About Me

My photo
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.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Thanksgiving in Tainan

For work we had to do something on Children's day, November 21st, which I was happy to do. A few years back I bought Z a book from the UN in English and Mandarin with kid like illustrations of the different rights children have. I combined this with Thanksgiving. Living in Taiwan teaching the kids, I sorta forgo all the Pilgrim story/myth and just try and talk about gratitude, being thankful. Its not their myth.

My class is only 4 years old, so its very basic. I showed them the book w/ illustrations and in basic English, sometimes sprinkled with basic Mandarin, they got the gist of most of the rights. It was my moment to indoctrinate the youngins with UN propaganda (that I whole heartily agree with), like every child has the right to shelter, food, education and health care. (There are some in America that would call that socialist, big sigh as I shake my head). We watched a few Youtube cartoons of the various rights, produced by the UN in cartoon form. The right to a fair trial, and open jury was probably the most difficult for them to understand, but two or three understood when I explained that 2 kids have a disagreement the teacher acts as a judge and cant play favorites.

For Thanksgiving, I was invited to one of the first foreign friend I made in Tainan, their house. Pat is American, his wife is Taiwanese, they have a son a few years older than Z. They had a houseful of coworkers and Uni students I never met before which was nice. It wasn't a typical Thanksgiving meal, but Joy provided Costco chicken and pumpkin pie, along with rice and Thai curry, pasta and clam chowder. I made a lovely (if I do say so) coleslaw with purple cabbage, pear and celery, a savory red onion and sweet potato tart, mashed potatoes and gravy. John another Yank thankfully brought wine and Imma's brownies. (Immas the Israeli bakery in Tainan, the best and most expensive bakery).

It was fun, Z was entertained by the 19 year old Uni kids. There was a young guy from Japan to round it out. I asked if he watched the recent Taiwanese epic (part 1 ) about the indigenous fighting the Japanese during their occupation of Taiwan.  He was honest and transparent (unlike the Japanese stereotype of the friendly face masking deeper contrary feelings). He was studying Theology to be a minister, an even greater rarity in Japan. I talked with the Spanish professor (from Barcelona so we had a lot to talk about).  He convinced me to formally apply to the job in Santiago. We talked about the myth of the 1st Thanksgiving meal, White guilt, the genocide of the Americas. It was nice to touch the surface with someone who already knew deeper collective tragedies and had no need to defend. History has the final say I suppose. And even then I bit my tongue about Japanese text books.

I was certainly thankful for a great evening even if it was late for a work/school night.

No comments: