Heart-shaped Formosa

As I sat inside my slightly squint, sand-made heart, I couldn’t stop myself from falling hopelessly in love (metaphorically, and actually, in this case literally too) with this magical little island. Brushing the grains of sand from my hair, and stepping out of my heart, I headed towards the Monday-morning, untainted waves. One toe ebbed in, and instantly a surging chill shot through my body. All memories of the past serendipitous week came seeping straight back.

Almost immediately, I felt like I’d just arrived home. In a tiny, cobble-stoned alleyway, I found my name delicately written on a white map, with a key inside. Trust. Love was inevitable. A country filled with the most trusting, friendly people as far as the heart could see. I was smitten. And it didn’t stop there. It was as if everyone had woken up and decided to embrace the day to it’s entirety. Not one person was left out. The whole island was gathering energy and carrying it to the furthest corners, radiating everything in site. The grass was definitely greener. The streets sparkled. In a forest, in the most southerly point of the country, I danced. Indie music was being blasted from the midnight dew, to the tips of the tallest branches. At that moment, I heard my name in-between the neon beats. Mid-twirl, my mouth formed a perfect ‘O’. Of all the places in the world, deep in a woodland, and I happen to chance upon a meeting with an old friend.

Well, my love for this country multiplied leaps and bounds; all the way to an eco-magnificent home in a soon-to-be, cultivated rice-paddy. A friendly stranger, the only kind in Taiwan, thought I might like to meet a friend of his. Over a cup of tea and a freshly-baked loaf, we took our Sunday morning by storm. Conversation was flowing, motivations and inspirations to maintain the special va-va-voom that Taiwan has so deeply-embedded within her, were being raised. And in amongst the chatter, a connection was noted. The lady of the residence had backpacked around my country in her day. She’d hitched rides with postmen and traveled all across Scotland. And here I was, in her beloved land, being given a dose of the same kindness that, apparently she’d received from my countrymen. We’d come full-circle. It felt right.

As fast as the cold burst of energy from the ocean had arrived, it quickly dispersed back into the light waters; to be carried to another shore, on another land, creeping up on some other nostalgic soul. I took this as my cue to skip back to my heart.
To my surprise, what had been a heart- if a little skew- only moments before, had clearly been swallowed by the sea during my whimsical recollections. But it’s OK. It was bound to happen. Yet, another country that effortlessly succeeded in stealing my heart…


This is a little piece I wrote after I visited Taiwan. Clearly, those feelings lingered on and on because I find myself living in Taipei now and it’s pretty darn cool.

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