Tag Archive | Taiwan

Lasting Thoughts on Beijing

1) The city is not as industrialized and modern as I thought. I do not believe anything compares to Shanghai, because that is what I am doing in my head now. The air was dusty and foggy. The weather was uncomfortably hot. It definitely did not help with so many people squished into one city. On the streets, cars, bicycles, motorcycles, and pedestrians constantly collided. They were not real accidents, but near-accidents with how quickly cars flew down the roads and how close pedestrians and bicycles came to these aggressive drivers.

2) Because it was so hot and humid already, I had early onset-allergies. By the end of the first day, I started sneezing and spreading my germs. My nose began to stuff and my eyes itched, classic signs of immediate hypersensitivity! It also did not help that I went to Yi He Yuan, the Summer Gardens that first day, where I was besieged by trees and greenery. Nevertheless, I enjoyed the scenery and Beijing’s Best. Curse you pollen, I did not (and will) not let you ruin my wonderful spring cheers!

3) Never mind the spring, it was summer already. It was warm and green colored the city. And it was raining fluff everywhere, fluff from a type of willow tree there called 柳樹 Liu shu. It was almost mesmerizing, sometimes annoying, to see the raining cotton balls.

4) There were many old people, like OLD people. I saw many wise elders pondering and looking back on their long lives, sitting on street corners. They were also relatively fit people, driving carriages and riding bicycles and walking about. It’s stunning to compare old people in China and old people in America, mostly bumming on couches and getting fat.

5) And lastly, and honestly, I cannot stand the Northern accent. I cannot bear to listen to the rolling “R’s” mainly because I can’t fathom to understand it! It may be the accepted Mandarin, but personally, it’s ugly and vulgar. See, I am a Southerner at heart, with Mom from glorious Shanghai and Dad from Taiwan’s best, Taipei. Kelly and I are somewhere in the middle, mixed in with the American-born Chinese. We have clear accents, somewhere between Shanghainese and Taiwanese. In general, it’s a Southern accent where we do NOT roll our “R’s.” We piss off the Beijing headquarters and the Northern territory with our Mandarin, because to them, it’s not the real Mandarin. To me, it’s the Mandarin I understand and practice. When I watch Taiwanese television shows or the news, THAT’s the Mandarin I accept and love to hear. No big deal, just personal taste =)

Taiwan love~

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Made in the USA, but with Taiwanese ingredients

I keep seeing this advertisement for cafepress.com on Facebook: Taiwan is NOT China! I keep gravitating to that website, because I really am tempted to buy a shirt from that site.

This one hits closest to home, but I’m more like 50/50 Taiwanese/’Chinese’ and all-American, who is really “Fobulous” because I’m still an Asian overload for an ABC:

You can see I’m a little biased to be more Taiwanese =)

Very Hipster

This one is my favorite: Made in the USA, with Taiwanese ingredients! Makes me sound like a dessert.

And this is how I quench my thirst, not with Mountain Dew. Done the Asian way =)

AHHHHH, JAY CHOU!!! 杰倫!!!

Dude, I’ve not been on the Jay Chou radar since his last album Capricorn. That is, until I sat through Harry Potter previews on Friday evening.

So I was watching a preview for The Green Hornet, where [Seth Rogan] plays superhero next to a martial arts expert. I noticed an Asian dude speaking broken English and doing wild and cool tricks with the white boy. A minute into the preview, my brain clicked… HOLY SHIZZLE, THAT’S JAY CHOU!!!!!!!!!!! I HEART THIS DEMI-GOD OF TAIWAN.



Seriously, I love Jay Chou. Here’s my compilation of the reasons why I have such a crush on Jay Chou.

