As so often happens, I got sidetracked with many things and have not been able to keep writing this blog regularly. School started, and the insane workload of my school started again. That trip I took up to Taipei resulted in a huge editing project, which is good for the money but terrible for free time.
But I am also dealing with some new matters regarding the next step of TaiwanTiger's life. Which is...adding a Tigress. I'm waist deep in the process--and quite a process it is!--of getting married in Taiwan. After asking F., I then asked her parents for approval (yes, in Chinese). The years of working to get their trust paid off, as even her father, who was against the idea of a foreigner dating his daughter, looked happy when he gave me the thumb and forefinger "OK" sign. Next come all the negotiations. I am required to pay a "diaper fee" to F's parents for raising her--essentially a dowry of sorts. I was against this from the beginning as symbolic of buying a wife, but we sort of negotiated it into a non-dowry sort of payment. Although normally an engagement party would be required, her mom said that we could forego that formality. Other things we don't need to do: invite a matchmaker to introduce our families, and consult a fortune teller for the best day. I still have to send about NT$100,000 worth of wedding invitation cakes to her family, however. We've also chosen to get pictures taken in the Taiwan style, before the wedding, all bound together in a little book.
Although F.'s family is somewhat conservative, they do realize that we need to balance their expections as well as my parents, and ours. My job is to keep reminding them of that. This is the general plan for mixing Eastern and Western traditions:
1. Perform traditional Taiwan ceremony where I drive to F.'s parent's house and perform some ceremonies and give some gifts, including bowing to them.
2. Then off to the church for a small Western church ceremony.
3. Next, a small reception/dinner for immediate family and friends who make the trip from the U.S, hosted by me and F.
4. The next day, the big Taiwanese blow-out reception hosted by the bride's family. We are expecting about 400 people, about 30 of which I will know. F. had a really cool qi2pao2 旗袍(traditional Chinese style dress, sometimes known as a "cheongsam") made. Think "In the Mood for Love" style. Very nice!
5. Later, a trip to the U.S. for a small reception for my family and parent's friends in my hometown. (I don't think I have any friends left there, anymore...)
Now, all this may be subject to change, as F's brother is getting married in February, and we may be scaling things down a bit. I'm really trying to push for simple + easy. Or eloping.