At that time, quite a number of changes were evident in Taiwan. We could no longer hear venders’ special calls while pushing or pulling carts with their goods. For example, they might call out “watermelon – very sweet – but it now” (in Chinese, of course). The fruit stands were stationary. Customers went to the stands to buy what they needed for the day. Later, even the number of these stands started to decrease, and some spaces were then used to sell different merchandise. In 1975, we saw many food stands which sold ready-to-eat items such as noodles or soup, etc. The following pictures include plastic toy stands, as well as fish and sausage stands, and shops selling semi-prepared items, such as meat balls or fish balls.
Sunday, April 27, 2014
The year 1975 was near the beginning of Taiwan’s economic boom. People were definitely getting richer. We could feel the change when we were there. Things such as the increase of choices in materials for clothing, shoes, and many other daily items were notable. While the vegetable and fruit stands remained, the stands themselves were in bad shape. Vegetables and fruits were plentiful and very fresh, and there were many choices. Since we had our own kitchen, Janice had many chances to shop for our daily food. The typical stands are shown below, in the following pictures. They looked shabby and worn-out, but, unknown to us, it would be hard to even see them again in later days. Today these things are only found in grocery stores! Everything changes, including the vegetable and fruit stands.
Saturday, April 26, 2014
While we were in Taipei, we took a number of side trips nearby, just for the day. One of them was to YeLiu, which was opened after I left Taiwan, so I had never been there before. We were invited by Alice Ma’s parents. Alice was then studying at East Tennessee State for her MBA degree. Alice was introduced to us by Sherman, who was our best man in our wedding. Her father made the arrangements for us to have a car to go there and we had a lunch afterwards. It was a very nice day out. This is a place with interesting geo-rocks and special sea shores - we enjoyed every minute!
Friday, April 25, 2014
We had several swimming parties at our home and at the Friests’ home that summer. We used plastic swimming pools which were very popular in 1974. Wendell and Faith Friest were living in Taipei at the time. Wendell had graduated from St.Paul Theological Seminary not very long before and had come back to this place which he loved, Taiwan, as a missionary. They had three girls then. We went to their place a couple of times and they came to our place, too, for a fun party. The pictures below give you some glimpses of the happy time of our kids.
Tuesday, April 22, 2014
My father had one older brother and a couple of younger sisters. My mother, on the other hand, had a brother and one older sister. These were the relatives we were told about. I only met one of my father’s sisters and she only for one month, when she came to our home in Nanking to visit, before we moved to Taiwan in 1948. I called her Googoo and had a very good impression of her, as she was the only relative who gave me some of her spare change, in private, whenever she could, during the month she was with us. In Taiwan, we had quite a number of relatives, but most of them were part of my generation and their children. In 1975, we visited quite a number of them and many of them visited us. Here I have collected several pictures of those who came to visit us over the three month period.Hweige was my mothers’ niece, the daughter of my mother’s older sister. She passed away last year in 2013, in Tainan at her younger daughter’s home.Yaouge was in the military. He was my mother’s nephew. He died early and had a hard life. His brother Wien-Ge was also one of our visitors this summer, but I have no picture of him this time. Huang Hong Tai was the son of my father’s nephew. He was born in Taiwan and was in high school when we visited Taiwan that year. His family are now the only living relatives from my father’s side.The two pictures above are of the Yuan Family. Yuange was the husband of Xiaojie, who was my father’s niece. She played an important role in my family’s life, not only with respect to my father but also with regard to others in the family. I will say more about her later. Here they were with their grand child. Erge was my father’s nephew, Er means two in Chinese, as he was the second male in my father’s older brother’s home. I am the ninth if you follow the count of his family first, since my uncle had eight male children. Xiaojie was an older sister of Erge, but she was not counted as she was a girl. Erjie (in the picture above) was Erge’s wife and HongTai was their son!Zhu-ge and his wife Zhu-sao were my mother’s family relatives. They were really Hwei-ge’s relatives on her father side. So this family was not really directly related to my parents.
Sunday, April 20, 2014
As we lived in a house separate from my parents that summer, not only did we have to cook once in awhile for ourselves, when we were not invited out for dinner, but, more importantly, we had to clean our clothes regularly – almost daily. Clearly some help was necessary. We were lucky to have a regular washing lady come almost daily to wash our clothes by hand, since there was no washing machine available. A back yard was also necessary, as we had to dry our clothes there. The backyard had some papaya trees with papayas on them. I thought you would like to see our yard and our regular washing lady. Panpan was happy to help her sometimes!
Saturday, April 19, 2014
One of the activities we did regularly during our three month visit was to to play cards with my parents. Many times, the players may only be the grandparents against their young grandchildren, Panpan and Steven. The two main games were “Believe it or not” and “Connect the Dragon”. And they were playing the games quite seriously, no one was willing to lose! They played as often as they had free time together. The following pictures were very typical!!!
Sunday, April 13, 2014
I mentioned about the basketball court at Taida last time. It was a place of great significance in my life. I started to play there when I was about twelve, right after I started my junior high school at Banqiao. At the beginning, it was only on the weekends during school time. But in the summer time, it was every day!! Sometimes, it was twelve hours a day! Of course, my best friend, Taotze, was with me most of the time. Sometimes, we went there to play early in the morning, then we walked to Reservoir Place to swim in the afternoon, and came back for more basketball! If you are wondering if we drank something when we were there all day long, the answer is “yes”! Although we did not have coca cola or other soft drinks, there were venders who carried iced tea on the backs of their bicycles. For a few pennies, we could drink until we were happy again. When we returned in the summer of 1975, people were using the basketball for some other type of exercise, no one was playing basketball. Life had certainly changed!
Thursday, April 10, 2014
My parents’ house on the same old street was still our base. In the following pictures you can see the front door and the trees in our yard. Many of these were fruit trees while others were nice decorative ones, which either blossomed or gave off a special fragrance.
We stayed there only a very short time, as my parents had arranged for us to live in another house nearby. That way we could have some flexibility and more space. The house was only a few blocks away on the same street, but on a different lane. It was also a single house with a lot of trees. I took a couple of pictures of the lane in both directions. You can see our children standing in front of our outside gate.