  • I have over 150+ songs by this guy in my iTunes.
  • I am steamrolling through my Jay Chou epic collection as I pump through this blog.
  • Some of my favorite songs. It may be exhaustive, but it’s a small selection out of my playlists: 簡單愛 (Simple Love), 回到過去 (Return to the Past), 妳聽得到 (You Heard), 七里香 (Orange Jasmine), 夜曲 (Nocturne), 髮如雪 (Hair Like Snow), 珊瑚海 (Coral Sea), 霍元甲 (Huo Yuan Jia), 黃金甲 (Curse of the Golden Flower), 聽媽媽的話 (Listen to Your Mother), 千里之外 (1000 Miles Away), 退後 (Retreat), 心雨 (Heart’s Rain), 彩虹 (Rainbow), 青花瓷 (Blue Porcelain), 蒲公英的約定 (Dandelion’s Promise), 我不配 (I’m Not Worthy), 最長的電影 (The Longest Movie), 給我一首歌的時間 (Give Me a Song’s Time), 稻香 (Rice Patty).
  • I love this MV for 髮如雪 Hair Like Snow.  It’s traditional, romantic, and rather poignant. A beautiful, poetic song matched with a sad story involving fate and love.
  • I also really like his duet with 費玉清 (Fei Yu-Ching), 千里之外 1000 Miles Away. Another sad song involving lovers who cannot be together.
  • Yesterday, I finally downloaded his latest album 跨時代 ERA (2010), released way back in May. But I still like his older songs more (See above).
  • January 2008, my first concert ever @ Mohegan Sun:  I secretly bought $100+ tickets for relatively close seats to Jay Chou’s World Tour, without letting my parents know. I was never surrounded by so many Asian people and Jay Chou fans ever. I documented this holy jihad to Mohegan Sun with my camera. Many pictures and videos were recorded. I had such a blast that I lost my voice; I was singing on top of my lungs and screaming in Mandarin. When you’re in such a large, loud arena, you feel it’s okay to go a little crazy. Thus, my voice paid the price later that day, since it would not stop cracking for a good few days.
  • I’ve watched a few of his other movies, Secret 不能説的秘密 and Kung Fu Dunk. Secret 2 is coming out next year. I recommend Secret, because he directed AND acted in it. It was well-composed and well-presented. 5 stars on my vote.

  • I went all around Chinatown my sophomore year, when I experienced my ‘Asian’ awakening, looking for posters to decorate my room. I stripped off Orlando Bloom, the Olsen Twins, and Andy Roddick, and did a complete makeover. I think I freaked out my roommate Persis a little because of the drastic change; I believe she was just glad I got rid of the Olsen twins staring at her as she slept. I failed to find Lee Hom, but I did get a $5 cardboard with Jay Chou posing rather cooly.

My very Asian dorm room

  • Flash forward 3 years to May 2010. I had to move-out of my residence hall, since I graduated and now home-bound for the summer. I got really upset when my mom made me throw away that poster because there was no room in the car to accommodate a Jay Chou. I bet it must’ve been weird for the cleaners to come in and see an Asian dude staring back behind the kitchen garbage.
  • My friend gave me huge poster of Jay Chou’s Capricorn promotion for Christmas 2008. I have it hanging in my room right now. He has a funky hair bob going on and a leather jacket to show how cool he is.
  • I sing his songs religiously during my favorite Asian activity: Karaoke. I may not completely understand everything that’s emanating from my mouth, but I give the illusion I do just by singing from the heart.
  • I admit, I do not completely understand his mumble jumble, but I appreciate his beautiful lyrics, passionate & soothing piano compositions, and moving melodies. His music helps me relax and enter a blissful world. It’s great for studying and falling asleep too, so I guess that makes life a little unproductive.

Back to the movie and more Jay Chou. I think this could be a beautiful relationship. This movie could potentially be a cheesy repeat of Rush Hour. Jay Chou = the next Jackie Chan, or Bruce Lee? It’s so stereotypical to make the Asian guy the Kung-Fu master in these American movies. White = the new black; Seth as Chris Tucker?  It could happen… I will watch this movie, when it comes out 1.14.10. Maybe this will fare better compared to last time when I promised myself I was going to watch a movie featuring my favorite Asian musicians. That time, it was Wang Lee Hom 王力宏 in Lust, Caution… I was not prepared for the racy, explicit nature of the movie. My eyes burned afterwards >.< It still burns when I think about it. There’s a reason why China banned it from its movie theatres.

