by Rosalie Chan, Web & News Editor
I’m currently in Taiwan, and it’s very different from the Philippines. For one thing, everything’s in Chinese. For another, it’s less humid, although it is still hot. It’s hard to believe that yesterday morning I was in the Philippines. I had breakfast, and afterwards, I did last-minute packing and said good-bye to my aunts, uncles and grandma. My uncle dropped me off at the airport. Checking in and going through immigration actually took a very short time because my uncle checked me in online, so until boarding the plane at 12:45 p.m., everything went smoothly. The trip from Manila, Philippines, to Taipei, Taiwan, was supposed to be an hour and a half, but I guess it got delayed, probably due to rainstorms, because I arrived just before 4 p.m. (The Philippines and Taiwan are in the same time zone.) My grandma on my mom’s side and my grandma’s friend picked me up and took me to my grandma’s apartment in Chung-Li. After I settled down at her place, we walked to the indoor pool together. My grandma often goes there to swim. The pool not only includes two pools for swimming, it also includes a children’s water playground, hot tubs, cold tubs and water massages. We swam and sat in the hot tubs and water massages for a bit before going home for dinner. On the way, we bought some chicken and tofu.
I was so exhausted last night, but my grandma cooked a really delicious dinner. We had soup with cucumbers and pork, chicken and cold bamboo shoots with salad dressing. I slept well because I had the windows open and the fan on at night, so the night was cool. My bed has a wooden mat on it, and a mosquito net hangs above it.
This morning my grandma took me to a breakfast place near her office, where I had hot soy milk and crullers, a popular breakfast in Taiwan. On the way, we walked through the park across the street from her apartment. All day long, kids play basketball at the court in the park, and this morning, many people were doing tai-chi at the stage. Tai-chi is a form of Chinese martial arts that is done slowly, and it is beneficial for the health. Anyway, I only stayed at her office for a short while before I walked back home.
My grandma came home at around noon to make and eat lunch, which included miso soup with fish, cooked bamboo shoots and man-tou (a kind of Chinese bread roll).
Right now, I’m just relaxing at my grandma’s place. I will be staying here for another two nights before taking the train to Taipei. Afterwards, my schedule will be extremely busy again.