You think this a scene from the Wild West or many small towns about 100 years ago? Yes? You are so wrong!! I have just described my first visit to the dentist in my rural village in Tainan in 2019!!
Botan is the pseudonym of Supa Sirisingh, a Thai author and daughter of a father who immigrated to Thailand from China and a mother, born in Thailand to Chinese parents. Sirisingh’s father was a conservative Chinese and did not believe in education for woman, but this determined girl made it happen for herself. She won her first scholarship at age nine and eventually earned Masters degrees in Thai and English. Letters from Thailand was published when Sirisingh was 21 years old and was awarded the SEATO (Southeast Asia Treaty Organisation) Literary Award the same year. It has been translated into 10 languages and into English by Susan Fulop Kepner. Later it became required reading for schools in Thailand. When it was first published it was a controversial book as the author portrayed the Thai and Chinese cultures in Thailand in an honest way and it offended many people in both…
If you know where to look Taiwan will show you some very eye pleasing secrets.
I have never been in a situation where my personal believe (my culture) has had such a clash with the foreign culture in which I live. Here is a totally new experience for me.
Some of the oldest trees on this planet are growing in this area. The oldest was 3000 years old but collapsed in 1997 after heavy rain. It has been laid down and can still be appreciated. This tree was 53m high with a circumference of 25m and a diameter of 4,66m
The British poet and artist, William Blake, said “The tree which moves some to tears of joy is in the eyes of others only a green thing that stands in the way. Some see nature all ridicule and deformity… and some scarce see nature at all. But to the eyes of the man of imagination, nature is imagination itself.”
Confucius said: The man who says he can, and the man who says he can not… Are both correct. I’m a long-lived woman and walking fit. I can cover 20km per day without much effort. This made my fellow-teachers at Yusan school think I can do anything physical and they entered me into a 60km cycling race and gave me seven weeks to train. I like a physical challenge so I did not put up a too big fight. What they don’t know is that in my entire life I have probably only cycled about 1 km, total, ever. I know nothing about bicycles. None of my three ‘partners in crime’ live near me so all the training I’m going to do is on my own. But no surprises here: as the word spread about my latest crazy adventure, so the support grew. The P E teacher at Nanhua school…
In Taiwan filial piety is an important virtue. Respect for your parents, elders and ancestors is a beautiful characteristic of the Taiwanese culture.
The reality of solo ageing and solo traveling hit me hard this weekend.