Last year I came across this postcard from my grandparents to my great-grandma. They sent it from Taiwan in 1965. In the postcard, my grandma wrote to her mother-in-law:
We are here at airport to leave free China. Just said goodbye to Judy [my mom]. She goes to Manila this afternoon — we are going to Hong Kong. Very interesting here and very different from Japan. Judy is fine. Hope you are OK and will see you soon.
I love how my grandma referred to Taiwan as “free China”–it sounds so Cold War. But that was what people called Taiwan back then, as the People’s Republic entered the dawn of the Cultural Revolution and was completely cut off from the US. When I spoke to my grandma and uncle about China back then, they recalled when they returned to Hong Kong two years later in 1967 and no one knew what was going on across the border.
“There was nothing in the Hong Kong newspapers about the Cultural Revolution back then,” my grandma told me.