Drama Roll: Asian Invasion

I’ll be honest, I’ve been a drama addict since my “Asian awakening” during sophomore year of college.  Since then ~January 2008, I have never been the same girl.  I have watched plenty of dramas to write a thorough resume of my activities, so I’ll blog the best and worst of dramas for my viewers.  First things first, I need to write up my feedback for 2 years worth of what I watched…

To start off, I had an obsession with Taiwanese dramas (in the order I watched them during the spring semester):

Emerald on the Roof

屋頂上的綠寶石 Emerald on the Roof:  I bought the full DVD set for $25 in Chinatown, after which I realized I can go cheaper via Youtube and watch subbed versions to boost my rather average Mandarin.  This was not the first drama to kick-start my habits (it was actually Autumn in My Heart, more about that later).  I would not consider this a worthy drama for anyone’s time, unless you really want to suffer 30 long episodes of “I love you, but I can’t be with you” melodrama.  I’m still not entirely sure how I survived this particularly lengthy, often annoying, drama, because at the time I was glued to the television watching up to 5+ episodes per day (mind you, I had school work to do too).

Well, Wikipedia and the back cover totally duped me, because the summary did not describe what really happened in the drama.  Here is the snippet:

In this modern day retelling of Shakespeare’s ROMEO AND JULIET, Chou and Mwo fall in love with each other against their respective families’ wishes. After countless struggles, Mwo is forced to leave with another man as Chou gives in to his father’s demand to an arranged marriage. Before she leaves, however, Mwo gave Chou a green ruby necklace as a testament of their feelings for each other. Eventually, the necklace will reunite the feuding families once again, as Mwo and Chou vow to be together, even in death. EMERALD ON THE ROOF is an emotional tale about true love against all odds.

Yeah, it is not a Romeo & Juliet story replaced with Taiwanese actors.  Instead, the story centered around two young lovers 周念中 Chou Nian Zhong (Wallace Huo) and 莫家綺 Mo Jia Qi (Sun Li), who face conflicts and difficulties.  The courtship begins playfully, but evolves into deep love.  Pepper that with other lovers (played by George Hu and Yvonne Yao), family troubles, jealousy, selfishness, and general complications and coincidences that happen to ruin the couples’ prospects, you have general recipe for a typical Taiwanese romantic drama.  When the drama ended, I could only feel frustration and sadness at the depressing ending.  This was a combination of the cheesy romance drama and my failed expectations for the couple.  I recovered quickly, but I had a brief interest in Wallace Huo.  Then, I moved on…

I do suggest listening to the opening theme song:  其實很愛你 (Actually Love You) by Angela Chang 張韶涵).  Her voice is angelic and beautiful.  The song is the typical love ballad you hear in romance dramas.

Romantic Princess (2007)

公主小妹 Romantic Princess (2007):  This is more a romantic comedy.  It stars Angela Chang as 麥秋穗 Mai Qiu Sui and two Fahrenheit boys (Wu Chun and Calvin Chen) and George Hu as rich, Southern Wind 南 風 princes.  Consider this the Asian equivalent of “The Princess Diaries” if you’d like a comparison.  Unfortunately, it misses the humor that Meg Cabot achieved in her series.

Anyway, the story revolves around a girl, Xiao Mai 小麥, dreams of being a princess.  Unsurprisingly, she soon finds out she’s adopted AND a princess.  She reunites with her royal family and gets involved with the house princes and heirs of the Emp company.  Then, the complicated hate-into-love relationship develops between Xiao Mai and Nang Feng Jin 南風瑾.  They play around for a little bit, but as all drama plots unravel, everyone hits a big bump in the road.  Here, Xiao Mai faces a rival who claims she’s the real princess.  The rest of the drama is more “feng feng dian dian” comedy…

Fahrenheit

This drama introduced me to the Fahrenheit boys (Wu Chun 吳尊 & Calvin Chen 辰亦儒).  They were the first Asian boy band I listened to, partly because they remind me of a funkier version of the Backstreet Boys (O good times).  See, I learned quickly that these Asian popstars like to make music and act in dramas, faster than hens can pop out your next omelette breakfast for the family.  I got into Fahrenheit 飛輪海 immediately, particularly Wu Chun 吳尊.  I liked their funky hairstyles, manly charm, personalities, and pop music. They’ve been a popular Taiwanese band since emerging in 2006, so they are worth listening to and watching on variety shows such as 100% Entertainment and 完全娛樂。

And here are the songs featured for the Romantic Princess OST:  Fahrenheit sounds like any other pop band and Angela Chang has an angelic, powerful, and girly voice.

