A few weeks ago, my friend and I went out to Cihu Mausoleum Park, in Taoyuan County, to see Chiang Kai-Shek’s preserved remains and the garden of abandoned Chiangs. I would say, without exaggeration, that this is the most surreal place in Taiwan that I’ve been to all year.
I had wanted to go see the Generalissimo’s former summer home after my professor at Zheng Da explained to me that Chiang Kai-Shek has never been buried. Instead, his preserved body waits in his former home for the day that the “Republic of China” reclaims the China mainland from the “Communist rebels,” at which point it will be given a traditional burial in his hometown. However, the “Republic of China” retreated to Taiwan in 1949, more than 60 years ago, and Taiwan has not had a seat in the United Nations for 40 years. So the pickled body of Chiang may be waiting for quite a while. Continue reading
Now that summertime in Taipei is in full swing, the thermometer has melted: the last few weeks have peaked at 37 degrees Celsius, or 98.6 F– the internal temperature of a person! Heat indexes have been as high as 43 degrees– if I remember correctly, 109 F. From an informal poll of both Taiwanese and foreign friends and local Taiwanese acquaintances, everyone deals with summer in Taipei in different ways: Continue reading
photo by eazy traveler, courtesy of Flickr creative commons
Welcome to the blog Girl Meets Formosa, which will recount my travel adventures as a young American writer spending one year in Taiwan (Formosa) to learn about how my grandfather Thomas Liao (Liao Wen-Yi) changed the face of Taiwanese history. This blog will detail my unfolding search for information and identity, as I reconstruct the story of my family–from Taiwan to New York and back again–in the book I’m working on called The Lost Family.
In the blog, I’ll be posting regular updates on the research, fun pictures, and show you what it’s like to live in Taipei as an American writer with Taiwanese roots. Perhaps I’ll post excerpts from the book! Also look out for discussions of some of my favorite topics– food, fashion, travel, writing, book reviews and what makes this author tick! I invite you to check out the rest of GirlMeetsFormosa.com for info about the book, the blog, the history of Formosa (Taiwan), and an introduction to my writing and publications.
Here’s a brief taste of what brings me to Taiwan: