It was a weekday morning when I decided to embark to explore Taipei surroundings with some new international friends. As always, when I travel alone or in group, I like to be prepare to the unknown so the night before the trip I searched through the internet to find some famous places to visit, as I find some nice places I start to mark them in a map of Taipei that I got from the airport’s Visitors Information Center. After a couple of hours of searching through the web I got my map heavily marked with so many possible destinations for the next day.

Around 7:00 am we headed to Taipei Main Train Station by the local train from Taoyuan, we had being told that by using the MRT system we can easily move around Taipei and visit some of the main attractions the city has to offer. After 45 minutes we arrive to the Main Station, surrounded by so many people coming and going, everybody minding their own business and speaking a language unknown to us. As we try to move through the mass of people we notice some English written signs showing us the way to the MRT. Fairly easily we arrived to the MRT red line.

At this point none of us knew how to use the MRT system, tickets, Easy Card, transfer lines, cost, etc. We observed for a moment and notice the information/ticket booth were we made line, very kindly the MRT employee speak to us in english and explains to us that we can buy the Easy Card to access the MRT as the local train, and that money can be charge into it. After the brief explanation, each of us bought an Easy Card and follow the crowd across the electronic doors that open the possibilities to move around Taipei fast.

But there was still a big issue, where to go first…. Now that we had access to the MRT system I promptly gather my friends and form a circle, I took out my map and started to locate all the spots that marked the night before. The map wasn’t one of those letter size brochure they usually give, it was a full poster map in all its extent. Thinking about it now I must seem very silly back there, and probably was since after some minutes seen and seen the map and still undecided in where to go and how I felt a gentle hand over my shoulder, I wondered for an instant who could possibly be if we all were making a circle and it was impossible that someone would knew me in that moment, in that place, in this country. As I turned slowly with all this doubts in my mind, my sight came across with a young Taiwanese lady smiling at me as she speaks to me in english if we were lost.

I reply to her that we weren’t that all lost, that we just came in and that we were trying figure out where to go first since there is so much to see, she stared at me and then the map, she had so many things going in her mind when suddenly she suggested that we could go to the Sun Yat Sen Memorial Hall and from there head to the Taipei 101 were the view of the city is spectacular.
We all agree that it sounded great and as soon as we answer she grabbed my hand and pull me to follow her, without making any question I followed as the rest came behind me, as I tried to understand what was going on she took us through endless halls and tunnels, going upstairs and downstairs, flowing with river of people until we reach to the MRT blue line.

We pass once again the MRT electronic doors, go down the electric stairs just in time for her to deliver us inside the MRT that will take us to the Memorial Hall, she rapidly gave some instructions of what to do and where to go just in time before the train doors closed. She was standing there outside, very kindly she stay until the train left, starring at us, saying good bye so happily, as if we were old friends… out of the blue this lady came to us, without any doubt she helped us in our very first Taiwan touching-experience from many more to come, and yet we didn’t have enough time to ask her name and give her our deep thanks…