The view of Silai from Yanping Historic Street, a road that runs through the middle of town and showcases preserved and reconstructed traditional Taiwanese architecture.
In May, I went back to my grandfather Thomas Liao’s hometown of Silai, to meet people, conduct oral history interviews, and look for documents about Thomas’s life, family, and political career.
This was my second trip– the first was a somewhat ill-advised round trip scooter ride from Chiayi City that I did in one day and took 5+ hours. But this time, I had made contact with a very kind host, Stella Chen, who introduced me to everyone she knew in the greater Silai area (between Taichung and Chiayi), and everyone I met introduced me to everyone THEY knew, who might know something about the Liao family, or remember a funny anecdote, share a photo, or take me walking around a historical part of the town.
To say the least: it was intense.
To introduce a series of posts about visiting my grandfather’s hometown of Silai (in Mandarin Siluo, Xiluo, 西螺), here’s a sweet song and video slide show, made by the town’s historical society!! It’s called the Luoyang Culture and Education Foundation, or: 螺陽文教基金會.
So I hope you’ll give it a watch if you want to see how the town looks now– in Silai itself, there are some beautiful historically preserved old buildings, collections of old photographs and books at the historical society, and a traditional soy sauce museum and factory. Continue reading
Photo by camilo, courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons License
Apropos international showers I have taken and beginning to feel at home in Taiwan, it’s time to go traveling! Over the last week I have officially caught the travel bug. And when I look back on experiences moving to new places, returning “home” to that place after a trip really made me feel like I belonged there. It’s the difference between vacationing and living somewhere, and nothing draws that contrast better than returning.
When I was living in Paris for 4 months as a college exchange student, my first return was a lovely evening when my friend and I got off the train (from Amsterdam) at Gare du Nord. I took the Métro back to Ternes, and watched the sunset from over the elevated section of the blue #2 line at Barbes Rouchechart, with a feeling of deep peace in my heart and mind. Paris was my city, and I was coming back to it with a sense of ownership and tired relief.
So in the coming months, I have some exciting trips in the planning stages! But where to go, what to see, eat, do? Continue reading