Thursday, December 9, 2010

* Hi from Taiwan *

Hello! I just got in to Taiwan last night. I wanted to keep a mini diary of this trip as it's the first time in 18 years since my immediate family have all come back together.

Background info:
  • Both sides of my family are all from Taiwan. Accordingly to my dad, our ancestors have lived in TW for the past 500 years. Not entirely sure how accurate that number is but I'll believe it until told otherwise.
  • My family on my mom's side still all pretty much reside here in Taoyuan, Taiwan. So for the past 3 years, I've been visiting them consistently as my grandparents are getting older. 
  • My parents grew up literally just a couple of blocks of each other. 
  • This trip is the first time in 18 years since I've been back with my dad. He rarely travels back as his immediate family all moved to Cali back in the 80's.

Day 1 of the trip:
My parents and I arrived late last night and decided to grab some food. As we were slowly walking and soaking in that wonderful TW air, my parents would point out certain stores they used to eat or shop at when they were students. My dad excitedly showed me the exact house he grew up in and the locations of some of the stories he so often tells me about.

It all felt like ... a dream. There's something about walking with my mom and dad on the exact streets that they grew up on and seeing the neighborhood as they used to see it ... 50 years ago. It's definitely a memory I know I'll cherish and keep with me always.


Thoughts:
It's so wonderfully strange. Every time I step off the airplane onto Taiwan soil, it feels like home. Even the distinct smell makes me nostalgic. For what.. I'm not sure. But it does.

Last year I was walking the streets of my parent's neighborhood and felt such a strong connection to the shops, random strangers (creepy i know) and ... even the air itself. I realized it was because there's so much of my family history woven into this town.

Today my dad took me to visit his aunt who owns a shop which I used to pass by almost daily on my trip last year. As I met her for the first time, I thought to myself I could have walked past her several times and never have known we were related. How many other people here could be my family? I found out from my great aunt that there are actually quite a number of relatives/distant relatives that own businesses/shops all around Taoyuan and Taipei. The world just got that much smaller. I guess when you look at things that way, we're all some what connected. Whether it be directly through blood or not, at the very core of things we're all people trying to navigate through this life the best way we know how.

Anyways...

Just wanted to say hi :]
Ahh $1 sea salt coffee and free wifi...
Can't beat it

3 comments:

  1. We have more cousins in Taoyuan. At least 3 sets... They are older than me.

    Your cousin, Eric

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  2. If you can, ask your dad where to find our grandparents' old house. Victor and I were there as little kids.

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  3. Hi Chris, sounds like you're building a deeper connection with Taiwan and your relatives. It must be awesome knowing that you're not just a visitor, but that you actually belong there, too. :)

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