MY SHOP

Wednesday

Bye Bye Taiwan

It's not too late, but I am exhausted. Still have to finish packing my suitcase. My luggage is way overweight, and tomorrow I will need a really big shiny smile in order to get just a fraction of my luggage on board.

Tomorrow morning I will be leaving Taiwan for a very long time. How long? I don't know.

For the next few days I would be staying in Hong Kong and then visit Bangkok (Thailand) for a week or so. Afterwards ... back home.

I am both excited and very sad. Of course I look forward to get back home, but I am sad to leave this amazing place that taught me so much and I don't just mean about tea.

To state (the obvious) that Taiwan (Formosa - the beautiful island...) is beautiful is to do injustice to this place. The sights, sounds, smells and tastes (I did not touch much except tea leafs) of this place are (in the spirit of the blog's name) 'divine'.

However, more then the place I will miss the beautiful people of Taiwan.

The Taiwanese people taught me a lesson or two about being a host and helping people, as well as what it means to be a better being in general. Everywhere I went, I was welcomed with the warmest smiles and most welcoming deeds. People who don't speak a word of English went way out of their ways to try to understand me and help me.
Needless to say a welcoming tea was always offered ;-)

There are countless of people I would like to thank, but there are two who are most special to me.

Stephane, without whom I would have never visited this place, and Lin. Without Lin, I would never have enjoyed and learn a fraction of what I did. Thank you both for the time you have given me!

This might also be a good time to thank Lu Yu (not quite sure how to thank a dead man except mentioning and trying to follow his work) who's words have been my guiding star here all along.

"But the really superior taster will judge tea in all its characteristics and comment upon both the good and the bad.

For every individual criticism there is a reason. If the tea leaf exudes its natural juices, it will be glossy and black. If the oils are contained, than it will appear wrinkled. If it has been manufactured for a long time, it will be yellow. Steamed and tamped, it will have hollows and hills. There is nothing unnatural in that, for tea is like other herbs and leaves in that regard.

Its goodness is a decision for the mouth to make."
("The Classic of Tea", Lu Yu)

I can't wait to share my amazing experiences on this blog.

Lately I did not get the chance to write much on my blog - sorry. Moreover, I am not sure if I will get a chance to connect to the Internet in the next 2 weeks. So, don't expect much to appear until I am back home. However, I promise to make up for it as soon as possible
:-)

1 comment:

Neil Summers said...

Hi,

Just thought you might be interested in Tracing Tea - an expedition from Calcutta to London researching the history and culture of tea. See www.tracingtea.org for more details.

Regards,

Neil
neil@tracingtea.org

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