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In Taiwan I taught English at an evening college. I’d dress up in my suit and pumps and teach business English to office workers and software engineers. But in the daytime, I’d put on my hiking clothes, tie my infant daughter in her baby-carrier on my belly, and hike up the cemetery mountains near our apartment. The cemeteries formed a large island of green amidst the urban sprawl of Taipei. After just a few minutes of hiking, the city noises would fade away. The blare of car horns, the rumble of trucks speeding over highway bridges, and the squeaking of metro carts were muffled by the bamboo forest. Blue iridescent butterflies as big as my hand rested on red hibiscus flowers, and I could imagine I had entered a secret world hidden within the city. I rarely met other people. When the dead are unhappy, they are said to turn into hungry ghosts. So the Chinese stay away from cemeteries. But I’m not afraid of the dead. In the stillness among the graves, where tree roots envelop old bones and flesh turns into earth, death doesn’t seem so terrible.