I began my summer in Taiwan. As all good things eventually end, my brief retreat there is no exception. However, in this short period, I had a really incredible experience. While not everything is pleasant (regular trips to the hospital and other personal stuff can be pretty heavy), being able to spend some time with my parents and my family is invaluable. It was also really nice to meet my aunts, uncles, and other relatives, some of whom have only vague memories of me as a small child.
During my time in Taiwan, my family and relatives were all very eager to share stories. Stories about how my grandfather became educated elite during the Japanese occupation period, and how he started over when the war ended. How my mother was almost given away as a kid because many people wanted to buy her as a daughter. And how my sister, brother, and I had all gotten lost before when we were really young… Tidbits of fascinating stuff I never knew.
I also got to really experience the culture of Taiwan again. Convenience stores, cram schools, kiosks, night markets, and restaurants all have their own flavors that are just so different from North America. Moreover, I loved watching Taiwanese TV. Soap operas, popular media, Kung-fu movies, and even the news were all so entertaining. I remember seeing in the news a ridiculous story of corruption in the police force involving organized crime syndicates, and thought the story was just unreal. Then days later, I learned that the restaurant on the first floor of my building is a base for a syndicate that had something similar a while ago. I guess that explains why it is always in preparation, why it is still open without any business, and why on certain days, there would be many Mercedes parked outside.
It is little stories like these that really made my time in Taiwan memorable.
Of course, I visited all the hot anime spots. I did not get a chance to buy any figures this time, but I did finally get to hold the Black Rock Shooter figure I preordered and left in Taiwan in January. I also purchase several art books, including two oldies I bought for really low prices: Shimada Humikane Art Works and Kaen: Ito Noizi Art Collection II.
Well, I should be arriving in California in several hours. I hope I do not get really bad jet lag.