The first time I went to Yilan was when I was a child. I went with my family, including my cousins and aunts/uncles. In fact, this trip is still one of my most distinct childhood memories! We had gone to Yilan to "play with water" (玩水), i.e. have fun in a river park. A part… Continue reading Yilan Trip Highlights (Toucheng Old Town, Jiaosi Hot Springs, Yilan City)
"So... do Taiwanese people consider you Taiwanese?" This was a question a Taiwanese-American friend asked me last year. At the time, I had been in Taiwan for only a few months, so didn't have anything insightful to say. It's also not like people can identify that I'm foreign from my looks or my accent. BUT.… Continue reading Do Taiwanese People Consider Frances “Taiwanese”?
Last week, Mii-chan, a friend from the Japan office of the company I work for, stayed with me for a week. This was actually my first time hosting, and it felt great, since I'm usually the one crashing at people's places to finally be able to host my friends!! Thanks to her, I also got… Continue reading Taipei’s Museum of Contemporary Art (+ History + Technology!)
Last week marked one year of my life in Taiwan. When I arrived last year, I was vaguely aware of Ghost Festival 中元節 and how people believe that the spirits, humorously called "good brothers" 好兄弟 come back around this time of year. I used to visit Taiwan in the summer, so this wasn't news. But...… Continue reading Ghost Festival with the Grandparents + the Origins of the Festival
Last week, I took off Wednesday-Friday to go to Alishan, a mountain range in central Taiwan. It was pretty mind-blowing. The boyfriend was supposed to come, but his grandfather passed away so of course he had to stay in Japan with the family. On my end, I had been looking forward to this holiday for… Continue reading 2-Day Alishan Trip (Guesthouse, Trails, Train Recs)
Does anyone else remember the name of the giant tree that Totoro likes to sleep in? For some reason, this detail has stuck with me to this day-- "camphor". And that's probably the last time I encountered this word in English. In Chinese however, you'll encounter the word for camphor 樟腦 in everyday life. It pops… Continue reading Camphor: From Totoro to Taiwan
Last weekend, I had the chance to attend a Taiwanese wedding for the second time in my life. In neither did I actually know the bride or groom... but that's OK, because weddings here are about the food. The first time I attended a Taiwanese wedding, I was actually sent specifically to eat. I have… Continue reading Taiwanese Wedding Banquet, emphasis on “Banquet”