I was born in Taiwan, but moved to the United States when I was 2 ½ years old. I use to think how insane it was that out of all the states to choose from, my parents decided that Ohio was the place to be. Who wouldn’t want to experience extremely hot summers and road freezing winters? I grew up in Dublin, which is like the suburb of Columbus. It is a nice city that seemed all too sterile. After grade school and graduation, my escape from this place was so close I could taste it. I ended up attended college at The Ohio State University and what I tasted at first was bitterness, but soon turned into sweetness, much like a grapefruit. What I thought would be pure dread for the next four years of my life soon became appreciation and admiration; I’m super weird I know.
When I first started attending OSU, I began realizing that I’ve visited certain parts of campus before, more specifically Old North Columbus. I was experiencing déjà vu on a daily basis until it finally clicked in my head that I had been coming to this district ever since I was a child. In fact, I attended Chinese School every weekend for 12 years in same old historic high school that sits on the corner of Arcadia and High street.
Ah, but it doesn’t stop there! For the first 10 years of my life, I received my haircuts at the Santarelli Barber Shop, and these Asian grocery stores seem all too familiar as well. I guess I spent the last 15 years of my life day dreaming through all my weekend commutes to Columbus. Old North Columbus is a special area to me. I’ve unintentionally spent almost my entire life in this rather small district. I guess something about keeps luring me back, and honestly, I still have no idea what it is.
My Grandmother is extremely dear to me. In fact, a majority of my interests are strongly influenced by her. I often times view see her has my very own mother, not by choice but by circumstance. My parents worked very hard day and night when I was young to make our immigration work as comfortable as possible for us. Interaction between my parents and I were minimal at best, but I understood why. My Grandma raised me everyday as my parents worked. I remember following her around everyday watching her cook, garden, and clean. She was also a very crafty and frugal woman. If you give her some wire and string, I believe she can fix anything. Her daily tasks started influencing my interests at a young age. I wanted to help her cook, garden, and fix things, which at the time seemed fun, mimicking her daily ritual and viewing it as a game.
I soon realized that these tasks all boiled down to the idea of creating something, whether it is making dumplings from scratch or growing leeks in the garden. We were creating something from nothing, much like our lives here in America.