I want to be a little personal on why the island means so much to me, on a deeper level. No country is perfect but when you found a country to call home, it’s perfect to you. I wrote this in 2012: “For the longest time I couldn’t even see the menu at the coffee shop so I say my usual and not get embarrassed. When I was at the Metro station, many times I couldn’t see the signs or the map. I would have this intense anxiety wondering if I missed my stop. Tonight was different. I just got my eyeglasses and I walked the usual roads and it was as if I was seeing a whole new world, you know? For the longest time, I was seeing a painting only in two dimension and for the first time, I can see the painting for all its glory. Being able to see the colours more vibrant, being able to navigate easier, and seeing everything in detail is such a privilege. In the past two weeks, I’ve cleaned by teeth and did a whole body check up. I usually get all tensed up when I go to the hospital but somehow in Taipei, I don’t feel as such. It’s an amazing feeling. In America, you can still go bankrupt even if you have health insurance.”
I can’t stress this enough. Taiwan’s health insurance probably saved my life. I’m blessed that if I need to see the Doctor, I don’t have to question if I can afford to (even with health insurance). I’m truly grateful.
I wrote this back in 2014: “One morning I woke up wondering why it was so hard to open my eyes. I thought I was simply just tired so I went back to sleep. Sadly, that wasn’t the case. When I went to the kitchen to get some water, my husband freaked out when he saw me. My eyes were swollen and my face was puffy. I had a terrible allergic reaction. I also had red bumps all over my hands. We immediately went to the dermatologist that morning to get treatment. Well, my eyes got better but my hands got worse. Before you know it I felt like my entire body was on fire. The itching was unbearable. My body is changing and now I no longer know what I am allergic to. I’m already lactose-intolerant – what more do you want from me?!
It was discouraging to wake up every morning and realize I was simply just getting worse. I ended up going to another dermatologist also around my neighborhood. The dermatologist said it is in fact an allergic reaction, so she have me drew blood to find out what’s exactly going on. I got more medicine and went on my way. I will find out the results on Tuesday.
I’m finally getting better, which is good because I don’t want to get on the plane to Shanghai and have everybody freak out when they look at my arm thinking I am contagious. Seriously though, my arms did look rather disgusting. Red turns turned to bubbles and the bubbles got bigger. It would freak me out too, honestly.
The allergic reaction could’ve been more dangerous; instead of my eyes, it could’ve been my throat. It seems my allergic reaction is getting worse each time, but luckily I’m taking necessary measures to find out what is my body reacting to. Thank you, Taiwan, for giving me a better quality of life I wouldn’t otherwise have in my birth country.”There was a mini concert at the Hospital and it cheered some people up. Continue reading “I’m Homesick (& I’m Not Talking About My Birth Country)”
Aimer, ce n’est pas se regarder l’un l’autre, c’est regarder ensemble dans la même direction. Translation: Love does not consist in looking at each other, but rather in, together, looking in the same direction. (Antoine de Saint-Exupéry)
Dawen and I will be celebrating 8 years of marriage this Friday. On our wedding day, we had a rather casual and intimate ceremony in Key West. Dawen’s younger brother and mother were our only guests. We said our vows in a rather small, cute church (for my mother-in-law). It was the least I can do for her. We both decided we wanted to spend our money on travelling, anyway.
How did we meet? Dawen and I met online out of all places; he typed me a genuine message on a social networking website we all have forgotten. I responded back not realizing I was typing to my future husband. Life is funny like that. Well, there are parts in our life that wasn’t so…funny.
When we first started dating, a certain person in my family called my husband accusing him of using me to get a green card, which there is all kinds of wrong with this. For starters, just because he is Asian – it doesn’t mean he couldn’t possibly be an American. It’s racist thinking. He has been in the States for the past 15 years before he met me – talk about a long pause in trying to use somebody for a green card. I have almost forgotten about this, but my husband reminded me of that incident. He was at work and he almost got fired for the harassment he didn’t deserve. At all.
The reason why I decided to mention this it’s because while I tend to be really positive about what I share on my blog – it doesn’t mean everything is peaches and cream. I also should be honest with the barriers that my husband I go through when it comes to interracial marriage, as well. Who knows, maybe somebody who is reading this is also in an interracial marriage has gone through something similar what we went through.
We had some judgmental people try to tell us that what we have is wrong. I can’t count how many ugly, death stares I have gotten from white men. There was an incident where the waitress refused to serve us at a restaurant in the Keys. The people around us looked at us as if we were clowns in their circus.
Sometimes Dawen and I even sit through the most awkward conversations. I remember a Taiwanese man asked me if I had a thing for Asian men. I simply said, “I like….men.” He quickly said, “So, it doesn’t matter whether he is Asian or not …” I interrupted, “Exactly. I like…men.” My husband could have easily been with a Taiwanese woman. It just didn’t happen. Honestly though, I refuse to be with a man who has mommy issues. Anybody who puts down his own people has some issues I don’t want to be mine. Those issues….has to stay out of my life. Period.
I have a father and a brother who are Western men. It would be silly to go crazy and talk ill of them. The common sense would be….lacking. It just doesn’t make any sense to me. So yes, we do have the craziest things thrown at us, but in the end – it’s their mess and not ours.
The thing is, I wouldn’t change our marriage for the world. The longer Dawen and I are together, the more it becomes the honeymoon stage. Our marriage is like in reverse. It was tougher in the beginning but the more we learn from each other’s background, the more understanding we become. Mutual respect is so important.
Now I have a second home in Taiwan, an amazing mother-in-law who is supportive of me – anybody who ever said to me that I would have a tough life by being in an interracial marriage can take a shit on that! Life may be tough, but I have so many great memories with my husband I wouldn’t trade for anything.
Now excuse me, I’m packing. Dawen and I will be celebrating our marriage in Taipei. I will be making sure to eat my stinky tofu.
My husband and I decided to do something different for Valentine’s Day two years ago – we both wanted to experience sky lantern for the very first time together. I can’t think of a better way to celebrate an over-commercialized day. This will probably be the only Valentine’s day I will remember through-out my lifetime.
The first time for me to eat 凉圓 – a common dessert in night markets, is made with sticky rice flour and various fillings. It looks slightly translucent and tastes chewy.
Dawen and I write our wishes on our lantern. This was the time before we officially move to Shanghai. Continue reading “Valentine’s Day in 菁桐”