新窩 (Xin Wo) New Home (Opening Theme)- Fahrenheit 飛輪海 & SHE

不想懂得 (Bu Xiang Dong De) Don’t Want to Understand- Angela Chang (Ang 5.0)

我戀愛了(Wo Lian Ai Le) I Am In Love- Angela Chang (Ang 5.0)

能不能勇敢說愛 (Neng Bu Neng Yong Gang Shuo Ai) Can You Talk About Love Bravely- Angela Chang (Ang 5.0)

樂園 (Le Yuan) Paradise- Angela Chang (Ang 5.0)

花樣少年少女 Hana Kimi:  I also enjoyed this one while I watched it, but upon further reflection, it was NOT good.  It was too comedic and lacked substance.  The comedic parts were ridiculous, stupid, and cheesy.  You’d be better off watching Hana Kimi (Japan), because it’s much shorter and interesting.  It starred Ella Chen of S.H.E. as 盧瑞希 Lu Riu Xi and 2 Fahrenheit guys again, Wu Chun as 左以泉 Zuo Yi Quan and Jiro Wang as 金秀伊 Jin Xiu Yi.  Riu Xi pretends to be a boy to enter Ying Kai University, an all boys-school, where her track star idol Yi Quan attends.  Then she meets and befriends Xiu Yi, who slowly begins to fall in love with her, only that he thinks Riu Xi is a dude.  Thus, he goes crazy thinking he’s gay and weird for having that kind of feelings towards another “guy.” While Riu Xi goes to school, she struggles to keep her identity hidden from her new friends, but reaches out for Yi Quan’s affection… will she succeed or will she end up in a sticky mess?

The drama is filled with ridiculous humor and exaggerations.  Ella Chen is better off singing in S.H.E. rather than acting in these romance comedies.  Her tomboy style came off unflattering and her acting was plain annoying and overly-exaggerated.  One of the funnier scenes was when she first meets Yi Quan, but briefly forgets she’s masquerading as a boy and professes her love for him… Ditto Jiro Wang, he was also a pain in the side to watch.  Though he could be super silly at different moments and you could laugh along with him, for the most part he was strange and pestilent.  One of the funnier scenes was when he started freaking out he was gay, but that got old very quickly.  He was rather whiny for a guy and that turned me off.  He appeared stupid and foolish with his dreamy, smiley look.  So yea, he gets old and annoying very rapidly.

Here are some of the Hana Kimi OST theme songs:

怎麼辦 (Zen Ma Ban) What to Do- S.H.E. (Opening theme) *This is an adorable song when you listen and read the lyrics.

專屬天使 (Zhuan Shu Tian Shi) My Personal Angel- 呂建中 TANK (Closing Theme, 延長比賽 Keep Fighting)  *This is a sweet song.  I was hooked for a long time.

懂了  (Dong Le) Understood- 呂建中 TANK (延長比賽 Keep Fighting)

MJ, You Are Missed Dearly Around the World

SNSD SUJU Golden Disk Celebration 2010

As usual, I’ve been hunting around Youtube for K-pop MVs and old concerts.  I came across a Michael Jackson tribute performance at the South Korean 2009 Golden Disc Awards in December.  As the world sadly mourned the loss of the King of Pop, many artists around the world paid homage to Michael Jackson’s legacy. This breathtaking performance of MJ’s hottest dance hits by Super Junior, SHINee, and SNSD absolutely blew me away.  It goes to show how much MJ influenced the world, and how much further international musicians listened and appreciated him right back.  If only America can open up its arrogant ears to the greater talents the rest of the world has to offer?  Then, maybe we can enjoy these amazing Asian popstars who have the flair and spunk to change the face of international entertainment.

