Phoebe Ga-Yi Chan: Formosa is Portuguese for “Beautiful”

I can still taste the candied strawberries on my tongue.  Sometimes, I wake up expecting to see a boxy, white air conditioning unit above me, rather than my bedroom ceiling. I expect to open my window and be looking down sixteen stories from the apartment complex my grandparents live in, the view of the street below obscured by the muggy, humid, summertime air.  I can still hear the sound of mopeds going by, leaving the smell of asphalt and exhaust in their wake as they head to the morning…

Britney Chen: A Taste of Nostalgia

  Over the years, I had grown familiar with the musty scent of airplanes, the sound of my footsteps on the boarding bridge, and the taste of microwavable airline meals. I had gotten used to the constant feeling of change, like a bottle bobbing in the Pacific Ocean seafoam, searching for a home. What does the word “home” mean? I’ve always struggled with answering the question: “Where are you from?” Even more so now. Is it where I was born? Where I grew up? Where I currently live?…

Candice Wang: The Palace Within

Before I learned the word uterus, I knew all about the baby palace. That’s what my mama called it, placing her palms over the soft lower region of her stomach. I’d stare down at my naked abdomen and wonder—how could there be a whole palace built within me? Was I that cavernous?  To me, the uterus wasn’t a mass of delicate tissue, arching fallopian tubes, and pulsing blood vessels. It was a glittering hall carved directly into the skeleton of my body— something akin to the Hall of…

Jaja Hashimoto: I Cut My Own Tongue Off

I had a tongue that held three languages by a single thread.  When I was in second grade, I had a tutor who was the brightest among all. He had a Masters in Animal Science and a PhD in stem cell research. He attended National Taiwan University and graduated top of his class.  On Tuesdays and Thursdays, my tutor would come and help me with English, Math, Science, and everything else I needed help with. Every time we had class, he would assign vocabulary homework to help with my weak word…

For a Better Life, Move to Taiwan: My Taiwanese American Story

When my mom was twenty, she moved from Taiwan to the United States. Now I’m twenty, and I’m doing everything I can to get back.  There are practical reasons for this, of course. I applied for dual citizenship in high school, and since coronavirus has pushed everything, including my college classes, into the virtual world, Taiwan has become my fabled “land of opportunity.”  But there’s something deeper going on. I’ve spent my whole life trying to prove my “Americanness,”…