Thursday, 15 December 2005

Other family reunion

My godmom had a job in Tainan, so I went down south to meet her. I picked a flight so that I would land at around the same time as Grandma and Oneesan. I didn't know exactly what time everyone was landing, but guestimated and everything ended up fine! There were some communications problems and Grandma didn't know I was coming, so she was completely (and I hope pleasantly) surprised to see me.

We stopped by a fruit store before heading back to Grandma's flat overlooking Chengqing Reservoir (澄清湖) in Kaohsiung. Taiwan's fruits are indeed delicious!

After some chatting with Grandma and her sister, Oneesan and I went back to the room that we were sharing and continued to talk. My Japanese has gotten pretty bad, but somehow, we managed to talk until my head just hurt too much to stay awake any longer. It was only 2h00. I usually have a hard time sleeping, but underneath about five futons and with her in the next bed, I konked out right away.

The next morning, we packed up, and headed out. Mama wasn't arriving until afternoon, so we had some time to ourselves. I forgot my powder at home, so we went to a department store, where I found some nice stoles and neckerchiefs on sale as well.

Afterwards, we went across the street to a duck place that Lydia recommended. It was one of places where tables were on the side walk but the kitchen was inside, so there was plenty of dust swirling around and people walking through. It sure was popular, though. Oneesan seemed to like it.

Lydia recommended duck noodles and pig's blood, and that's what we got (and veggies, of course). I only ate a little, which was probably good, because as we went back across the street, we found GELATO. Neither of us are supposed to be having that stuff, but it felt good doing bad things together. And it feels good to have a big sister.

When Grandma and her sister picked us up, we were still eating our ice creams. She started talking about work (I think she was managing this job) and then started lecturing and somehow I became involved in some of it (I was just there to see my godmother...) and our ice creams first didn't taste the same anymore, then melted. Well, such is life. We weren't supposed to be eating it anyway...

The car ride felt so long and I thought we'd never arrive at the airport. Eventually, we did, and so did Mama. She always makes me nervous because I have to stay on my toes, but at the same time, it was such a comfort to see her. It was as if all of a sudden, I felt that everything I had been worrying about would turn out OK.

We had dinner with the sponsor. It seemed like a 20-course meal and I thought my stomach was literally going to burst. I think my stomach has shrunk considerably--good news. My favorite dish out of the whole meal, though, was a plate of greens with ginko nuts and lotus roots. Perhaps I'm just meant to be an herbivore. My favorite dessert was the almond tea with fried breadstick (油條杏仁茶).

While Oneesan was taking the picture, someone was peeking from behind...

The next day was work, and they put me to work too. Mostly, they just had me take pictures for them during the event. While the scene wasn't new to me, the experience served to remind me that I've grown a little. I felt like I was kind of working between the media and the subject. While the media can be a big pain the butt sometimes, sometimes they don't have a choice but to be that way. Most sensible celebrities know it and try to make everyone's job easier. I used to be very annoyed at how rude the media is, but now I know (and experience) how they feel, and how great it is when the subject tries their best to accommodate.

We ended up returning to Taipei that night, instead of Kaohsiung as planned. Everyone was either too tired or still had other work to do, so dinner was all done in the hotel. I went with my godmom and the sponsor to the Taiwanese restaurant in B1 of the Howard Plaza Hotel, and it was great, but everyone was falling asleep and didn't know what to say anymore, except for "oishii, oishii, oishii."

After dinner, they had more meetings and I stayed in the other room, blogging and watching a bad movie on HBO. Afterwards, I talked with my godmom until neither of us could keep our eyes open, which was about ten minutes, and crawled back to my room with Oneesan.

The next morning, we left together--they for the airport and me for work. Whirlwind family reunion. Then I realized that I forgot to get a picture with them. When you're behind the camera long enough, you tend to stay there... Must get in front!

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