A portrait of a woman, wearing a white shirt and a grey jacket and smiling into the camera. The image is taken spontaneously in the streets of Jiufen. Some of the houses can be seen warm and blurred in the background.

A Different World

“Having a baby teaches you to see the world with new eyes” they say. I guess having visitors from Europe over does just the same, especially if they have not been to Asia… ever.

At the beginning of November, our mothers visited us for a few weeks. (Or “stepmothers,” as a friend phrased it jokingly.) It was a great time and Anna and I both very much enjoyed to show them around, to experience their curiosity and wonder, to see their wide-open, mesmerized eyes. “Now I understand why you want to stay.”

Even when coming, I was very happy that I felt like being friends with my parents. It was work, of course, but very much worth it. It allowed me to be candid about my experiences here, also in hard times; to visit them for extended periods when traveling back home and enjoy that shared time.

Having my mother over now was even better. She had not traveled outside Europe yet, and I loved how she lived the time here as if re-living a youthful adventure. I am glad to have shared that time with her.

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