So, just kidding from last post, I do have some nice photos of scenic and cooling off stuff like beaches, coral, and snorkeling! (Disclaimer: no photos were taken during snorkeling, all the coral is from the aquarium.) So at the end of May, some Fulbright friends and I took a brief trip to the southern tip of Taiwan, Kenting National Park, where our friend and colleague Craig Voligny had his Fulbright-culmination art show– it was a show of coral-related paintings entitled Meridians and Parallels, to reference both wave and water patterns as well as energy patterns in the human body expressed by traditional Chinese medicine.
We also got to take a spin around the aquarium, where his art exhibit was held, and of course, go to the beach and go snorkeling!! 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
Since I’ve begun to talk more about my history research, here’s a story of where travel and history combine: on Green Island.
The other day, I was talking to some friends about cool places to go on vacation in Taiwan, and mentioned that I went to Green Island earlier in the month over a long weekend with some fellow Fulbrighters. I was listing off fun things to do and see there, and came to the infamous Green Island Prison, which now stands in ruins (with one wing fixed up as a museum) and has a Memorial built on the nearby cliffs. My uncle Suho, who currently lives in Taipei, also spent time there, and I found his name on the Memorial–they list all of the prisoners’ names and dates spent there. It was there that I learned that he was imprisoned on Green Island– for his political actions supporting the Taiwan Independence Movement– for 8 years in the 1950s.
I actually can’t imagine doing ANY single thing for 8 years, let alone being in an incredibly brutal, hard labor camp on an island in the middle of the Pacific ocean.
At hearing this, my friend commented, “Man, your family has been everywhere! All of your vacations in Taiwan always have history research component to them!”
This is, actually, primarily true. Continue reading
Greetings from Tainan, city of 1000 temples! This one is Confucius Temple, photographed at dusk.
I’ve spent the last two weeks…
… traveling during my break from classes– going to Chiayi, Siluo, and Tainan, getting a wretched stomach flu, recovering, and diving into a week of using Chinese intensively in my research and new private 1-on-1 Chinese class. With my tutor, I hope to eventually start READING the historical sources I’ve found which use Mandarin. Last night, I gave a 20-minute talk to Zheng Da undergraduates about doing research in college: in Chinese. (Broken Chinese, but Chinese nonetheless.)
Phew. 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: