Mother’s Day in Taiwan

Mother’s Day has always been a big deal in my house. When I was young, we would make cards for our moms in school during the week. Sunday morning would come, and I remember making mom toast so she can have “breakfast in bed” while I gave her the card.

The second Sunday in May is also Mother’s day here in Taiwan. But unlike in the US, it doesn’t seem to be as big of a deal.

In fact Belinda, my host mom’s daughter, has never made breakfast for her mom. So I spent an hour planning out Mother’s Day. It doesn’t seem that any of my Taiwanese friends normally do much for their moms either. This made me sad because I like to spend Mother’s Day showing mom how much I appreciate everything she does. I decided this was going to be the best Mother’s Day my host mom has ever had.

We got back to the house late, so Belinda and I had to quickly head to the international market in Taipei 101. With only 15 minutes, we had to get a taxi. Dozens of taxis went by before one was available. We got inside a taxi, but the cabbie ended up turning us away. He didn’t want to have to deal with the traffic.

Belinda and I sprinted two blocks. For a moment I jokingly suggested we should steal a car so we could make it on time. “Go ahead! Would be exciting!” she replied. I doubled over laughing as we spotted a taxi to take us the rest of the way.

At the base of Taipei 101, one of the tallest buildings in the world, we ran inside. We raced down 4 flights of stairs, and sprinted across the food court to get to the international market on time. Exhilarating.

As we entered, the closing music had already started playing. In Asia, when stores are closing, they play this happy music through the store to let customers know they have to leave. Yes. You must leave. If the store closes at 9PM, it will close at exactly 9PM here.

We picked up all the ingredients to make bacon, eggs(cooked in butter of course), and I snagged a box of Bisquick pancakes. We made it.

The next morning I woke up super early to make breakfast. I prepared everything very similar to how mom always made it, but with my own flare(I have my own little cooking style now).

Came out perfect, Pancakes came out perfect. Melisa, my host mom, gave me a huge hug.

I also got Melisa an ocarina CD as a gift. I actually play the instrument myself, so it had a bit of a personal touch to it. Melisa has a huge music collection, and she listens to a CD nightly after work. It was a perfect gift for her.

Upon receiving the gift she cried a bit. It’s really cool how a seemingly small gesture, like spending an hour on a breakfast and a CD can affect someone. Melisa has been taking care of me every day since I got her to Taiwan, getting me food, making sure I have everything I need. You know, being a super mom.

The least I could do was give back a little, and it made all the difference in the world. It doesn’t matter what culture you are from, a thoughtful gift goes a long way.

What do you do for your mom on mother’s day? J

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