I’m fighting jet lag and some exhaustion in order to put some fingers to the keyboard. Twice in the past year or so, I’ve started an entry about our visits to Seoul and Kyoto/Osaka, but it’s so hard to encapsulate everything about a new visit to a new city, and yet that’s just what I want to do. Recently, we also went back to Taichung for a day, and in revisiting some of the blog entries I wrote in the summer of 2015 about our time there, I was reminded of not only how lovely some places were, but how I was transported back to that rhythm of life by the entries I wrote neatly documenting the minute details of our lives. It made me resolve that I’m going to spend more time putting that down, even imperfectly or piecemeal. Perfection is the enemy of getting anything done, as far as my blogging is concerned. So here’s some imperfection.
I had been planning my first trip back to the US since we moved to Taiwan, but it got moved up since I left my job at the end of December. Thus, I scheduled it for late January to avoid the crush of Chinese New Year, but I forgot the temperatures I would be facing. In fact, I left all my scarves and gloves in Taipei, and the first day out here, I started bitterly regretting that fact. The weather is just one of the many things I’m startled by. I’ve taken to religiously smearing Vaseline on my lips before bed, and reviving my habit of lotioning up. The cold is not only cold – it’s dry. I raise static on my arms taking off and putting on sweaters, the ends of my long hair stick to my puffy jacket, and I actually shocked myself the other day, something I haven’t done since 2013 in Chicago! How cold is it, you might ask? After lows in the 40s Fahrenheit in Taipei, I’ve now been thrown into the lower 20s, with significantly less humidity and more wind. My phone still thinks I’m in Celsius territory, though, so it routinely reminds me that it’s -1 degrees Celsius outside, striking fear into the hearts of those who know me back in Taiwan. Thank goodness for long underwear and my double-coated method, although I did have to buy myself something resembling a hat and gloves the first day I was out. Continue reading Return to the western motherland.