On the plane to Taiwan

Dear Friends and Family,

Flying over Alaska where the temperature measures minus 65 degrees outside, yet the sun burns hot on my window shade at 36,000 ft up in altitude.

Have begun the first leg of my journey East by flying west on United Airlines for 13 hours with no internet. Thankfully the seat next to me is empty so I have some breathing space back here in economy, while business and first class have their oblong futuristic bed pods to lie down and sleep. The cabin lights are off, and most of the window shades are down, but hard to stay asleep when we seem to be following the sun, or is it that the sun is following us?

The acknowledgement that I am finally on my way to Asia just hit me with the realization that when I asked for a tea with lemon and sugar for my throat and received what to me at first seemed like yellow hot water did I feel the sting of embarrassment when I heard others asking specifically for green tea, or British tea.  Never would you have lemon with green tea, and certainly not sugar either. Now I know I am heading to a tea drinking part of the world, so completely different than the coffee fixated New York and United States.

For those of you on this list who are learning about this new trip of mine for the first time, let me just fill you in.  I was awarded a commission to create a new piece of environmental artwork for the 2013 Cheng-Long Wetlands International Environmental Art Project. Myself and 5 other artists from Taiwan and Europe will be creating site-specific installations on the grounds of a wetlands in the south of Taiwan throughout the month of April. Our opening will be May 3-5. This is just the next in a long list of itinerant art travels that I have taken to create my work, explore the world and learn about new cultures and communities. I hope you will enjoy virtually traveling with me in Taiwan and then Japan until my return to NY in mid May.

Until then I have pinned a beautiful going away gift from my friend Joyce on the inside of my traveling purse of a chariot riding goddess from Thailand (the only other East Asian country I have been to) to protect me on my journey.  Hopefully my friend Masaki’s wife who is from Thailand will be able to tell me who this sword wielding woman is.

Best,
Michele

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