This title is recommended by Paula, fellow MHIRT cohort.

Hello friends and family, future MHIRT trainees,

For my fourth blog post, I thought it would be pretty cool to recap about my interactions with some of the lǎo bǎn ( 老板) or owners I have met across Taiwan. These humble and interesting people have left some great memories that I will treasure for years to come. I want to share some of those memories with you guys.

To start it all, we have William, the coffee stand guy from the Tainan Market, a city about 1:20 hours from Kaohsiung, the city we are staying in. William is an entrepreneur who has traveled  all around the world. Many of his customers are international, he documents their signatures on a notebook. He showed us some of them and we saw people from France, Australia and Germany, New York and even San Diego, my hometown.  When we passed his stand, his energy simply prompted us to talk to him. He gave us free coffee and tea to try. I am not a huge fan of coffee but I got to admit it was pretty good and also the tea was phenomenal, it was so rich in flavor. He said that his coffee and tea are the best in Taiwan, because he gets the leaves and the coffee from the highest mountain on the island. Here are some pictures of him and also a sweaty me.

William preparing us coffee Look at this masterpiece Thanks William for being awesome

Moving on to Phillip, the owner of one of the oldest tea shops in Kaohsiung. His store is located in Old Town Kaohsiung, a store up and running from more than 45 years. His tea is very tasty! Philip is yet another humble person who simply wants to deliver good tasting tea for people, believe me there are many stands who want to do that but Phillip is the original one. I recommend going here, get some tea and then keep walking straight to a small park area. Perfect place to enjoy some tea, pretty looking flowers and trees, nice breeze and cool seats. Here is me with him and the park area. Park GreensPark bench and some teaThanks Phillip for the great tea and the good time

Here we have Jack, the owner of a small ice cream shop. His shop is close to KMU, like a block away. He is the kindest man I have ever met. He loves to meet new people and his smile is just contagious. He makes some delicious ice cream and I am planning to try every flavor on his menu. He allowed me to taste almost all the flavors offered so I know what to get for the day. I recommend chocolate with rose and vanilla, I know… You can mix and match. No, really, the rose is good though, I promise. Thanks Jack for tasty ice cream

Lastly we have an owner from Ping Tong, a town near Kaohsiung, like an 1:30 hours. Here his shop is located inside a temple. He sells herbal tea that is good for against dehydration for 10 NT dollars which is like 33 cents US. The tea is inside a little bag which I found to be very cute and very relate-able since Mexico sometimes also drinks their drinks in plastic bags. His store, for what I know and have seen, is the oldest around. His tea stand has been up and running for more than 65 years. The flavor of the tea, no kidding tastes very natural and almost like a necessity. It was maybe because that day we hiked up to a waterfall and I sweated a lot. Here are some pictures of the place. The temple Life saving tea in a bag Portrait of Tea master (chi fu)  The living legend

Hope you guys enjoyed and if the owners are reading this, thank you so much for giving me such a nice time and for allowing me to experience new memories through food. Cheers and see you in the next one, -Edgar