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I used to live in Taipei, a metropolitan bubble. For the decade that I spent there I lived in multiple houses. But, the most memorable one was the most recent. It was a gated apartment complex 12-13 floors off the ground with a fountain and small gardens in its atrium. It sounded so high class, but in reality the fountain was just a sad stone sputtering water surrounded by slabs of sinewy soil, housing a steady hum of mosquitoes. Kids created their own complex system of bicycle highways between the patches of contained mud, occasionally exclaiming in boisterous triumph over who-knows-what that echoed its way up to the 13th floor.

Now I live in the Irvine bubble. For half a decade and counting that I spent here, my mom, sister, and I managed to derive our own styles of living through a combination of IKEA furniture and an assortment of things that either serve as trophies scavenged from great deals or tokens of memory that immigrated with us. We moved multiple times too, and maybe, just maybe, the number of tokens slowly dwindled each time. It…slipped out of my notice.

I was too distracted by the new ones that I make each day with every step I take into the great unknown.