12/10/09 Golden Disk Award Winners

Oh, my! The Superb Junior 슈퍼주니어 (Leeteuk, Eunhyuk, Sungmin) and SHINee (JongHyun, Key, TaeMin), how awesome is their rendition of “Beat It” and “Bad.”  I adore the black-and-white suit style, the white gloves, and the mysterious fedora hat; the guys achieved the MJ look with an air of sex appeal.  The choreography and the synchronization were all put together very cleverly.  They make the Moonwalk and every dance move look so effortless.  And (Girl’s Generation 소녀시대) SNSD’s dance to “Smooth Criminal” was a show-stopper.  The girls (HyoYeon, Yuri, SooYoung, Sunny, SeoHyun) really mastered the

SNSD "Smooth Criminal"

famous Moonwalk and robotic moves.  I love their cute and clean tuxedo style, adding to that some attitude and spunk.  Their technique and careful execution of every move are flawless.  Now, this is the tribute to remember (SuJu, SHINee, SNSD).

MJ revolutionized dance and music before and during my generation.  I’m not a huge fan of today’s music (rap, hip-hop, teen popstars, etc…), but I’ve always loved 80s-90s music.  MJ started his career as a young kid in the Jackson 5, and peaked during the 80s with funky tunes like “Thriller,” “Beat It,” “Bad,” “Smooth Criminal” and “Billie Jean.”  Some of my favorite soft songs include “We are the World,” “Black or White,” “Man in the Mirror,” and “Will You Be There” (Free Willy theme).  Even though his last decade of his life involved accusation, controversy, and crude humor, I still remember him as the soulful, versatile musician and dancer.

Unfortunately, his end came too soon back in June 2009.  The NY Times alert in my Gmail came as a shocker.  There I sat, in my dorm room, scrolling through my iTunes and listening to all his greatest hits that have made music so memorable around the world.

Here is 王力宏 (Wang Lee Hom) and his rendition of “Man in the Mirror.” He made it his own, thanks to his soothing vocals, oriental instrumentals, and his charm.

And lastly, I found this Taiwanese version of “We Are the World,” called “愛 (Love)” a few years back.  This was originally Michael Jackson and Lionel Richie’s 1985 charity song for the Africa poverty relief effort.  The Taiwanese version was recorded to support the Indonesia tsunami relief campaign in 2006, featuring 周華健 Emil Chau, 任賢齊 Richie Ren, 梁靜茹 Fish Leong, 潘瑋柏 Wilber Pan, 阿 杜 A-Do, 5566, 張惠妹 A-Mei, 王力宏 (Lee Hom), 張韶涵 Angela Chang, 王心凌 Cyndi Wang, 范瑋琪 Fan Wei Qi, and more.  All the artists sing with all their might and passion, a truly beautiful collaboration.

Some Drama Love: 痞子英雄 Black and White

I must admit, I’m a full-blown, drama-addict.  I am faced with withdrawal symptoms and itching urges to watch endless episodes until 3 am, even when I know I should sleep and study.  Asian dramas (Taiwanese, Korean, Japanese) are magical in that they draw you in within maybe 5 episodes, and then you are hooked to the finale (which you hope will not end!).  I did not become like this until my sophomore year in college a few years back when I became ultra-Asian 🙂 I always thought my parents were strange for watching dramas all day long.  Now I’ve stepped in those slippers and totally entranced.

I started watching mainly comedic Taiwanese dramas initially, but I expanded to some Korean and Japanese.  Korean dramas tend to be heart-wrenching sad, yet good.  A sad one is Autumn’s Tale, while a funny and melodramatic one is Boys Over Flowers.  Japanese ones tend to be a mix of sad, heart-breaking (1リットルの涙, Ichi Littoru no Namida- 1 Liter of Tears) or straight-forward drama that gets to the point, with just the right amount of comedy and problems.

