Taiwan, holding my mother’s hand, walking through the streets of Shilin Night Market.

Taiwan, feeling the sweat even after a cold shower, street foods, bobas and frog egg desserts.

Taiwan, sitting at an outside booth staring at chickens gawking, squawking, running around for dear life, frogs croaking in buckets, the smell of fish and shouting lower prices at market vendors.

Taiwan, a place I call home, a place I lived at from kindergarten to 2nd grade, a place where I met pen pals, a place of familiarity, family, mother’s piano students running up and down the stairs of our apartment, sleeping naked on tatamis and hearing downstairs’ enemy karaoking.

Taiwan, independence, home alone at 6, escaping home and buying toys at the local black market shop.

2010 – The View From Above 

After I graduated from college, I went to China, Hong Kong and Taiwan. I figured they were all cousins, located conveniently near each other. Though they all had a love, hate relationship, I enjoyed the Asian-ness of THE FOOD.

The Scene: 

View from above a tall building, most of Taiwan’s buildings are super tall to fit into such a small island. You’ll be surprised what the Taiwanese can fit in insanely small spaces.

Xinmengdin – where young people, good food, culture, music, fashion and graffiti all diverge.

The Food

When I first arrived in Taiwan September of 2010, I had to get boba. I got fresh passion fruit tea with boba. My surroundings were familiar, but my boba felt even more familiar, like returning to my childhood days.

Stands like these are common in Taiwan, anytime of the day. This is one thing I CRAVE when I’m back in the states. Squid and octopus stick are one of my favorites (esp the spicy ones).

Famous black sugar shaved ice in Danshui. This will send you straight to heaven.

The Filming  

This was filmed in Summer 2010 when I backpacked through Taiwan/Asia. In September I took the bus up to Alishan Mountain, one of the most beautiful mountains in Taiwan by myself and what occurred was a personal journey of discovery. I woke up before 4am to take a train and watch the sunrise on top of the mountain.

That earth is not my home.

On my way down the mountain-
Just watched the sunrise
Train shadows
Pictures and love
Hugs like moon and sun back to back
Help us move forward now
Lovely monopoly
This tree frolicking burns of clay
Dancing to the beam
Softly caressing
My heart
As I gaze
Nature and I, caught in an embrace
Even though I sit
The suns warm smile
Makes me blush
Alone but surrounded by ever inch of God’s love
Freedom, peace like lying down on beds
of petals and greens
Oh though they stare
I am not intimidated
My whole being glows with anticipation
I am more than a stranger
A pilgrim
I am a sojourner passing 80 or more years
On this created masterpiece
But this is not my home.

Filmed, Written, Created by Rebekka Lien



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