Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Excitement Countdown

Somehow the full weight of exactly what will happen within the upcoming weeks hasn't hit me yet. All of my friends, family, and coworkers ask me whether I'm ready to go, and I'm not. I have yet to pack, settle things at work and at my apartment - essentially, I still need to check in my "Boston baggage". With each inquiring face, though, I feel the day coming closer... I know that only then, on the plane, I will finally realize it --

I'm going back to Taiwan!!!!!

My brother and I discussed our itinerary. He's jealous, but I feel nervousness more than any other emotion. My Chinese skills have deteriorated; my knowledge of Taiwanese politics is lacking. I fear I will meet some of the most important people in Taiwan, but unable to ask the questions I want. I fear I will waste the rarest of opportunities.

I'm armed with a package of information, with my Chinese dictionary, with my Chinese textbooks. I can see that my plane ride will be spent rekindling/learning all these qualities I lost or never had...I'm on a mission: cultural-identity pursuit. It's this one thing I have meant to develop all my life, but for one reason or another, couldn't find the time or the strength to do it. I'm thankful for this trip. There are more opportunities to be found than just the ones printed on the itinerary.

(Apologies for a serious entry. I'll be light-hearted soon enough!)

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Last minute packer!

Ah, Cindy is way ahead of me on packing. I always manage to be a last minute packer, scrambling around to stuff and pack everything into my suitcase. But somehow I manage to remember to bring everything I need. That's no easy feat! :)
Well, it's been a busy last couple of weeks with all the trip planning. I'm excited for all the meetings and visits we've got planned. And I'm also looking forward to meeting all the people coming on the trip...It's a small but good group of people! I also can't wait for some gooood food...yum, bubble tea and delicious Taiwanese food! Who's up for some??

If only i could go too

hi dear ypg members,

i'm one of those unlucky people who can't go on this trip although i really want to. just reading about the itinerary and all the events and places and people you will be meeting makes me turn green (no pun intended) with envy. if only i wasn't one of those taiwanese wannabe doctors going through med school i'd be there in a second.

i was at dinner with family friends today and all we talked about was taiwan. i realize that we all have some connection there, but i have to admit, even the daily quick takes of taipei times, listening to taiwanese radio, or reading the ypg listserv and talking to congressional aides about taiwan makes the whole issue seem kind of foreign to me. but it's times like these family dinners, arguing over why no one eats turkey in taiwan (besides me, apparently, there's a great place in tainan that you should all check out if you had the time to go :)), arguing about the best place to buy fish (my family is full of farmers), or wondering why almost half the taiwanese youth can't even speak taiwanese, that make me realize that what we're fighting for, what we lobby for, what we talk to our friends about a little each day, and what this trip is all about, is real. I know that there is so much division in taiwan now, and i try my best to maintain a neutral ground when i think about things, although i do have my personal biases. but this is democracy, no matter how much we hate one party or adore one. it's real, and it's working. we are the only successful democracy in east asia. we are for real yalls. This ugly, yam-shaped island we have a connection to is real. My little personal smile to myself when i hear Taiwan in the news is real. My horribly incomprehensible, taiwanese chinese is real.

anyway, i tried my best to set up a reasonably useful packet for you, although eva and zoe really did all the work. i supplied the ghetto taiwanese adobe software we worked with. i know you will all appreciate all the work various people have put into this trip, and i wish you all the best on your flight and observations in taiwan. i really really really wish i could go, but instead, i'll sit back here and wait to hear the word from you all. know that you really do make a difference. my relatives never believe the things i do in the US all for taiwan. no matter what people say, our job is important. haha, so enjoy the trip, learn a lot, and teach us!! jiaaaa yo :)

Prep & Pack...

Okay.. thanksgiving dinner's over, family gather's done & out of the way. So now, it's time to prep for the big trip coming up.

I had picked out a few outfits last week, hung them all up in the corner of the rack designated as "trip clothe." Don't know if one suit is going to be enough though. According to the schedule, looks like a few days requiring "formal business wear." Think i'll have to pick out another one just to be safe.

Think i'm covered in the shoe department. Got some super cute Cole Haan patent leather baby heels about 3 weeks ago. Have been wearing them to work regularly to get them fitted properly. Since there will be TONS of walking in Taiwan, i made sure to get comfortable low heels that are still cute (quite the impossible feat!!). So those will be my "official trip shoes." But my running shoes and flip flops will also be along for the action.

Damn.. i think it's going to rain almost the entire time we'll be in Taipei... That convinced me to take my stretchy fabric boots out of the suitcase. Instead, i replaced them w/ the leather boots. Nothing worse than treadging the streets of Taipei w/ your feet soaked.

So now that i've got the difficult stuff figured out, it's on to pack the regular traveling pack: toothbrush, toothpaste, contact solution, etc.. Can't believe there's still that insane on-board restriction that keeps you from taking aboard regular sized lotions, contact solutions, etc!! How's anyone to survive a 14 hour flight w/o LARGE tubes of hand/face/body lotions?!?!? Now i gotta buy trial size versions < 3 oz, and cram them all into a quart size zip lock bag. Really!! We need to convince more women to diverse into various jobs/industries, starting w/ the TSA!!

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

November 22, 2006

We are leaving for Taiwan in a week. Exciting!
(This is a test.)