I’ve been pretty complacent about living in Taiwan–as you’ve probably noticed by my lack of interesting blog posts that detail life aside from my spider woes. It’s a shame to live somewhere so foreign and have the attitude, “Eh.. been here, done that.” (It’s a small island, so we literally “did that” when we were here 3 years ago). Anyhow, I’ve made a few friends and I’m getting myself out of the house and doing more. Since said friends are new here and don’t speak the language, I guess I’m the experienced one (if you can count previously living in Taiwan for 3 months”experienced”). Somehow I’ve tricked everyone into believing that I know what I’m doing, and I’ve begun organizing weekly adventures so they can see the island. The fact that I have a Chinese speaking husband is only a teeny tiny advantage–we’d be lost for days without him.
This Saturday’s adventure was, drum roll… Fulong Beach! Yes, we’ve been there and we’ve already done that, but who the heck cares? It’s a beach, AND they were hosting an international sand sculpting competition, which was awesome. I seriously underestimated these artist’s abilities. I was anticipating a few meter-high, eroded sandcastles (the pieces were built a month ago and it’s rained nearly every day since), but all of them exceeded my expectations. Some impressed me by their size, others by their detail, and some by the creativity of concept. I think I need to take up sand sculpting–I’m feeling inspired. Needless to say that they were in remarkable condition for being over a month old. The artists use some sort of a shellac that forms a rock hard shell and preserves their sand art.
One of 4 sides to “Around The World In 80 Days.”
Doesn’t this look right at home in Taiwan’s misty mountains?
This was one of 4 sculptures the artist used to tell a narrative.
Morocco – my favorite piece.
The detail on this sculpture is insane–look at the tiny people in the alleyways!
Venice’s Santa Maria della Salute.
This is Kinley’s reaction to seeing a “wave” (aka – that tiny stream of water) come at her.
She’s a crowd pleaser. This audience doubled in size within 5 minutes. Taiwan has the lowest birthrate in the world, so any baby, especially a foreign one, is picture worthy.
I get a lot of flack from my family for my abnormally long “awkward phase.” Because the photos are too good not to share, and to give hope to anyone who is going through a similar phase, here is a snippet of the Father’s Day letter I wrote for my always-loving dad:
They always say that a woman’s self esteem depends heavily on the male influences in her life. You must have done something right because I have buckets of confidence. I always have been confident — even when I was a brace faced dork with bad hair, a lazy eye, and a Krispy Kreme hat. (Yes, that’s me on the left. Unfortunately.)
The point is, I’m fully aware that I’m not exceptional to the world, but I’m exceptional to my family. They instilled in me some kind of remarkable confidence that somehow didn’t get squashed during my long and painful awkward phase.
It’s too bad that I don’t have a paper bag over my head in this photo. However, I seem pretty content to be goofy little me.
This is me exuding confidence on the volley ball court although I was on the C team. The C team was for all the un athletic, sorry souls who couldn’t serve the ball overhand and didn’t make the A team or the B team. I also played tennis all 4 years of high school and didn’t win a single game–now that’s tenacity.
Around my senior year in high school, I eventually began to grow into my skin. This was a big relief seeing as how the Krispy Kreme photo wouldn’t have looked so great tucked into my graduation announcements.
Since I’m married and have 2 dads now (it’s a pretty good deal), I want to thank my amazing father-in-law, John, who is equally supportive. I think he has as much faith in my ability to accomplish the impossible as God Himself does. He genuinely believes that I can be a model and should be on the Food Network. While both are impossible until I grow a foot and actually learn how to cook, I love his atypical optimism and faith in me.
The moral of the story is:
- Parents do a lot to shape the confidence of their children. Hit it John Mayer…. “Fathers be good to your daughters. Daughters will love like you do…. Girls become lovers who turn into mothers, so mothers be good to your daughters toooooo.” (applause)
- I’m not the sharpest tool in the shed, the prettiest petal in the peony, nor the best blogger on bandwidth (it’s getting creative up in here). Only one person will ever be the smartest, prettiest, or wittiest, but I doubt that’s a reasonable excuse to mope around and not do things for fear of embarrassment. Having a little confidence will nudge out the disappointment when we do fail, but like me and my tennis racket, you’ll have a good time in the process.