{GBF Spread Joy Road Trip | Golden Gate Bridge}

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

A visit to SF always elicits vivid memories of childhood moments as It was my first home in America and the first chapter in my American narrative. It started out as quite the tragedy. A few days after our arrival, we were greeted with a 6.9 earthquake, the one that collapsed part of the Bay Bridge. Mom and I were unpacking when the entire apartment started rocking back and forth. I thought the building was going to collapse. I hid under the bed and couldn't stop shaking for the rest of the day. Every aftershock shocked and unnerved me. I was a state of doom for weeks and woke up every morning requesting a one-way ticket back to Shanghai 

School was lonely. I was in a classroom full of girls and boys that looked liked me but didn't speak my language. At recess, I sat by the handball courts hoping I was invisible. Lunch was even worse as I gagged on foreign delicacies like ground beef hard shell tacos and sloppy joes as my stomach churned and longed for beef noodle soup and pork rice cakes. After school, I'd come home to an empty apartment and passed the time emptying out our RAID roach traps. At times, the sticky goo stringed into my hair creating a gooey hair nest. The first few months of my life in America was anything but fabulous. 

In an effort to snap me out of my ever growing despondency, Dad took us on a SF sightseeing adventure one Saturday morning. We got in our almost old enough to be considered a "classic" Chevy Corsica and explored landmarks like Fisherman's Wharf, Chinatown, Union Square. At the bottom of each rolling hill, we'd hold our breath as our old car clanked and croaked its way up the hill. It was quite the victory that it didn't start rolling backwards. At the top of the hill, I'd put my arms up and let my heart drop as we roared down the hill. It was my first brush with roller coasters. 

Our final stop was the Golden Gate Bridge. When I was in Shanghai, the bridge was a myth, a towering symbol of America and The American Dream. To see it in person was like meeting the President of the United States. It was so sublime, so beautiful, so unreal. We stared at it for fifteen minutes before Dad quietly uttered how wonderful it would be to someday drive across the Golden Gate Bridge in a shiny new convertible. I nodded in agreement without even knowing what a convertible looked like. 

After all these years, Dad's comment still echos in my mind. So when I found out Mazda was sending me on my road trip with a Miata MX-5 convertible, I knew I had to cross the bridge. When I got there on my very last day in SF, all my emotions and memories of seeing the bridge for the very first time came rushing back. It remains unchanged and is as awe-inspiring today as it was back when we made SF our first home in America. Since then, we've changed cars. 

The top came down and I zoomed across the bridge making it to the other side radiating with joy.


asian girl peace sign

{live fabulously}

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