Dream of Taiwan tour interrupted
Iplanned to visit Taiwan in October during the GoldenWeek holiday. But my parents are strongly against the trip because of safety concerns.
My mother constantly talked about the bus fire in July that killed 26 people and warned methat “Taiwan is full of drunk, unstable, emotional drivers”. My father sent me negative news about how mainland tourists were mistreated in Taiwan virtually every day.
I think their concerns were mainly driven by politics. I do not care about politics, and I worry less. But when I receive negative information on a daily basis, I question myself: Is it true? Is it safe? I meant to have fun during the holiday, not to suffer.
I have longed to visit Taiwan since I was in middle school. From romance stories, I came to know Taipei’s restaurants, bookstores and parks as if they were inmy hometown. But it was not easy to visit Taiwan until 2008, when the island opened to mainland travelers.
In that year, I was about to graduate from college, and I was busy with internships, job hunting and preparing graduate school entrance exams. At that time, it became less important to travel to Taiwan to look formy rosy dreams of adolescence.
But last summer my parents went to Taiwan as part of a group tour. They talked about the places they visited, how clean the city was and how nice and polite the people were. My Taiwan yearnings returned. It was August, and I laid plans to go to Taiwan during the National Day holiday. But as I prepared documents, I was told it was too late. All seats were sold out. Taiwan authorities set a quota limiting the number of mainland travelers, somy only choice was to wait for another holiday.
I met my boyfriend at the end of 2015, which made me more eager to visit Taiwan because I would love to share my rosy teen dreams with him.
I was ready for almost anything, but I did not expect the change in politics or in island residents’ attitudes toward mainland visitors. Most important, I did not expect the concerns ofmy parents.
In the end, I changed my October plan. Instead of visiting Taiwan, I will go to Japan withmy boyfriend. I hope when cross-Straits relations get better, the island will welcome me again.