From KMT-land in Northern Thailand to a strawberry farm in Miaoli
We went out to Miaoli to pick strawberries on Sunday and got a nice little history lesson thrown in for free. As we were getting our strawbs weighed we got chatting with the owners of the farm. The wife spoke Chinese with a slight accent so my wife asked her where she was from. Turns out she is from Northern Thailand and is a fifth generation descendant of the KMT soldiers who were war refugees after losing the Chinese Civil War and who basically decided to settle in Thailand (more background of the history here). She married a Taiwanese farmer and has been living in Taiwan since 1995. She talked a bit about the Chinese who migrated to Northern Thailand from Yunnan province and said that the government in Taiwan (or perhaps the KMT party?) has reestablished contact with some families over there and sends small amounts of money every month to help support them.
It was fascinating to hear her talking about Chinese immigrants in Thailand, especially as she is connected to that history...and all the while munching on very delicious Miaoli strawberries! [Other things I learned that afternoon are strawberry-based factoids. The strawberries at that farm are actually a Japanese strain. Taiwanese strawberries are generally smaller and bruise easily. Chinese strawberries are small, harder and not particularly tasty.]