After what seemed like a long hiatus, I've fought my way back to civilation and am trying to establish a foothold so I don't slip again! Landing in a new and unfamiliar place can be quite daunting. And though it's only been a week since I've arrive here, it feels like a lifetime. This place is finally starting to feel a little more familiar and less intimidating. Having taken my first solo train and bus ride today, I've discovered that it's not such a far cry from riding the subway in New York, or a bus in Denver. The real trick was to subtly seperate from the family who has been reluctant to encourage solo traveling since they feel it is quite dangerous and not at all like the states. Well, I still believe that one should not let fear put a cage around your life.
My solo venture today was to find a small spot that will be playing salsa music this Friday. It's a non-presumptuous place that seems to support English language activities. It should be fun, because with the right people, salsa is salsa no matter where you are.
The only younger person I've encountered is an intelligent young man I met at a wedding banquet on Sunday. His family is an old friend of our families and his brother was getting married. His English name is "Bond" and he has been very nice in taking me to find a couple of places (i.e. and English language bookstore and some night markets).
The culture here is hard for this American raised girl to fit into. It almost seems too small in a way. People's thoughts are most occuppied with work and family. For women, there is often seems a yearning to beatiful white skin. I'm feeling out of place in more ways than one. I'm older now, I'm not married, have not kids, am staunch in my independence, not currently working, wanting to travel the world, etc. etc. All of who I am and how I define myself seems to conflict with Taiwanese ideals (for women especially) in almost everyway.
Next week, we are planning a short trip to Thailand that should offer some interesting sites and thoughts. See ya all soon!