When I was in Taiwan I went on vacation during the New Year and went to a non-chinese country, so I never experience their new years parade--if there even was one. But this parade did bring a lot of memories of the Ghost Festival. There was a parade for that too, and fireworks, and more poignantly it was where I met my first kind of boyfriend (to say boyfriend gives too much value to our relationship or lack thereof. we went on dates. he got drafted. we met up a couple times during his leave). So I've been in that kind of nostalgic place remembering Taiwan and all the 'first times' that happened there.
Sometimes it's really frustrating to repeat the 'first' experiences in a western country, as if they've become 'firsts' a second time because the cultural differences innate in the experiences. It's really frustrating sometimes to realize you are almost 30 years old and you have no idea how to do something because when you learned how to do it you were in a different country with different expectations, protocols, and methods.
Basically, sometimes I feel really dumb and naive for my age. This really tends to strike me as I talk to more and more people in my classes at school. Many of them are straight out of their undergrad, 22-23 years old. A great deal of the time I feel like I am in exactly the same place as they are, learning the same life processes (and obviously, sharing a large part of our life--grad school). And then sometimes they say something or recall a memory from when they were kids and I'm just like, WOW. They are so young. What am I doing hanging out with them-am I being that creepy person?
Everytime I see a birthdate from the 90s I absolutely freak out inside my head.