Friday, November 27, 2009


Berktown has been so quiet and empty for the past few days. The kinds of people I see around campus can be categorized into the following groups:

(1) international students
(2) out of state students
(3) a few Bay Area locals who were just hanging out in Berkeley
(4) people who are on the way to somewhere else
(5) homeless people

Yes, it’s quite depressing. It’s like being single on Valentine’s Day. You know it’s just like any other night, but the fact that you know other people are doing something special makes it slightly difficult to be alone.

This Thanksgiving is arguably the only “real one” I have ever experienced. My nuclear family is immigrants and we do not really care about this holiday. For the past two years, I went to a boyfriend’s house for Thanksgiving, but I felt that I was experiencing it from an outsider’s point of view. Literally it’s their relatives, the people they have married, and then me, both times. It was like I was making a guest appearance in some other family’s gathering. And before that, I think I just thought of Thanksgiving as a freebie day off from school.

My friend Melissa’s family was going to kindly adopt me this year, but at the last minute, I was informed that our entire huge extended family are all going to one of my aunts' house because one of my uncles is here from Taiwan, and he’s not here often. It was super fun. About 50 Taiwanese-/Chinese-Americans under one roof. A lot of Chinese food, alcohol, and picture-taking were involved. ☺

It’s really weird to think about how much our family is going to expand. And even weirder to imagine how I am going to fit into all of it in the future. I have about 20 first cousins alone. And some of them are already married. Few even already have kids. At my cousin Amy’s wedding last week, the group of us 18-25 year old first cousins was talking about making a bet about which of us will get married soon.

Anyway, I am thankful for the following.
… that I am still very close with my brother, despite rarely seeing him anymore
… for my friends who have helped and supported me in any manner possible
… for UC Berkeley (even though I have very, very severe senioritis, I have really learned here)

… realizing that my extended family is pretty awesome and that I do like them (long story short: I didn’t meet most of them until I immigrated here and when they first met me, I was too young and spoke terrible English. And then after that I became more occupied with school and stopped attending family events. It was more like I didn’t know them enough to like them, but recently from Amy’s wedding and Thanksgiving, I have gotten to know them better.)

… for health, mine and other worthy figures' in my life
… that Taiwan is still there, not bombed, in the middle of a war or anything
… that this year is almost over and 2010 will be a brand new year (2009 has been very rough on me, but hey, what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, right?)

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