For me, Taiwan is a sad place. Back in college, I stayed for a summer “internship”. Every morning, I dragged myself out of bed to get on the bus to Yangmei-Taoyuan, about an hour outside of Taipei. I bought Chinese-English and English-Chinese dictionaries to try to teach myself to become literate. Some of it stuck but I’m not sure if I could convince anyone that I could read above a kindergarten level.
I used to come here to visit my grandmothers, my aunts and uncle, and my cousins. My grandmothers and aunts would often treat me to either a good meal at a nearby steak restaurant or this all-you-could eat buffet. I always felt out of place. The way my grandmothers doted on me and recounted how my mother was as a child or how I was behaved as a child always made me feel glad to have returned.
Fast forward over a decade, my grandmothers have both passed away; my aunts have grown older; an uncle has passed; most of the my cousins have moved to California or Texas for work and start their families. This time I’m not even trying to learn any Chinese.Except for a friend and his adorable boy, there really isn’t much left here except a bunch of memories all along Nanjing Dong Lu, Wu Duan.