Going away for the weekend to spend a bit of downtime together led us to Tai Chung, a city in Taiwan. We loved every bit of it. Not because it was glamorous because that would be Hong Kong or Dubai. It was very average in terms of urbanization. So why did we like it so much? The city has the perfect balance of great infrastructure with greenery infused in it.
On Friday morning, we were in the middle of the city in a cab and we were surrounded by trees everywhere. It is a rarity to see this nowadays and in Hong Kong. So you’re thinking, what, trees? Really! Is that why you liked Tai Chung that much? Actually, that’s not why. It’s the subtle things that happened randomly. Allow me to explain.
We were curious to see what a local supermarket was like so we headed to Carrefour. It was like going to Asda or Sainsbury’s in England. I hadn’t seen anything that big and encompassing in Asia. Okay, so the supermarket was like England, that couldn’t have been the highlight of the trip, right? Right. We were walking along one of the aisles, when an American man who was with his Taiwanese wife started talking to us. It was very random but at the same time very natural to them (which we learnt later). We chatted briefly and it left us with a smile on our faces. Why? Here we were, checking out the senbei (Japanese rice crackers) and here comes someone saying to us, “Hi, where’re you from?” The reason this was a “wow” moment is simply because we could feel the genuineness. After a few minutes, another expat said hi to us and we had another brief chat! The cutest thing was when we were about to cross the road and an elderly couple was looking at me so I smiled and said “nihao”. She had the warmest smile and we started chatting! Later, as we were walking, we saw a man parking his car and as he opened the car door he saw us and said “hello!” It was the sweetest moment because, picture this. He was parking his car and as he was opening the door to get out, you’d think he’d look to see that he’s got everything or that he would look at the road or whatever else. But no, he greeted us! (I’m sure he checked the road and that he had everything he needed, or at least I hope so!) We continued walking, with a huge grin on our faces. Then we saw him again! Let’s call him “the sweet Taiwanese man”. I went up to him as we couldn’t find our way. He told us the supermarket was along the road we were on, in very basic English. So we continued walking. For those that know me, I’m not the best with directions so soon after I was wondering, “where is the entrance?” and before we knew it, he stood before going his separate way to point to where we needed to go and he smiled. Kindness can be felt, right? Another very heart warming experience was when we were in the Old Castle, a very beautiful and scenic place. A bunch of teenagers were having some fun playing with a praying mantis. We have a soft spot for praying mantises, having kept one as a pet. A few minutes later, these kids were near us and kept smiling and saying hello. They had the purest hearts showing us a lot of warmth. This happened a lot during this trip. When we added up the random acts of kindness we received, we were lost for words. In 3 days we had more than 10 people coming up to us to chat or to say hello.
I’m blogging about this because we get all warm and fuzzy inside when we receive random acts of kindness. The people of Taiwan have definitely inspired me to be kinder, more loving and giving. As I share this, I hope it warms up your heart that you too feel like doing something random and bring this warmth to others.
“A little thought and a little kindness are often worth more than a great deal of money.” — John Ruskin