I was born in a small village on Taiwan. My mother was a factory worker whilst my father worked in the office of a business which made stationary. My childhood was a very happy one and we stayed living on Taiwan until I was quite a bit older. One of my earliest memories is the rain season (monsoon) which we experienced in the northern part of the island – the rain poured down for many days and nights. As a small child, I remember worrying that our island might sink but I also remember playing at being pirates with my friends too – the stormy, wet weather lent itself to our games. As a child, I remember a lot of playing with my friends because both my parents worked so hard, I was often picked up from school by a friend’s parent to be collected later one once my mother had finished her shift. I didn’t mind this though as it meant I got to spend a lot of time with my friends: playing games, watching television and doing homework together. Of course, my relationship with my parents was always very good too. In my culture, respect is very important and although, as I grew older, there was the occasional tension between my father and I, my respect for him has always soothed that over.
I remember one year, my parents and I took a holiday and because we did not have a lot of money, we stayed in Asia and went to Japan for a week. It was here that I had my first kiss – I was twelve. She was a very pretty girl and she made me laugh – we met only briefly and it was as we parted that she shyly kissed me on the cheek. I can remember feeling very embarrassed at the time but when I think about it now, it was a lovely moment and one which I believe has helped me to grow into quite a gentle adult. Many of my childhood experiences have helped me to become who I am today. For example, my father taught me discipline and respect whilst my mother taught me love and caring. She would often do extra little things for me such as slipping me extra food, give me hugs for no real reason but just because she wanted to, and she would often bring little bits home from the factory which she thought I might like. My mother is a beautiful and extremely kind woman and it is largely due to her that I believe myself to have grown into a thoughtful and caring man. My father was also very caring but in an entirely different way. My strongest memory of him during my childhood was his strength and command of respect. But, I have always found him to be a fair man too – he is my role model and he always found the time to play catch with me and would regularly attend my baseball games.
Baseball was and still is one of my greatest passions. I think that it is this which partly helped me to settle into American culture so well when my family and I moved there when I was around the age of fifteen. The decision to move to America was made when, like so many others before us, my parents felt that our quality of life would be greatly improved and so would the opportunities I would be presented with as I neared the end of my high school education. My parents were excited for me to have all the choices and experiences which they were never given at home. When we moved, we settled into Washington City where I completed my last two years of high school before starting college here too. When we first moved here, I was amazed at how different the culture was from the one I knew from home. Everything is so much bigger in America and that took a while to get used to. I quickly realised that I love it here though and managed to make some new friends too. Because of America’s culture and multinational population, I was able to make friends with some other Taiwan natives but I was also able to improve my English by making some American friends too. I graduated from high school and my parents were very proud and now I’ve begun studying at college and they could not be prouder still. My upbringing has taught me to work hard and to as a non-native English speaker, I am learning to adapt and study in order to fit in as best as I can. My life so far has been one which I am pleased with – my lovely childhood has seen me grow into a determined young man and it is because of this that I believe that the best is yet to come for me and my family.