First Day in Taiwan! Lost in a Bustling Neighborhood

Wednesday, January 30, 2013    

As we were waiting to board the airplane at LAX, I got pretty emotional and overwhelmed that I was going to be hanging out with my dad for a month. The language barrier is a huge challenge. Like my sister, Lesly, told me, I tend to reverse back in time to when I was 12 years old, which is when I left to the US to live with my mom. Like she said, I have to keep reminding myself that I am almost 30 years old and to act the same way I would act with my mom towards my dad. I hope that this month will be a time to grow out of that phase. I just want to feel more like myself around my dad so that our relationship can grow.

I have another great challenge. I met my “Sixth Auntie” or “Shiao Kuku” and my grandma or “Ama” and aunt’s husband or “Ku tsang.” I’ve been wanting to meet my dad’s relatives for a long time… The language barrier is again, such a challenge. I want to be polite but I think now they think of me as a little girl because of the way I am carrying myself around them, especially when eating. My aunt said today said that I look 18 years old, which is true, but I am wondering if her perception of me is that of a such young girl because of how I am around her. I hope that as each day passes by, I can learn more Chinese and hopefully, be more myself around them. Not that I have been immature around them but I talk very softly and I say her food is good (which is true), I guess that doesn’t necessarily show immaturity lol May be I am just super self conscious about my dad’s family perception of me.

My aunt has a really cute nine year old dog named Manny. He doesn’t like me. I have given him food but he still doesn’t like me near. He’s like a cat. I pat him on the head or get near him and he starts growling. When I first saw him, I was excited because he reminds me of my baby, Scooter, in a black Pomeranian mix version. Sadly, my attempts at befriending him have failed so far. But it’s OK, I hope he trusts me little by little each day.

My aunt has given me a room with a bathroom and my dad has a Japanese style bedroom but we have to share the bathroom. Sharing the bathroom is not such a big deal but I don’t like how everything gets wet after a shower. I have to figure out how to shower without making everything wet! haha

Before dinner, my dad and I went out venturing to the galleria area 15 minutes away from my aunt’s house. The first thing I noticed about Kaohsiung is the number of mopeds! There are so many mopeds, not just driven by young people, but by older people as well. The air feels pretty smoggy from cars and mopeds, it smells like a mixture of smog and sewage water in most areas where we walked.

Mopeds in Taiwan

Mopeds in Taiwan

As we were trying to find our way back home, we pretty much circled the half of the vicinity and it all still looks the same. All I know is that there is a park nearby and many hair salons. My dad asked seven people for directions, all of which pointed us towards a different direction with good intentions, except one lady who didn’t give a shit about where she sent us. We walked around for 30 to 45 minutes and we finally found my aunt’s house after a teenage boy GPS’ed it on his phone and sent us the right way. My aunt and her husband and another cousin and his mom were out looking for us, worried we got lost. Very sweet of them and I felt so bad they were out looking but it was funny too.

Dad

With dad before getting lost

After dinner, my dad was sorting through several photobooks that my grandma has kept and she let us take some pictures. I was struck by how many pictures there were of me when I was little… I didn’t know and I felt as if I’ve been more part of my dad’s side of the family than I thought. Before coming here, I was feeling hesitant and feared rejection. But so far, it’s been nice meeting my relatives.

Today, I was hoping to sleep at a normal hour considering that I had a pretty comfortable 15 hour red eye flight from LA to HK. I slept for a good amount of time since I had two seats to myself but at 8:30 pm or 4:30 am biological time, I knocked out. Not a bad time to fall asleep at but then I woke up at 1:00 am… So now I’m writing about my day.

PS: I had my Week 4 DIY photos ready but I didn’t have time to write the post… So I won’t post any DIY projects until the second week of March… But I’ll be posting about my trip

PPS: These are raw photos – too lazy to photoshop.

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