home is where the heart is but what if the heart is torn asunder

I had the privilege of flying on one of Eva Airlines' Hello Kitty planes today.   Everywhere you turn on the plane, you see signs of Hello Kitty: from the pins on the flight attendants' uniforms, their pink aprons, the pillow covers, to the air freshener in the lavatory.   I started chuckling as I [...]

Going Home. Again.

Waiting to get on a plane that will take me to Tokyo Narita, and then onto Taipei. I am making my annual solo trip back home so I can pack 359 days of homesickness, guilt and filial piety into a 3-day visit. (I will spend 3 days traveling due to time zone change and the [...]

Where I’m From

I am from sunshine, sweat, and bricks of humid air. I am from have you eaten yet. I am from rice, salted fish, stir-fried greens, from soy sauce, sesame oil, vinegar, from ginger, star anise, and cayenne peppers. I am from concrete jungle, clothes lines stretched-across the rooftops, the smell of sun in the fabrics, [...]

  Sometimes, for no reason at all, I would get a severe attack of homesickness. Without any provocation, my heart would ache and I would get a sensation of emptiness and at the same time heaviness inside my stomach. I recognize that feeling well. It is an intense loneliness that comes from a herd animal [...]

Leaving

    I started getting it, bit by bit, that the thing between parents and children, the thing that ties you together is that all your life, you are forever watching them walking away. [The inadequate, rough translation mine] I read this in a book by Lung Ying-tai, a renowned cultural critic in Taiwan, on [...]