I love this video by Sean Wang. It reminded me why I want to go back to Taiwan.
Of all our recent trips, Taipei for me was the most surprising. It was surprising because I had no idea how cool it would be. At the time, we didn’t have any immediate plans of visiting Taiwan. My sister invited us on a spur of the moment trip so we packed our bags not knowing what to expect. And as I’ve learned again and again, when you go into something with little expectation, then you’re bound to have the most memorable time.
Apart from the night markets, the art, and the stinky tofu, I remember the people too. I remember how we’d be standing perplexed in front of a subway map only to have strangers come up to us and help. Another time, I asked an elderly shopkeeper for directions when we couldn’t find Raohe Night Market. Despite not knowing a word of English, he mimed the directions and led us to the front gate. When we went urban shrimping, we were struggling to catch anything until this mystery man plucked his hand into the water and pulled out a shrimp. He dropped it into my net, smiled, and walked away like a superhero. And when I didn’t know how to properly cook the few shrimp that we did catch, an expert shrimper showed me the right technique.
“Should I turn them now?” I gesture eagerly, pointing at the grill. He furrows his brow and waves his hand in a ‘slow down’ motion as if to say: “Chill my padawan. I’ll let you know when your shrimp is ready.” 😉
In short, people were always eager to help us. And in doing so, they made us feel welcome and at home. That’s how I remember Taiwan.
We stayed just three nights on that trip. But when we left, I told Ren we were coming back. Three nights was way too short for a city with this much to offer. Thanks to Sean and this heartwarming video, I’m reminded of how much Taiwan felt like home.
Sean Wang | Filmmaker
When Sean was 12 years old, he watched a skateboarding film called Fully Flared. The introduction of that film inspired him to pick up a video camera and start making films. It was the best decision of his life. A recent graduate of USC’s School of Cinematic Arts, Sean’s main interests are directing and cinematography, but he also enjoys writing, editing, and sound design. When Sean isn’t making films, he enjoys traveling, skateboarding, and watching Vimeo Staff Picks, but he finds that he’s happiest when he’s making things he cares about with people he cares about.
He is a part of the Google 5 and dislikes talking about himself in the third person.
JB and Renée are the Traveleaters behind Will Fly for Food, a travel blog for the gastronomically inclined. They enjoy experiencing food from different cultures so they’ve made it their mission to try every country’s national dish. Read more about them and their National Dish Quest here.