Hello everyone ! So one more time I was asked to write a few lines for the TICA newsletter. This opportunity, I will share a little about the most touching experie nce of Taiwanese hospitality. I've been living  in Taiwan now for more than a year, and I got to say : everyday I learn more things about Taiwanese  culture and the locals.

Taiwanese, in general are very kind people. And they are extremely nice with the foreigners. A few months ago I had the chance to spend some quality time with my roommate and her family. She lives in Changhua, and that was my first time meeting the family of a Taiwanese friend.

To be honest, I didn’t know what to expect, or what was the appropriate way to behave among her relatives, but my roommate didn’t care much about what was I going to behave like, or anything about me, actually she put a lot of attention on her family; how they were going to treat me, and what places will they show me. In fact, she wanted  to make my stay with her and her family, one of the best experiences of my life in Taiwan.

My roommate’s family was awesome, I spent three wonderful days with them. The first day, I arrived to her place around evening time, and her mother had a great dinner waiting for me, on the  table were served delicious Taiwanese traditional dishes, including : chicken, beef, salad, vegetable, rice and green tea. That day I ate so much, but I really liked everything I had for dinner! After that my roommate,her brother and some friends of them took me to the night market. Yes, I kept eating there too! But come on, it's night market, you're supposed to eat there ! So before someone thinks that I love eating , I would say, no I was just following the tradition of eating in the night market hehehe. Anyway, the second day, we went to explore Changhua and lukong st. Her family taught me about the aboriginal people in that county and yes I learned some history of Taiwan, thanks to them.

During night- time my roommate’s mother wanted to teach me to cook dumplings, and she actually did. We made them from scratch, she said when I'm back in El Salvador probably I won't have access to the ingredients, so it's better to learn to cook everything and follow the traditional recipe. Well, successfully after a few hours and some funny shape dumplings I'm proudly to say that I learned to cook it ! And we had for dinner the dumplings that we made. I got to say that her family  was a little shy to talk to me, and since they do not speak English but Taiwanese, communication among us was incredible difficult. However, they didn't stop trying to ask me things in mandarin, but hey, oh wait!...my mandarin it's pretty bad though, so my roommate had to translate everything her family said to me. Well,  the last day her family took me to the a near beach and to a temple near the mountain. On that day, when I admired these places and being surrounded by nature ( she lives in the country side) I realized how beautiful Taiwan is, and the many beautiful landscapes hidden across the country. These, are the places that we foreigners should visit while we are living here. These wonderful places are everywhere, indeed.

Alright let's go back to my adventure, so at night, I was supposed to catch the train that will take me back to Taipei. My roommates’ mother cooked some delicious duck for me, with many vegetables, and this delicious sauce and eggs. I was supposed to serve my food in this kind of “tortilla” . I remember that one more time, I ate a lot on that night. And, I was encouraged to keep eating as much as I could. When I was ready to leave her place , her mother game a hug, and some food to take out. She said : “I know you liked the duck so you can take this (giving me a bag with food)  and eat some later”. I feel so touched, because here is this lady, who's not a relative of mine, but she's taking time to pack food for me and caring that I even if I get hungry later, I had something to eat.

What can I say? I loved the time I spent there with them for two reasons: “they treat me really nice, and feed me with delicious food everyday of my stay with them”. I might be wrong, perhaps, but I feel Taiwanese show affection to others, through food. My roommate’s family fed me so much those three days, and the food was so delicious, I only have good memories from this experience. I am pretty sure they made a great effort in giving me a nice stay with them. They took the time for cooking traditional taiwanese dishes and for showing me the city.

This is not the only experience I have had, there are many others. But today I was told to share with you the most touching one. I would like to finish this post  expressing my gratitude to my friends in Taiwan, my program managers from ICDF in NTNU,  Taiwanese friends from church and Taiwanese classmates, my roommates: violet and Zoey,  for making  my days in Taiwan a wonderful time in my life. I will never forget your kindness, your respect and your politeness shown to me during these two years. And I hope one day, whenever you visit my beautiful El Salvador, I can treat you as well as you did when I was in Taiwan.