Posted by: Winnie of Teance | June 21, 2011

Ren Ching Wei II

Mrs Su of Tung Ting Mtn

My friends gasped: Mrs Su is so cool! she’s a super woman!

They could not help but taste the difference in her tea, her vegetables she pickled, the big old bunch of bananas that she grew, the super sized squash she made the restaurant cook for us. Everything has her generosity and earthiness, her lack of need for return (except she wanted some seeds to grow the best looking foreign vegetables in her garden!).  My friends have never met someone they had just met, who was so considerate, capable, and caring all at once.

Our bus driver heard that my friends were food fanatics, so he droved us around to the best local tofu stand (twice), the oldest  mochi stand, meat dumplings, pineapple stall (super sweet), bakery, and others.  Mr. Su’s friend heard that I was vegetarian, so he made okra, bitter melons, and wild wood ears for me.

The people of Taiwan wear their heart on their sleeves, and hardly afraid to connect with people, even those they just met. They jump at the chance to share and revel at your happiness and enjoyment. They love to be hospitable. Even the city people in Taipei, slightly less tolerant and inundated with too many foreigners (read: mainland Chinese) are still really helpful. They invite you in to their circles without question.

I have never been quite as struck by the quality of the people here, and in Japan as well last week. Although less formal and polite, the Taiwanese hover a bit more, but all because they really, really want to make sure you are taken care of. This had nothing to do with business. The old guy at the mochi stand gave us three free bowls of mochi for me, my cousin, and the driver because we couldn’t park and stayed in the bus, while my friends went to buy mochi. For 4 bowls of mochi, the old vendor gave us 3 more so no one was left out.

I depart from Taiwan this evening to return to HK, another lovely, efficient, city.

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