Last week my Uncle Daniel came to Taipei from Singapore and introduced Ron and me to a friend of his who makes traditional Chinese hand-puppets. I like dolls and puppets in general, so it was very exciting for me to see her studio:

Puppet lady

A lady puppet with hand-crafted hair jewels.

Puppet dudes

Puppets representing different characters from Chinese folktale and mythology

Blue puppet head

A blue puppet head

Puppets!

Ron and me with the puppet designer. She had a matchmaker puppet on her hand and was marrying the puppets Ron and I had. As it turns out, Ron and I had two guy puppets. Did you know that same sex marriages are legally recognized in puppet land?

Uncle Daniel, me and Ron again

Ron and me with my Uncle Daniel

Puppets in a row

Puppet ladies in a row.

Puppet feet

Poor leetle puppet feet

You can see more photos here. Each of the puppets and all of their clothes and adornments are hand-crafted by artisans in China, and they are sold in Eslite bookstore, among other places. I really appreciate puppets and dolls because I feel like playing with them is great therapy. You can project all your innermost thoughts and feelings onto them. It’s a great way to have a dialogue with yourself without actually having to resort to talking to yourself. I know my life has become much more meaningful since I started hanging out with Blythe dolls:

Bah, love!

I know some people think puppets and dolls–especially Blythe dolls–are creepy. I think those people are just jealous because they never had a childhood and therefore do not understand the wonders of make-believe!

Anyway, aside from puppets and dolls, I also enjoy making jewelry and needlework, so you can imagine my head just exploded while I was in the puppet workshop. I am currently trying to knit a lace shawl, but it’s not really something I can do while studying, so it’s going veeeeery slowly. I do think it’s very important to have a hobby, however, especially one that involves working with your hands, as a way of relaxing. After a long day of memorizing characters and slaughtering the Mandarin language with my hilarious accent and reckless approach to grammar, I really do like being able to use my brain in a different way.