As I wrote in my first Taiwan blog post, the point of the trip was to surprise my grandma for her birthday. When we weren’t exploring different parts of Taipei, we spent time with my grandma, which often involved meals, which frequently included her circle of friends.
The biggest meal was a birthday lunch hosted at a Neihu District restaurant by three of my grandma’s oldest friends whose husbands had all served in the Republic of China’s Navy with my grandpa in World War II. The husbands have died after enjoying decades of friendship, but their widows are still close friends. It was certainly the most lively meal we had in Taiwan, with a lot of delightful banter that I couldn’t understand but still enjoyed.
After the meal, I took portraits of each of the women, as well as my grandma, outside the restaurant:
Then, the women parted ways, either by taxi or subway:
Growing up, my brothers and I would see our grandparents every Sunday for dinner, but I’d never spent much time with my grandma until this trip to see her in Taiwan. It was really lovely getting to learn more about her life and character as we sat together for breakfast every morning, and to meet so many of her friends throughout the week. It was also very special to me, as a photographer, to get to photograph my grandma in her own country, on film. I only wish we’d been able to do this sooner, and that we might be able to do it again in the near future.
That’s the last of my Taiwan blog posts (until I visit again?!). Here’s a quick rundown of the previous ones, if you happened to miss any:
- Welcome back, Grandma
- Da’an District
- Xinyi District
- Guandu Temple and Beitou District
- Huiji Temple on Zhishan
- Taipei by night
- Spirited away in Jiufen
- Jiufen by night
- Lungshan Temple of Manka
- Bopiliao Old Street
- Maokong Gondola
- National Palace Museum
- Day market
- Night markets