Isla Formosa

“Isla Formosa” was the name given to this island a few centuries ago by the Portuguese, and suitably so. I see, hear, breathe, feel and live beauty every day. If you can get past the sticky moisture and unannounced rainfall the tropical air provides you’ll appreciate her true and natural sultriness. As warm and fraught as one might feel upon entry, the hearts of the people of Taiwan are warmer and the hospitality they demonstrate will reassure you that you belong.

Word to the wise, be responsible. I knew I wouldn’t be able to go a week without (almost) losing something. Even then, I didn’t stress out about the situation; my mind was set at ease when the train conductor was more than happy and able to help. Murphy (and his law) can go take a hike through Taroko National Park; everything that could go right has gone right.

It’s a great feeling when I get approached and people speak to me in their language presuming that I can understand, it makes me feel like a local when they do. But not so great a feeling when I can’t carry on a decent conversation and grasp what they must say to me; I feel like Bob Harris (Lost in Translation) more than half of the time. Google translate is my best friend!

Taiwan will love you, it’s just up to you to reciprocate it.

P.S. If you do not love fresh and delicious food (not me), Taiwan is not for you. If you appreciate bugs and animals (me) Taiwan is for you!-J.P.

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