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A Timeline of the Places I’ve Been (Adventure to Emptiness)

September 2012: I moved to Taiwan from South Florida, and I didn’t look back.

Before my first visit to my husband’s home country in 2009, he lend me a movie directed by Ang Lee called Eat Drink Man Woman. Have you seen the opening scene? It’s culinary art at it’s finest. After I watched it, I immediately called him fascinated to know more about the island. Honestly, sometimes life can really surprise you. One moment I’m in Maine watching the movie, and the next moment I’m standing in the very same overpass that was shot in one of the scenes. I saw the overpass every time I walked home from Shida. I smile just thinking about it.

2009年第一次造訪了我先生的故鄉前, 他給我看了一部李安導演的飲食男女。你看過開場的畫面嗎?那真是烹調藝術的極致。我立刻打電話給他, 並夢想知道更多有關臺灣的一切。有時候命運真的會給你一個驚喜, 上一秒我還在緬因州看著這部電影, 下一秒我卻站在這部電影中出現過的天橋場景上, 我每天從師大走路回家時都會看到這座天橋, 我每當想到這個, 我的嘴角就露出笑容。

vibsMarch 2013: I moved to Shanghai, China 

I never thought in a million years I would find myself in China. I was shocked when my husband’s Taiwanese international company decided to have a branch right in Shanghai. I’m sure I was annoying tourist and for that, I really do apologize and want to thank everyone for putting up with me during the time I settled around Hongkou area. It really does mean the world to me. and I am glad I got to call Shanghai home for a little over two years. (I really did feel like I was in a Woody Allen movie, honestly).

我與老公在咖啡館閒聊,突然我往窗外看, 覺得想要拍幾張照, 我不知覺的想到紐約及伍迪愛倫的電影。我將相機置於桌上, 摒息以待, 並開始按下快門,我不知道拍出來得效果如何,我不是伍迪愛倫, 不過我不在意,因為世界上已經有一個伍迪愛倫了。我不是攝影師, 也不是旅客, 我只不過是一個過客而已。aa3The view from my very first apartment in Shanghai.

Camera 360August 2014: We left China to return home in Taiwan.

Dawen and I went to our old neighborhood we’ve lived in for 11 months one last time. We haven’t been in the area for the past 6 months and it already changed greatly. I admit, I will miss my old neighborhood more than where I am now. Having said that, it’s time to move forward.

C360_2014-08-25-22-31-41-484C360_2014-08-25-22-43-45-059It has been over a week since I moved back to New Taipei from Shanghai. It feels right to be in my second home right now. Dawen and I have been constantly on the move for the past two years. As I was having my usual stinky tofu enjoying the view of Bitan, I realize I can stay here for a while. Scratch that, I can see myself growing old here.

已從上海搬回臺北一週了, 搬回我的第二故鄉感覺一切都很自然。我和大文過去兩年不斷地遷徙, 但當我吃著臭豆腐並觀賞這碧潭的風景, 我覺得我能在這裡再待上一陣子。喔! 更正! 我認為我可以在這裡住到老。C360_2014-08-26-16-19-58-888When I was living in Shanghai, I was yearning to go back to my old life in Maine and now that I’m staying at my mother-in-law’s place in New Taipei, I no longer have the desire to do so. I felt like I have been holding my breath since I left the States; I have forgotten to stop and take a look at where I am.

I’m now looking around and I do like what I am saying.

當我在上海時, 我希望回到我過去在緬因州的生活, 如今住在我岳母位於臺北的家, 我不再想回到緬因州。我覺得我自從離開美國後就像停止呼吸一樣, 忘了停下來去欣賞周遭事務。

我現在正欣賞著我周遭的一切, 我可以說我很喜歡我所看到的一切。

我和大文回到了我們住了十一個月的地區看看, 我們搬離那裡已經有六個月了。我必須承認我會比較懷念我以前住的地區, 話雖如此, 現在已是離開的時候了。

December 2014: We return to China.

I took this picture on a day where I had no anxiety attacks. It was a rare moment, and I enjoyed every moment of its calmness.

Remember not too long ago I wrote my farewell to Shanghai? I think I made G-d laugh so hard, he (or she) fell out of his (or her) chair and landed on my head. Where am I going with this? I’m moving back to Shanghai, of course! I’m actually kind of happy about this. There’s unfinished business and I simply just have to return. I guess I really didn’t need to write what I would miss about Shanghai, after all. My bad. Taipei to Shanghai, Shanghai to New Taipei, New Taipei to Shanghai. To think I actually wrote, “I honestly don’t know where I will be next.” G-d is truly laughing at my expense.

