport, several men and women were taken aside. A Japanese-like man was even interrogated by four people from the UK Border Agency. The customs sir asked me where I study, and after I answered his question, he replied nicely, "So I think you study art?" I was allowed to go soon after. Though I've always felt like an outsider here, this experience made me feel like coming home.
I've found my direction over the past few days. My conclusion is, I STILL WANT TO DANCE, EVEN IN THE DARK! I know I have only a very small spark, but I want to go on. Big thanks to Caterina, who has always been sending vibes to me from Rome ever since I arrived in London. Also, great thanks to family and friends who always believe in me. For me, the trip to Bologna is just a beginning!