Dream of Tai­wan tour in­ter­rupted

China Daily (USA) - - CHINA - ZhangHui, 29, a mag­a­zine editor in Shang­hai spoke with Luo Wangshu

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.

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