I stay away from Mainland dramas, since 1) I can’t stand the accents, and 2) they seem boring.  As I have learned, Taiwanese dramas tend to be over-dramatic, whiny, and long.  While I watch them, I get stuck, but when I get to the ending, they are ridiculous and bland.  So stay away from these:  Emerald on the Roof 屋頂上的綠寶石Romantic Princess 公主小妹Hana Kimi,  It Started With a Kiss 惡作劇之吻鬥牛。要不要 Bull Fighting just to name a few.  BUT, recently I honestly believe Taiwanese dramas are on the road towards improvement.  With some recommendations from friends, I tried watching a new cop drama 痞子英雄 Black and White with Vic Chou 周渝民 and Mark Chao 趙又廷.  Two cops as opposite as black and white, night and day, end up working together on a complicated case involving disasters, mysterious deaths, theft, roaming mistrust, and entangled love.

Mark Chao and Vic Chou in the skyline

Vic plays 陳在天 (痞子), the “ruffian” and care-free, rich guy who’s the “king” cop of the Northern district.  He relies on messages from a mysterious source to solve cases and rise in status.  On the other hand, Mark plays 吳英雄, the “hero” and hot-headed, insanely dedicated cop who goes through blood and sweat to pluck criminals off the streets.  In the beginning, Hero is involved with a drug case known as “Dreamer,” a psychedelic hallucinogen that knocks your senses out of whack.  The action-packed chase fails to catch the mastermind initially, and this is where Hero meets Zai Tian (Pi Zi).  Pi Zi is dressed rather sleek in his white suit and flashes his flirty smile as the gunshots send him hiding and cringing.  When Hero finds out he’s a cop and failed to stop the running criminals, Hero is outraged and critical.  Back at the headquarters in the Southern District, Hero’s bosses are angry at the media attention and utter failure.  As a deal, the directors thought it would be humorous to put them two together as the “lucky crime-fighting pair.” And that was the beginning of an interesting friendship.

Of course, the case expands and complicates, somehow involving the powerful gang San Lien Hui and a murderous mercenary group called Sarkozy.  This reminded me of Infernal Affairs, another twisted, but fascinating film where two cops are actually enemies and looking for each other.  One cop (Andy Lau) of high status is actually involved with the Triads, the mole within the police.  An undercover cop (Tony Leung) is disguised in the Triad, trying to bust the gang and searching for the internal mole who’s been feeding the police information to the Triad.  It becomes a cat-and-mouse game of great intensity, mirrored in this wonderfully executed Taiwanese drama for once.

Black and White had meaning and real action, not just another fake, melodramatic string of episodes.  You learn about the intricacies and ambiguities of love.  You see the developing relationship between two cop-brothers that hits some bumps and sharps.  Their bond is tested over and over again, and you see they look out for each other like real family.  You shed some tears (maybe that’s just me) for Pi Zi when you observe his pitiful, lonely, and confused past.  Your heart aches for Hero’s varying degrees of love for different women, while he tries to stay ultra-focused on his labyrinth of a job.  You wonder even how the Triad leader is not such a bad man after all, how he uses his power to love and protect.  You wonder about the past of some characters, especially when you learn about the sadness behind Pi Zi and Hero.  Boy, do you also get knocked over with the surprise bombs relating to the main characters.

In summary, this drama is well worth watching.  The acting was professional and amazing.  Everyone did well on their part, whether crying or yelling to the point of boiling over.  The fighting scenes were well-choreographed and executed to perfection.  It’s different than some mainland cop dramas; this has young, hip, and very attractive actors and actresses who deserve praise for their hard work and talent.  I was kept in suspense after each episode, to the point that I could finish up to 5 episodes a night between studying and school.  Even the music grew on me over the course of the drama, like any repetitious playing can do to anyone.  I’d like to suggest the new Taiwanese band COLOR who contributed to some pleasant pop-rock music.  Plus, there will be a movie sequel coming out soon next year, so stay tuned for that.  Definitely give this a try if you’re digging for action and suspense!

