In 1978, my father boarded a plane
and flew to a place where it’s always sunny
In this new land, many things he did gain
Including a daughter who speaks Chinese funny.
The exterior of the airport has changed very little in the last 33 years (the most obvious difference is the addition of two MRT exits).
Man, I miss being an Asian with a perm. I got my hair permed a few months after I got here in 2007, when “dolly hairdos” (娃娃頭) were trendy. It was great, except for the part where my stylist told me I could not wash my hair for THREE DAYS. I was already baking under the dryer at that point, so I decided not to freak out. But I cried on the inside. I am a little obsessed with having squeaky clean hair. I am not happy until I’ve scrubbed my scalp with so much product (I usually mix a couple of shampoos and a conditioner together in the palm of my hand) that it whimpers for mercy. I hate myself when my hair starts looking stringy, so I keep a bottle of dry shampoo on hand for emergency touch-ups during the day. Sometimes when we are out and I am staring into my compact mirror, frantically trying to fluff up my greasy side-swept bangs, my husband will try to convince me that my hair totally does not look filthy. YES IT DOES.
No matter where I have lived, from Astoria, Queens, to Taipei City, I have always seen things that I think are lovely: