Right now I am sitting in a private car owned by the manager of ICYE in Honduras. It is playing English songs in the car; I am all clean and fresh with my seat belt fastened and enjoying the air conditioning. Few minutes ago the manager drove through a couple of streets and ordered some set meals at a drive-through fast food franchise, we were discussing my following itinerary in Argentina.
I volunteered to be here in order to experience something new and different, I once felt proud with esteem as a volunteer, all the other foreign friends that I met and became acquainted in Honduras also came here to volunteer for various reasons through different routes, I was happy to be part of the voluntary team, to say that I am a volunteer and I am from Taiwan.
I’ve been in Miami for almost a week now without any contact address and telephone number, this is the best moment to read the Collected Letters by Rainer Maria Rilke, even though what he is preaching is words and vocabularies, I’d rather think of it as being in Sophie’s World. As if he is giving me lessons across time and space, as if every letter he wrote tells me something about the situations I’m about to encounter.
The name, The Broken Arm, is inspired by Marcel Duchamp’s work of readymade—“In advance of the broken arm.” Under the artist’s manipulation, an iron snow shovel goes beyond its own commonness and universality as an everyday object, so that the audiences are no longer bounded by its basic shape and function; art, thus, departs from the so-called “track”, participates in the society, and becomes one of its members, mingling with everyday, business, thoughts, and so on.
We landed at the same time two weeks ago. He still had two months to go but I needed to head back to my misty city in few days. I asked him what brought him here. He shook his head and said he didn’t really know. ‘But I love it here, so much.’. So we started to count everything we love about Berlin: You could smoke everywhere; You could hold your beer on the tram anytime in the day.....
As the rest of the night passes, he sits and waits, and I lie unable to do anything. Neither of us moves. Sometimes, towards morning, when the room gradually lights up by the sun, I manage to open my mouth slightly. At such a moment, I am not quite sure that he continues sitting in the same place, beside my bed..