When you’re split in half…

TaiwanTaiwan flag

What am I? ABC (American Born Chinese) or ABT (American Born Taiwanese) or ABCT??? I’m a strange mix of mainland China and Taiwan, two classic enemies since Communists took over China. Thanks to my dad, I’m part “Taiwanese” and thanks to my mom, I’m part “Shanghainese.” Interesting right? I sometimes think I float in the middle of the South China Sea between the two lands. When people ask me where I’m from, it’s always a stumble, because I do make that distinguishing mark between China and Taiwan. I’m Chinese, but technically Taiwanese too. Since coming to NYU for college, I’ve slowly become attracted to my heritage and ethnicity. First, I became more in-tune to my Chinese traditions. Then, I fell in love with my Taiwanese half. When I look at my circle of friends over the years, they are predominantly Taiwanese. With them, I have a stronger connection, a greater sense of commonality. I’m also amazed at how many Taiwanese people there are around me at NYU (and probably elsewhere), especially since it’s such a tiny island! I noticed how people are sensitive to the difference between Taiwan and Chinese, to the point that they legitimately call themselves “Taiwanese.” I strangely fall into this category as well; I have pride in my dominant half and I can scream it to the world if I can. It’s just that pure Taiwanese people are not mixed like me, so they have a bigger reason to make that distinguishing mark. Most outsiders simply think Taiwan and China are one and the same, and technically Taiwanese people originated from China. However, both places should be separate because of the differing culture, governments, ideologies, and histories. China should stop being the big bad wolf of Asia, and let Taiwan be. Seriously.

big_bad_wolf_1003Great Wall China

I love speaking Mandarin now, even though I have a conspicuous accent. The accent is seriously weird, somewhere between ABC, Taiwanese and Shanghainese. For example, I cannot pronounce words with the annoying “r” roll in front every word like those Mainlanders. I see myself speaking this unique mix of dialects, but I find myself more like my dad most times. People do pick up on my pronunciations, and easily pick me out from a Southern background (in my case, Taiwan or Shanghai). Interesting how FOBs pick out people’s origins just by the way they speak. To keep going, I appreciate what the entertainment circle has to offer to the listening world. I watch Taiwanese shows (Korean and Japanese too) on Youtube, because unfortunately I do not get all the satellite channels from the island. Some of my favorites include: 康熙來了,完全娛樂,星光大到 just to name a few. This small list does not include the list of dramas I’ve spent every waking hour watching with record speed. I never thought about learning Chinese characters until recently. Now I try to read subtitles in traditional Chinese or even sing along to KTV to brush up my illiteracy.

Jay Chou in concert... up close and screaming!!POSER!!

I went to my first concert at Mohegan Sun to see Jay Chou, the greatest man on the planet (besides being Taiwanese). In my sophomore year, when I first caught “Yellow Fever,” I completely ripped off my wall of American people, and plastered my wall with printouts of Asian hotties (Jay Chou and Lee Hom included). I still have cravings for real Chinese food, and not just tourist trash. I flash the FOB peace pose everytime I take a picture, instinctively like it’s in my genes. Like there’s this awesome video called POSER!!! by WongFu, a internet-based production company that makes that hilarious vids on the Asian domination. All the videos are hilarious, and the Asian guys who came up with the ideas behind the Youtube videos are absolutely genius… Speaking of boys, I keep falling in love with Taiwanese guys (famous and non-famous btw), so much more sexy looking than mainland men 🙂 Never have I been this nutso about my culture, but boy has it really changed me.

I have this urge to go back to my dad’s motherland, even though he sees himself as more American than I do now. I want to spend more time there, and maybe visit the whole island that holds so much history and natural beauty. Last time I went, I had surgery for hyperhidrosis, so half the time I was recuperating and laying in the hospital. This time, I want to spend it well on a nice excursion far away from school.

Oriental Pearl TowerTaiwan sea

HK Night

My friends are not ALL Taiwanese, and I love everyone just the same. I appreciate my range of friends more than ever. I feel a bond with them when it comes to language, our upbringing, and our experiences in life. I honestly had no connection with my so-called friends in high school; I was more a mismatch in the gang, not really fitting into a particular clique. Now I feel more integrated in the classic Asian posse, almost reaching a sense of belonging 🙂 While I have continued exploring my deep enjoyment of the Asian gossip world and entertainment business, I am meeting the real Connie. I am not hiding from my identity anymore, I’m embracing who I am. I am lucky to have Shanghainese and Taiwanese roots, so that I experience the best of both worlds. I love my family and friends, and I will stay with them forever.