Xiaomei's Story


Xiaomei grew up in a fishing village, in the south of Taiwan. She takes a look back at her family’s past, as well as on her personal experience of Taiwan-China relations.

- Illustrations : Z.Q. -

Stories from Summer '11

“When I was little, our family had a fishing boat. Papa would spend half a year at sea. He worked very hard.

I missed him very much at times.

Then there was a typhoon. While my father escaped, the ship was destroyed.

My father decided to learn cooking, and we opened a restaurant.”

“When Grandpa was younger, he liked to go pond fishing. However, recreational pond fishing was prohibited.

One day, the Japanese police caught him.

The person in charge of the local temple knew Grandpa well and told the police that he was, in fact, fishing for the temple.

The police released Grandpa.”

“My aunt’s husband is a Waishengren: he is the first member of our family not to be ethnic Taiwanese.

When they came to our house to discuss the marriage, her parents spoke in Mandarin.

But my grandfather and grandmother don’t speak Mandarin. They speak the Minnan language.

In the end, everyone was a bit embarrassed… They didn’t speak much. ”

When I was studying in France in a language school, I said one day “In Taiwanese books, the characters are written vertically. That’s the traditional way.

A student from the continent replied : “We are more advanced, we changed our system to write horizontally, like in the West.

I thought to myself : “Was that really necessary?”

We should not talk anymore…”