This is one great story that I’ll love to share, and that’s how I met my father of Taiwan (Taipei). Even though we have different surnames, Huang still took care of me like one of his. And here’s the story of us.
Prior to that I actually came over to Yangminshan to attend the flower festival, and to my dismay, most cherry blossoms have actually died off and there’s only a little less than a handful left. I was actually contemplating but I decided, in the end, to go conquer the highest peak since I’m here. So after finding out, it is located at QiXingShan, near Xiakouheng.
I was asking around for information when I overheard 2 girls discussing about QiXingShan. I asked them and another one came along and before I know it we are sharing a cab up. We part ways after and I heaved a bizarre sign of relief. One of them actually tried to make me pay 1/2 of the price instead of the intended shared cost but luckily another one is kind enough. I didn’t stick with them after since I felt they are a tad dishonest.
I walked about, taking a moment in, taking photos of the place before we started our ascend. The ascend isn’t too difficult but physically and mentally taxing, I’ll probably write a separate post about the Yangminshan hike. Huang is really nice as we started talking throughout the hike, and he would wait up every few steps for me to play catch up. I also love how he would try to encourage me by telling me we are nearly there, and I would joking retort to ask him not to lie to me. We finally reached the amazing submit
That wasn’t all as Huang tried to push me to ascend the second submit as well. We went on and he’s really nice to encourage me to keep me going.
Huang was so surprised that I only hiked up with a thin cardigan, without ample food and only half a bottle of water. And it is really heartwarming and kind of him to offer and insist me take one of his egg tarts! I forced him to take a small package of crackers that I had from Taiwan Youth Hostel. Definitely not as filling but I'd really feel bad if I don't give him anything. And an exchange felt better as well.
We caught the sunset on the way down, and before we know it, it was late when we finally touched ground zero, but it was around 8pm then, and it seems like I’d missed the last bus. I am officially stranded… Until, Huang told me that he rode here and offered me a ride. I joked about getting on the vehicle of a stranger but went on anyway, thanking him for sending me back.
He pulled up by the side of the bus stop and my bus was there, he wanted to ask me to make a run for it, but also asked if I could like to stay in touch. We exchanged numbers by the roadside, and of course, I’ll be more than willing to miss my buses to exchange digits. It’s way different compared to how millennials do it. We do real digits, and also LINE accounts that he hardly used.
We bonded over the hike, and he’ll always be my hiking buddy that I’ll hang out with whenever I’m in Taipei. Perhaps it is because my father hikes too, and I could see part of my dad in Huang, but also he’s also perhaps my fatherly figure that I wish I could have. Well, this might get a little heavy, but growing up in an Asian family, my dad and I hardly communicate. We didn’t talk much, we didn’t exchange insights, we didn’t connect other than our DNA. It felt similar to Huang, but him caring for me, waiting upon me at every milestone, is more than enough, like what my dad did for me.
Perhaps it is how we Asians communicate after all, with these little tinges of care. But trust me, they are enough for us if we deem them to be. And sometimes, the simplest thing is more than enough to give us the happiness that we need.