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American Born Taiwanese

Taiwan. That’s still my iffy ‘homeland’ if I can call it that; but I miss it. Being Taiwanese only matters what is inside. As mushy gushy as it may sound, it’d pretty much true. I’ve realized that awhile ago and it was thrown into my face recently. Ninety percent of my friends are all Asian and of that a good sixty percent are Taiwanese. But I don’t think that alone make me Taiwanese, anyone can feel like they are Taiwanese. It’s about the way we act and what we believe in [but none of that political bullshit of which color party you support]. My half German half Korean friend [who probably, dare I say, nearing to be my best male friend] is someone who I can strongly say can survive well in Taiwan; ambitious and not afraid of things we tell him to do. We just had a nice hotpot the other day and introduced him to the many wonders of this style. First off, we set him off with the main sauces for hotpot, but with an added kick of Taiwan in there: egg yolk. We also bought some pig blood cake that goes oh-so-well with hotpot. He just dug right in without a second thought. Along with this we bought some imported beer, all the way from Taiwan. [We are, I assure you, all of legal drinking age.] The night was spent with good food and great company. This most definitely made me want Taiwan even more, especially with my trip getting close.

Nothing here really measures up to my past visits in Taiwan. Last visit was over 3 years ago and I still know what I miss about it. I miss all the good food (although hotpot was still delicious); there is nothing like the night-markets here in the states. All the vendors with things to buy and food to eat; the streets are empty here at night. The few people that are still up are drunkards on their way home, the police, and me [I’d like to at least think I’m productive and take night photos]. With the streets so empty, there’s no life to the city. Taiwan nights are when all the people avoiding the sun comes out; the streets light up and become lively. This is the biggest mix of all ages with everyone walking around and seeing things with a fresh look. No matter how many times you’ve walked through the islands of venders and eaten the same food from the same cart, everything is still just as exciting. This isn’t just some sort of tourist attraction, this is daily life.

The one thing that hasn’t changed of course is traditions [and chores] when I come back home from college: hanging the clothes out to dry. This may not be the best first impression but it’s my style. Write, work, and worry. But at this point, the important thing is that you know I exist and that my project is real.