Sunday, March 30, 2014

Early Morning Walk!

Just one day after we arrived at my parents’ home in Taipei, both children got up very early, without any problem, as they had some jet lag.  My father was very happy to take us out for his regular morning exercise, a walk. It was the walk he did every morning around the neighborhood and the University campus. Our children were still wearing their Disney hats and, for the first time, they saw that a lot of people were already up, many of whom were doing different types of exercises. They saw the basketball court where I used to play. Of course, they saw the classrooms where I used to attend my classes. And, of course, they got a chance to see the beautiful campus of Taida, the most prestigious University on the island. Of course, they do not now remember any of these experiences, but I am sure that they learned something which is part of the early education they experienced. We human beings learn from many sources, and we do not know at the time what eventually becomes part of who we are. By the time we started to walk back home, the sun was just coming up in our faces, as you can see in the last two pictures.taiwan-5taiwan-3taiwan-4taiwan-1taiwan-2

Thursday, March 27, 2014

First Time for Steven

Our next stop was our main destination for this big trip --- Taiwan. This was Steven’s first visit to the place where I grew-up. Panpan had been there once before, but she was only a few months old in 1969. In 1972, father retired and came to visit USA and we did not go back Taiwan. So for practical purposes, this was the first time that both of our children can remember that they were there in Taiwan. We arrived in the middle of June, and, of course, my parents were there to welcome us at the airport. The weather in Taiwan was very comfortable at that time of the year. My father had already been retired for a while from his position at the University by that time, so we did not have many extra people coming to the airport to welcome us, as had happened in 1969. The pictures below were all taken right at the exit door from Custom’s at the airport. It took just a few minutes for Steven to warm up to everyone after this long and tiring trip!

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Tuesday, March 18, 2014

What is in a Chinese name?

As a parent, you get the right to name your children. In China, the name of a person is very important and, therefore, to name your children is a serious task. Not only do you have to worry about the meaning of the name, how it sounds is another factor, as you do not want your children to be bullied because his or her name sounds like something bad.The names you choose represent not only your mental mood but also your educational level. Earlier, I wrote about family poems and the one word in a name which is used to show your generation. That is, all your siblings share one common word in a three word name. Today I am using another example to show you how names for children are often selected. Debbie and Lin-Fung Yang have two children. The older one, a boy, is named Lotay, which is formed in two parts. Lo, the first part, refers to Los Angeles and the second part, Tay,  refers to Taiwan. Both parts were used to represent important locations for the parents. These places were most significant to them and they wanted their son to remember them. Lotay was only five years old when we were staying at his home. It was a big surprise for Steven to learn while we were there that he was Lotay’s uncle, the same generation as Lotay’s mother!


Monday, March 17, 2014

First Time at Disneyland

Our next stop before getting onto an airplane to go to Taiwan was Los Angeles. My cousin Debbie Yuan was living there with her husband Yang Lin-fung. While we were in LA, we did not waste any time and went to visit Disneyland one day. We had a great time there - it was our first visit. Both children were old enough to enjoy many of the rides. From the Small World to the Pirate Boat ride, we did not mind lining up and waiting for a long time to share their joy. The Unusual Ant Hill and the regular carousels were both visited. Certainly we talked and took pictures with many of the characters which made Disney famous. disneydisney-3disney-9disney-5disney-6disney-7disney-4disney-8

Friday, March 14, 2014

Hoover Dam

After visiting the Grand Canyon, we drove to Hoover Dam. It was an extremely hot and dry day. We felt dehydrated, and our children could not drink enough water. Besides looking at the Dam, we did very little besides eat our lunch at a public park. We then drove quickly out of that small town. The scenery there is desert-looking, and the lake did not even look wet. How strange!hoover-75hoover-2hoover-3

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Grand Canyon, Here we come!

After New Mexico, we drove west to Arizona. Of course, we had to stop at the Grand Canyon. This was the first time that we were able to go there together, and we knew that these types of occasions were generally quite rare. The Grand Cannon certainly made our mouths drop open. We were impressed by the enormous scope of wilderness and by the dimensions of the canyon, which had been carved out by nature. We did not hike down the trail to the river, but we walked everywhere on the ridges at the top of the entire south rim. We took a lot of pictures, including one of our small family of four together:grand-scene-2grand-scenegrand-scene-3grandgrand-2grand-3grand-4grand-5grand-6

Thursday, March 6, 2014


After we left Dodge City, we again drove along Interstate 40 to Albuquerque, NM. We stopped at our old friends’, the Kasses, home. We knew Bill and Anne while we were at  the University of Illinois. Bill was Professor Yankwich’s post doctorial fellow. He and Anne returned to New Mexico, which they had loved when he was a student at Arizona State University during the time he did his graduate work, in Chemistry of course. While he and I worked in the same lab, we got to know the couple very well. We even introduced them to the game of Bridge. Bill later became an official “master” in the game. When we visited them in Albuquerque, Bill was working at Sandia Corporation. Anne later finished her law degree in NM and became a famous local family court judge. On our short stay there, our children really enjoyed their two small dogs!  kasseskasses-2