24 January 2010

a search

time to share with you yet another reason why i’m nowhere ready to leave france just yet.

gsearch01do you see the lovely lady on the right? it’s my mother. not right now, of course. i think when she was in her early twenties, so around my age right now.

gsearch02but first, let me first tell you a short story. i dug up these photos years ago and have always been enthralled by the mysterious people in them. mainly because they are obviously not asians so they really stand out in the stack of ancient family photos.

when my mom was a college student in taiwan, she needed a place to live. so back then, one found housing in taiwan not by reading ads in papers… but by just knocking on people’s doors. so she knocked on a door of a nice house, and found a family from germany living there.

gsearch04the father was a chemistry professor teaching for a year and brought his entire family over. they had just arrived and happened to need someone to help show them around and be their guide. voila! so my mom lived with them. she became super close with one of the daughters and had a wonderful time living with them.

after that, they went back to germany, and as expected… lost contact.

gsearch03but i’ve got their names. yellowed photos. their old address. their handwritings. their city. the university. therefore, for my last vacation in april, i’ll be spending a few days in germany to see if i can find any of them.

gsearch05i’m in love with the search itself. not the result. it isn’t important that i actually find them. what’s important is the learning of german. the physical act of actually traveling to germany. the exploring of a city. the talking to people.the visiting of a university. the tasting of something delicious at a restaurant or bakery while i’m there. the wandering around. the visiting of the university. the discovering of something random. etc.

gsearch06 which is why i’m boycotting the internet for searching. because it’s too quick, too easy, and cuts out all the adventure. if my physical search “fails” then of course i’ll start googling. but not until at least after i’ve tried it my way.

and besides, i can use technology to search from anywhere. but to be neighbors with germany is a lot tougher, so i’d rather take advantage of my proximity to germany while i’m here in france.

gsearch07so yes. it may be fanciful. and impractical. and unrealistic. but it’s an adventure and who knows what will happen while i’m on my quest!


x said...

i love this search. good luck!

Kathy's Red Door Welcome said...

I love your old photos and your attitude about the adventure of finding the people who at one time had such an impact on your darling mother. Much luck to you. I adore Germany, that is where my own mother grew up before meeting my father during the war and immigrating to the U.S.

cathy said...

@x: thank you!
@kathy: merci! by looking for an old story, i hope to also make a new story as well

Lizounette said...

what an adventure to have and to unfold! It sounds like a perfect storyline of a lovely novel.

donna said...

i do hope you will be able to contact someone in the family...it would bring it full circle.....

christelle is flabbergasting said...

I absolutely love you approach of this search (and your blog) ! I discovered you with your very well-realized dried fruits project and since then I like passing by!
Your pics are also great ; btw, what kind of camera do you use?

Have great time in France & Germany...
Good luck from a French girl living in Quebec!

hope n laughter said...

Enjoy the hunt! It sounds like it will be an adventure.

cathy said...

thank you everybody!
@christelle: i use a canon rebel XSI, which i think is 450D in europe, with a 28mm f/1.8 lens for most of my photos down. if i'm at home and want detail, i use the 100mm f/2.8 lens. love them both <3

christelle is flabbergasting said...

So cool... A wide angle plus one for macro!
I just bought the same camera for Xmas (my gift for myself & I !!) but with a EF 50mm/1.8 lens... to begin & practice before I can afford a wide angle!
Thanks for your answer! :-)