How Do You Like Them Apples?


Today, I told my mom that like she used to do for us, I wash, peel, and chop up fruit for my kids to eat.  They love it and can inhale quite a bit.  My mom laughed and said, yes, your little sister used to wonder why American apples never tasted as good as Taiwanese apples.  She reminded me that I also stopped eating fruit when I went to study at University in Canada, away from home.  She sent me her journal entry and I’ve translated it for us to enjoy.

Taiwanese Apples are Better than American Apples!

In the heart of S, there was a question. Since apples are imported from the United States to Taiwan, why then did the apples that were eaten in the States never as delicious as the ones she ate at home in Taipei?  It wasn’t until one night during her senior year at university, did she suddenly realize the answer!

Two of her classmates were hanging out with her in her dorm room that night. She took out an apple from the refrigerator and asked the two whether they would like to have some. Both of them shook their heads no. She then cut up the apple and just before she started to eat and purely out of courtesy, she politely asked them once again if they wanted to have any.  Her friends suddenly changed their minds and now wanted to have some.

The question that S had harboured for so long was finally answered! The apple eaten at home in Taiwan was peeled, washed, and cut into pieces by mom. Of course that tasted so much better than apples in the U.S. that had to be peeled, washed, and cut into pieces by herself!





Finding Kung Fu

Growing up Chinese means that Kung Fu isn’t alien to me.  The Buddhist concepts are as close to what I would consider religious or spiritual guidance I can accept as anything I’ve ever experienced.

My children are a product of a mixed marriage and I have not been diligent about teaching them Chinese.  I have felt a lot of guilt over the past few years, having children that aren’t perfectly bilingual in English and Chinese, but my excuse is that I function best in English and I’m giving them the best me.  Since my mother once told me that a problem is not really a problem if money can fix it, I decided that I would try throwing money at the problem.  Google is my friend.  For whatever reason, the Shaolin Temple Quanfa Institute came up when I Googled “Mandarin children Toronto”.  I sat up with excitement about the thought of my boys fighting off bullies with moves from Bruce Lee, Jackie Chan, Jet Li, Michelle Yeoh or Sammo Hung.  Finding Mandarin classes will be my next project, I thought to myself.

At the time, the boys were reluctantly taking Taekwondo.  They never quite took to it and it was such a chore getting them to go to class every week.  I relished the thought of telling my parents that I was putting the kids in something so very Chinese in heritage.  I was delighted from day one: at their trial session, they rushed in with gusto and it has been such a chore getting them to go home after an hour and a half of their tough kung fu work out every since.

We found Kung Fu!