記得不久前我和上海說再見? 如今我讓老天笑死我自己,怎麼說呢?我又要搬回上海了!當然,我對此決定是蠻高興的。有太多未完成的事給了我回上海的理由。我當然無須再陳述我為何懷念上海。總之,從臺北到上海,再從上海回到臺北,然後又從臺北回到上海,這真的就如同我所寫的,我真不知道我接下來將去哪裡。上天這下子真的會嘲笑我。

2015-03-21-17-32-48_decoI may have been a fat girl, but I was happy at least…even when I had fake Taiwanese snack in Shanghai. It didn’t matter to me, to say the least. Continue reading “A Timeline of the Places I’ve Been (Adventure to Emptiness)”

Taiwan 我的心屬於 臺灣! · 中文


bit2bit1Dawen went to this area as a child in the 1970′s with his younger brother and mother. While it has changed greatly, it was interesting for him to come back for old times sake. Some food I could eat while others I just watched my mother-in-law and husband enjoy. It’s always good to return home. 大文曾在七十年代和他媽媽及弟弟去碧潭玩, 碧潭這些年來變化很大, 對大文而言, 舊地重遊非常有意思。
Want a haircut? 要理髮嗎?

My husband has oyster omelette. I had some kind of sesame noodle.bit16My mother-in-law and husband enjoying their hot dog.  Continue reading “去台灣絕對不能錯過碧潭”

China · my story in Shanghai · Travelogue 旅行日記 · 中文

“Your wife lost a lot of weight.”

One afternoon in August my husband arrived at the gym after me (he had to drop his clothes at the dry cleaners first), the woman at the front desk said to him, “I’m always seeing your wife working out. She has lost a lot of weight.”

I’ve been going to the gym 4 to 6 days a week for the past four months and just when I start to get discouraged with my progress, I get reminded that I may be slow but I at least am going to the right direction.

What a pleasant reminder.

在八月裡的某個下午, 我先生去將要乾洗的衣物送洗後, 來到健身房與我會合。他進來後, 在接待台的小姐跟他說我看起來瘦很多, 她幾乎每天都看到我來運動。

我在過去四個月中, 每星期都去健身房四到六次左右。就當我對我的減重進展感到不滿意時, 那都會讓我記得即使進展不如預期快速, 至少我的方向是正確的, 那對我而言的確是個很好的提醒。

daily life · 中文

I’m an ordinary immigrant just like anybody else (who hasn’t yet found her place in the world)


Inspired by Anna Karina and I didn’t even know it.

I’m an immigrant in the United States. I may have came “earlier” but I’m also an immigrant through and through. My husband lived in the States 20 years before he met me. He has learned English, graduate from college and found his first job in New York City. In more ways than one, he is more American than I ever will be. I’m truly proud of him – he makes my entire world smile.

I was in a room filled with other amazing immigrants (just like me, except they are way more amazing than I ever will be) and I got to witness them officially become American citizens. I really do hope they have a better life here in the States. Honestly, they inspired me to find my own mark in the world. Wherever it may be.

It’s okay to find a home that is not in your birth country. Sometimes your birthplace is merely a starting point.

在美國,我也是個移民,即使我祖先是比較早到那一批。我先生在遇到我之前,已在美國住了二十年。他在美國學習英語,讀大學,並在紐約找到了第一份工作。在許多方面,他比我更像美國人,我很以他為榮,他讓我的世界充滿微笑。 我曾在一個充滿移民的大堂裡見證了他們正式的宣示成為美國公民,我誠心希望他們都能實現他們的美國夢。同時他們也鼓勵我無論在世界哪個角落,都要找到自己的定位。 在一個陌生國度建立自己的家是非常正常的,有時你的出生地僅是代表人生的一個起點而已。

China · my story in Shanghai · Travelogue 旅行日記 · 中文

“…But Americans are tall!”

Enjoying a cup of Joe from my apartment in Shanghai.

While I was waiting for my drink, the lady behind the register looks at my husband and asked him if I were Russian. He laughed and told her I’m American. She was stunned, “…But Americans are tall!” The response was odd to me considering I’ve met plenty of tall Russians.

How about you? Have anybody mistaken you for being from another country?



China · my story in Shanghai · Travelogue 旅行日記 · 中文

Happy New Year! 新年快樂!

2015-02-09-16-35-59_decoHappy New Year! May you be prosperous in the year of the sheep. Dawen and I thought we would be returning to Taiwan to be with family during the holiday but plans change. This is the second time we will be hanging around Shanghai, which is fine because at least we will be relaxing. It’s going to be a great year.