To talk about a single touching experience of Taiwanese hospitality is absolutely impossible for me. When family or friends ask me to describe Taiwanese people, what first comes to my mind is generosity and friendliness. Over the two years I´ve been in Taiwan, I encountered several situations which Ieft me “speechless.” I have many stories to share; every story involves some kind of adventure. Here is one of the many adventures worth sharing, exemplary of the Taiwanese hospitality:

Last winter I went with my classmates on a field trip to Nantou. I packed a few things in case I would find a place worth to stay overnight. After visiting different interesting places, I decided to stay in Sanyi; a small town in Miaoli County. This town is very famous for its woodcarving industry. I walked along the main street and its surroundings, admiring the stunning work. Late in the afternoon, it started to get very cold and windy. I walked up and down searching for a hostel, but the one I found was full and the hotels suggested online were too far or too expensive. It was already dark and there were no more buses going to Taipei or any other place.

I walked into a restaurant to get something to eat, but they were already closing. I tried to explain to the lady sitting on the counter, that I needed to look for a hotel hoping she may be able to recommend something. While she made some phone calls, a big bowl of hot, delicious soup was brought to me by a beautiful young girl. She asked me to have a seat and eat. I felt a little embarrassed, because another women was already wiping the floor. While I was enjoying the soup, I could see the woman on the phone was no luckier than I had been. Meanwhile a man came from the kitchen and we started to talk. He asked the regular questions: Where I come from, what I do, how long I´ve been here. Fortunately my Chinese, which I have been practicing over these two years, is good enough to understand and answer those questions. 

He was so happy to have a “waigoren” (foreigner) from a strange country somewhere in South America. He, and the girl, who turned out to be his daughter, started to look on the map (on the internet of course) where ”厄瓜多” (Ecuador) is located. While this was going on, the man brought a bottle of Kaoliang, a very strong liquor made from fermented sorghum. He said: “… cold, cold, drink”. Oh yes, it was strong but good to heat the soul in this “homeless” situation. 

We were happily chatting, when the woman came and said there is no place available in town, but I could stay in their house. It turned out, they were all one family. I was embarrassed but at the same time very grateful.

After finishing the delicious soup and the strong liquor, we drove (on a scooter of course) to their place. The girl offered me her room. We  all went to sleep. I was very touched by so much generosity. But this is not the end. I woke up quite early the following morning, getting ready to leave and get some presents for them. But much to my surprise, they had left earlier than me. I saw a note on the dining table together with several bowls of food and a note on which was written: “很高興認識你” (Nice meeting you).