Without meeting this family, we would never have been where we are today here in Taichung. About 4 years ago Spring time, when Sintty was here alone in Taiwan on vacation she met a young lady by the name of Margaret Wu. This chance encounter would unknowingly follow a chain of events that would lead us to where we are in Taichung today. Margaret happened to be standing behind Sintty in the bus ticket line at the High Speed Rail station in Taichung. Sintty was inquiring at the ticket counter about transportation to the Central Taiwan Mountain village of Cing Jing as she heard it was a very beautiful area to visit. Cing Jing is a resort area popular with many bed and breakfast establishments, because it is from Cing Jing that visitors begin their ascent to the peak of Hehuan Montain which is about an hour away by car and is about 3,400 meters above sea level. On the way to the peak, the mountainside landscape is beautiful and many tourists also come here to see the sunrise as well as the snow, which is present periodically at the mountain peak during the winter months. Cing Jing is also known as Little Switzerland as many of the bed and breakfast architecture are modeled after the buildings in the Swiss Alps. Beside Taiwanese tourists, Cing Jing is also very popular with SouthEast Asian tourists for weekend getaways as it is a hop skip from places like Malaysia, China and Hong Kong.
Getting back to Margaret Wu. As Sintty was inquiring about Cing Jing at the ticket window, Margaret happened to overhear Sintty and asked her, had she ever been to Cing Jing before? When Sintty said no but that she would like to visit. Margaret told Sintty that her family owns a bed and breakfast there and that she was on line to buy a bus ticket to return back home there. Sintty said yes and they both went back that day to Cing Jing. Sintty stayed at Margaret’s Bed and Breakfast and met Margarets parents and her younger sister Emily and younger brother John. Margaret’s parents are decedents of family that originally settled in Cing Jing. Sintty befriended this family and after returning to New York City, Emily and John visited us that summer and stayed with us in our apartment for 1 month while they studied English.
It was from this chance encounter with Margaret that we developed a very close relationship which would lead us ultimately to where we are now in Taichung. It was also Margaret’s family that helped us establish roots in Taichung by letting us rent out her Aunt’s vacant apartment for 6 months while we searched for a permanent home. And it was Margaret’s family that took care of Mina when we returned to NYC over the summer for 3 months. Since we moved to Taichung we have also stayed with Margaret’s family in Cing Jing on several occasions. And this past weekend was one of them as we were invited as their guest to attend the Cing Jing’s annual village torch festival. It was by far the most beautiful time we had as the weather was picture perfect. Weather can change on the dime during certain times of the year but this was our first time there before Winter settles in. I always look forward to seeing them, as with all of our friends we have met so far, this family also truly represents the
kindness and the humbleness of the Taiwanese people. We left them Saturday afternoon but left gaining even more new family friends, who were also visiting them as well. We are so blessed and grateful to have them as family.