After four years away from Taiwan, I returned to this homeland at last. This family reunion was quite international. I flew from Cameroon via Paris, my sister Sherry flew from Boston where she is going to school, and my parents came from St. Louis where they live. We all met up in the airport in Taipei. I was first to arrive, then few hours later my sister, and finally my parents. It’s been nearly a year since I’ve seen my immediate family, making this meeting in Taipei extra special.
Once out of the airport, we took a car directly back to the city where I grew up – Taichung. Since we sold our old house to my cousin, we were able to go back to our childhood house for a few nights. Once dropping off our luggage at midnight, we headed down the street for some late night snack before going to bed. Late night snack in Taiwan is a legit meal of its own. And this very meal began my streak of stuffing my face all day long with amazingly good food. It is no longer about whether I am hungry but rather whether I can eat more without getting sick.
For the next few days, we stayed in Taichung. While my parents took care of some business, my sister and I roamed around the city. Since I left Taiwan when I was somewhat older, I still had rather clear memory of the roads. In fact, it’s amazing how much I remember. I suppose you never quite forget where you grew up. Many things have changed from just four years ago, much less from the time I was a kid. Every inch of the road has been built up with high rises. The few block of rice field during my childhood has long been extinct.
Sherry and I traced the road to our old school and even climbed the overpass for old time’s sake. For the most part, 80% of our time in Taiwan consist of eating. The food scene in Taiwan is just downright ridiculous; ridiculously awesome. I can’t even describe it; you simply need to be there. For 3 US dollar, Sherry and I can both have a delicious meal. The choices are endless and for 24 hours a day, there are delicious food to be found.
The one thing I don’t understand is how people are, for the most part, so freaking skinny here. The girls are all pale and fragile as if a strong wind will blow them away. Coming from Africa, I am super dark and athletic looking – the exact opposite of their standard of beauty. The last time I was in Taiwan, I had just finished freshman year in Uni. and naturally suffering from the Freshman 15 or thereabouts. People told me I was fat last time, and this time, after going through the “Africa Diet” I am now too dark and apparently still too big. People, give me a break. If I ever plan to settle in Asian, I have got to find myself a man before I return to this continent!