Saturday, 29 December 2012


I was reading the latest Awake! magazine recently on the website (which on a side point is amazing!) anyhow as I was reading the article on Immigration it sounded soooo much like what I see here on a daily basis. Many women from the Philippines and Indonesia come over to Taiwan and work as a carer for the 阿媽 and then send the money back to their families. So these ladies have had to leave their children and husbands behind in order to just be able to give them the basics in life. It is a thought provoking point as of course the children are raised never really having a true relationship with their mother, but you can see why it is this way. It's really sad to see, we were speaking to a Filipino lady recently and it tears her up that she isn't at home with her children. For us from the Western world, we are fortunate enough to be able to own a laptop and afford internet we can keep in touch with friends and family wherever we are. We have become so accustomed to it that we view it as a necessity. In reality it is a luxury. Many of the women that come over here are not able to afford laptops and internet, so for them staying in touch with the family they left behind is a real mission. I book a flight to the Philippines from here and think it's cheap. To many of the Filipino's coming over here, it takes them all their savings to be able to get here. It makes me very grateful to have been born in a Western country just because I have options. Yes everything is expensive, but you get what you pay for. 

Just because of being born into a rich country I have the option of saving up money to go travelling. How crazy is that...just by where we are born we are automatically given certain advantages or disadvantages. And we have no say in where we are born! Many regular people in Taiwan only earn enough to cover the general cost of living. Travelling is not an option unless you are rich. It fascinates me that both of my Taiwanese housemates have never ever been abroad. Their whole life has been spent on Taiwan!! Back home I know people that get antsy if they don't go abroad at least once a year. We really don't pay attention to how fortunate we are to even have the option of affording a flight somewhere and the opportunity to explore other cultures and open our mind to other ways of living.

Four months has gone so fast! I knew time would fly but it seriously only feels like a few weeks ago that I was on the aeroplane in a bit of an oblivious daze. Every so often I think back to the night I arrived here. At the time it was all very overwhelming and I felt like it wasn't happening and I was in fact just looking down on an alternate life of mine. But no, it did all happen...I did wait and wait for a Japanese sister at the airport, we did get on a bus (that had a tv screen at the front of the bus and was playing planet of the apes), I did get picked up by my crazy housemate who insisted on giving me guava and honey and bombarded me with a host of new Chinese words. And ever so slowly 'I think I'm turning Taiwanese!' (Sung to The Vapors - Turning Japanese...erase Japanese and sing Taiwanese.) I am still very much a British lass, but after spending a while in another country you start to integrate into the way of living. I will still always have things I do the way I know best. I will always cut food with a knife, whilst the Taiwanese use scissors to cut stuff...seeing eggplant being cut with scissors always catches me funny. But every so often, by choice, I will do things a Taiwanese way. Sometimes I even crave Taiwanese food. What?! I know, madness! It hit me today that when I come home I won't have the option of being able to buy dumplings by the bucket load, and my favourite Taiwanese food that I can buy on any street corner, it just won't be available. (But I have found recipes for 蛋餅 and 燒餅 so I can attempt to recreate them.) But I take comfort in the fact I will be able to fill my self with cheese and hummus until it's coming out of my ears! And that milk and bread will be que rico (yummy) and cheap! And I will be especially excited to go back to my wonky house, where I won't have a battle with mosquitoes trying to fly in my ears at night and I won't have a kitchen entering routine with battles against cockroaches, bugs and lizards. Though, in a round about way I will probably miss it all. These crazy quirks have become a sort of normal to me.

Circadian Eyes - Finding Silence. Ah this song outstanding! Every so often I come across a piece of music that makes me stop everything I am doing and just take in the musical moment and really listen. This was one of those songs!

enjoying the battle between cars and scooters...

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