Taiwan.1

22 12 2008

Hello!

I’m sitting at a internet kiosk in Taipei right now. The flight to cambodia boards in about thirty minutes so I can’t talk much. I couldn’t sleep on the flight, so if I sound incoherrent, that’s why. Anyways, its slightly humid here, which makes me fear what will surely be crazy humidity in Cambodia.

BTW, I took a picture next to a giant gundam because I don’t think I will see another one for a long time. Also I want to buy some Japanese magazines here, but I’m not sure if they take USD.

Anyways, I have to get going, but I have to say, even from just wandering the airport, Taiwan looks like an amazing and beautiful place to visit/live. Time to make more travel plans! Taiwan anyone?

Y (you know, the hand sign) from Taipei,
Kev

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Cambodia.1

21 12 2008

And so it begins.

My two week tango with Cambodia will begin in approximately 24 hours. I don’t know how often I will have access to a working internet connection, so bear with me, as updates may be slow.

I’m not sure what to expect, but I have written out a to do list, which will grow as I get bored on my 14-hour flight to Taipei and then the however-many-hour flight to Phnom Penh.

So far, my list is as follows:

  • Do not scratch mosquito bites
  • Eat a spider
  • Eat a grasshopper
  • Talk to one random person
  • Gastronomic video documenting
  • Chat for the first time with aunt, uncle and cousins
  • Ride on a moto
  • Karaoke
  • Take a picture where I am holding some sort of building
  • …Well, that’s all for now. Feel free to suggest other things I should do by commenting below–hopefully I will be able to check this while I’m there. Until then, I hope that all of you have a great holiday and get some solid rest before the next round of school/work starts.

    stay gold,
    kev





    Asian American.1

    26 11 2008

    It’s raining outside and I‘m sitting in a crisp-smelling Borders flipping though a book titled Asian American X. Getting over the badly designed cover, I open it to see if the words inside can better captivate me. Contained in the volume are several short pieces of writing composed by Asian-Americans. Their views are varied and encompass a myriad of different feelings and ideas, but there is one similarity that connects each author–the fact that they themselves feel so unfamiliar with whom they really are.

    I’ve never really questioned why the decimation of three-million Cambodians only receives a simple blurb in high school textbooks, or why when I try to talk about these three-million people, it is almost always new news to others. I never really questioned. I never really questioned why I accept the label ‘Asian’ when the cultures that comprise who I am are so radically and richly different. I guess it’s easy to fall into a sense of complacency and comfort as long as you tell yourself there are more important things to worry about.

    As I continued to read, I could feel a growing unease scratching the pit of my stomach. I was uncomfortably aware that I could relate to these authors.

    My close friend and I hold two differing beliefs when it comes down to Asian-American identity. My friend believes that it is inevitable that Asian-Americans will mix and embrace American culture, so one should just embrace it–embrace everything America stands for–you know, equality, freedom, hope, bootstraps–all that and other words with the same connotations. Don’t get me wrong, I believe this is a valid argument, but as I’ve already stated, I don’t agree with it.

    Of course, with future generations–the third, the fourth, the fifth, things will change, but I believe the question is not when, but how these generations will change. The period we live in marks a crucial point in shaping the Asian-American identity. By 2070, it is estimated that 1/3 of Asian-Americans will be mixed. What I am trying to say is that as first or second generation Asian-Americans, we are the only link that connects future generations of Asian Americans with the past generations who lived in Asia–that is to say, we are the gap that bridges the old and the new—what we make of this responsibility is entirely upon ourselves.

    My grandfather passed away two weeks ago and until then I did not realize that throughout my life, I’ve been learning things at school: math, science, History, English–but what was really missing in my studies was an education of who I am. It never occurred to me to ask my grandfather how to cook his (delicious) egg cake or make noodles (from scratch). It never occurred to me to ask him about his past life in China or interesting stories or why we preformed certain traditions the way we did; my grandpa seemed immortal to me, it never occurred to me that along with his physical passing there also passed with him a rich, cultural legacy.

    My friend is true in claiming that as generations progress, Asian-Americans will further latch themselves onto popular American culture—denying this is denying the inevitable. Where I choose to deviate from my friend is the belief that we should merely sit idle and let wave after wave of Hollywood-manufactured American culture shape who we, as Asian Americans are. Undoubtedly if left unchecked, the future of Asian-America will be comprised of the kung-fu-fighting, Harvard educated, sex kittens Asian Americans have been associated with.

    What I am ultimately trying to say, is that this is a pivotal point in Asian-American history—for many, this period will serve as the time when traditions and legacies are remembered or forgotten. I am not calling for any type of radical change, but simply that we need to take hold of what traditions and culture we can before the oozing ebb of manufactured American Culture steals it away and transforms it into next year’s new Urban Outfitter scarf or some exotic sixth flavor from Asia.

    Note: I understand some gross exaggerations are used in this entry.





    FILM.1

    24 10 2008

    So I’ve decided to post about my exploits in film!

    I finished my Campus Movie Fest movie this past monday–turned it in and everything.  Hopefully all goes well.  I based my story off of Roald Dahl’s short adult stories and the movie Kiss Kiss Bang Bang.  Now if you know about both these works, you can imagine I came up with some pretty messed up stuff!

    Anyways, I messed up my wall for my film, so I hope it makes it in the top 16 and makes me famous so that if I would ever need to mess up my wall, it would be paid for.

    My friend jeffreezy and I plan to do a couple of neat little short projects in the near future involving special effects and animation, so I’ll keep you posted on how all that is going!

    To wrap this up, I’m starting to traverse new cinematic territory by planning a documentary about my first trip to Cambodia.

    -xyke

    How many cannibals could your body feed?