26 September, 2008

Arriving in America with an extra large Stetson and cowboy boots

Portland, Oregon - The slurring Englishman and I discussed the virtues of a six-pack of Scrumpy Jack at Bridgeport Brewing Company. It's not everyday that one gets to debate the fine points of a Hereford cider over a piss, but the rant distracted me from the business of dad's burial arrangements and the USC Trojans' loss to Oregon State University tonight. Who loses to a football team called the Beavers?!

I arrived at Seattle - Tacoma International Airport at 18:40 on September 24, 2008. It's only the second time I traveled internationally with my dad; the first time was in 1980, when my family of four last took a vacation together.

It's difficult to imagine that my mother, sister, and I arrived in the United States in Spring of 1983, without ten words of English, and me with a fancy for cowboy get-ups and Wild West movies. I would soon fall under the spell of David Hasselhoff and Knight Rider (little did I know at the time that the program's producer labeled the show a "sci-fi thing, with the soul of a western"). Quelle horreur!

I had friends and poor grades at my elementary school in Taipei. I was happy. Moving to the States was my parents' choice. Since becoming a Californian, I have spent most of my energy fighting my parents' dreams, and have wasted their efforts to provide me with a proper education.

But the last two weeks of reflection with my mother was nice. While it wasn't entirely pleasurable, it is good that I had one of the unusually frank exchanges with one of my parents. I told her that I want to leave the U.S. for graduate schools in Europe, I'm not getting a MBA, and that I am not entirely happy that I didn't have a say in our family's move to North America in the early '80's.

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