- Kathy (杜 言 艷)
- Yilan, Taiwan
- I'm a Social Studies teacher and single mom from Colorado and have lived here for 9 years. Taiwan is an excellent base for us explore Asia, while living in relative (gun free) safety, while benefiting from a cheap and efficient national health care system. The people are amazing too. I have friendships that are 14 years old and I'm always making new ones.
Thursday, July 29, 2010
The wood tiger returns home to the Mountains
By the generous grace from others Zenaida and I were homeward bound for one month during Chinese New Year. It started with my friend Doreen dropping us off at the High Speed Rail shuttle bus stop in Anping's harbor, a 60 minute bus ride, followed by a 1 hr 45 minute bullet train to the Taoyuan station, another shuttle bus, 10 hour flight to LAX, getting our luggage, security and another flight into DIA, arriving at 11pm in snowy conditions.
Zenaida was great until somewhere over the Pacific she could not get comfortable and Malaysia Air would not let her sprawl out in the floor in front of her seat. She proceeded to call me "silly old shrimp mom" for the first time,that she has repeated in angry instances since or when she thinks its funny. (Where she heard "old shrimp" I have no idea.)She peed in her seat and I striped her down, wiped her little body and dressed her as fast as I could and was really fine with the sleep deprivation.
We arrived and my Dad and brother's Matt and Ed were there. Ed and Matt hadn't changed (but don't tell protein shake, muscle pumping Matt that), but my Dad, wow, his hair had gotten whiter. Zenaida first thing she said was " you look like Santa Claus" which was pretty hilarious and exactly what I was thinking. Mom already had hot burritos waiting which was like the food of the gods after eating rice and noodles for a year and half.
My bro John was home for better or worse. At one point I was going to change my flight and return to Taiwan early on his account of being emotionally unstable w/ Zenaida. It was shocking that a just turned 4 year old could so make a 30 year old regress to the same emotional level. It was sad and painful and abusive.
On the upside, I got to work out everyday and take my beloved yoga classes from my world class teachers and some rocking kickboxing classes which having come from tropical sea level back to high altitude I didn't seem to be affected by much. Z played in the snow and reconnected with her cousin Emma (play-fight-play), and I enjoyed being with my parents and my bro Matt. It was, but for John, a totally relaxing, uplifting treat.
The return flights and mass jumble of shuttle buses and taxis somehow, we made it home. It was by far the best 14 hour flight ever and since Zenaida knew what to expect she was like a professional traveler and settled in no matter where we were. I couldn't ask for a better travel buddy than her. I am also aware of how so many prayers supernaturally flew us safely over, because I literally didn't have the stomach for it (having puked all day of my return flight.)I wasn't sure I had the health or stamina to take care of Z and all the painful hours I was anticipating (that really were non laborious).
I had the first time experience of not wanting to leave home. Of crying at the check in counter, my Dad hugging me perplexed. I didn't want to come back to Taiwan, but felt I must. Colorado is pretty close to paradise after all. That I was finally cured of destination disease. For me being someone who couldn't take being home for a month without looking at maps and plans for escape, it was a powerful epiphany and one that is currently propelling me to take some risks with my dreams and the near future plans of my life and my daughter's life direction.