Hitchhiking in Taipei

We had been walking down the mountain road for maybe 10 minutes.

The one taxi we saw that came by, we missed it.

And we had no idea how or where we could use the bus system.

So we hitchhiked.

Yup.

Thumb out while we walked. An elderly man, who had been walking with us, helped us stop a car, and explained to the driver where we wanted to go. And we hopped in.

I’ve always thought that depending on the kindness of strangers is a great mentality to have when traveling. If we expect the best out of humanity, then we will, in turn, receive what we expect.

I’ve always wondered about the lives of the people constantly passing by in their cars. Were they middle-aged, or maybe young adults? Did they have a family, or were they starting a family of their own, or did they live an independent life? What type of careers and aspirations do they have?

Every car that passed by us on that mountain road had their own unique circumstances. They had their own life and own story–each as complicated and full of pain, stress, happiness, joy, experiences, but in different percentages.

Every car represented a whole different story.

Our driver: A car mechanic. He had two sons, one older than me by a year, and his eldest was 4 years older. He’d been to Australia before for work; never to North America or Europe. Native-Taiwanese. Impressed by my Mandarin. Enjoyed talking about culture and languages. Said that kindness was important.

The best way to describe these interactions with these cars while hitchhiking in another country: sonder.

sonder

n. the realization that each random passerby is living a life as vivid and complex as your own—populated with their own ambitions, friends, routines, worries and inherited craziness—an epic story that continues invisibly around you like an anthill sprawling deep underground, with elaborate passageways to thousands of other lives that you’ll never know existed, in which you might appear only once, as an extra sipping coffee in the background, as a blur of traffic passing on the highway, as a lighted window at dusk.


Grateful Day 75: I am grateful for the kindness of strangers. Thank you Taiwan

Reading Day 15: So yesterday I slept at 6:30 AM because I literally could not put down The Perks of Being a Wallflowers.

I finished the last 80% of the book in one sitting (~4 hours of straight reading). I missed having that feeling of enjoying a book so much.

Quotes:

“So, I guess we are who we are for a lot of reasons. And maybe we’ll never know most of them. But even if we don’t have the power to choose where we come from, we can still choose where we go from there. We can still do things. And we can try to feel okay about them.”

“And even if somebody else has it much worse, that doesn’t really change the fact that you have what you have. Good and bad”

“It’s okay to feel things. And be who you are about them”

“Charlie, we accept the love we think we deserve.”

 

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