Sun, Oct 01, 2006 - Page 8 News List

Letter: Taiwanese really are friendly

By Stephen Hope

Yu Tzu-wei's (俞子維) story about hitching around Taiwan was a powerful reminder of my own experiences of the friendliness of the Taiwanese people ("Student hitches his way around nation to prove it's friendly," Sept. 25, page 2).

During my own time in Taiwan, I met many friendly people always willing to help out a lost foreigner. More times than not, people in the streets of Taipei were willing to stop and help guide me to my destination.

Somehow, with my terrible, terrible Chinese and the varying English skills of my rescuers, we always found out where I needed to be. People were always quick to help me with my Chinese and always willing to try to help using whatever English skills they had.

One time, when I was coming back to Taiwan from Bangkok, I had the misfortune of losing my wallet and cash before departing for Taipei. Without question or hesitation a Taiwanese couple from Taichung gave me NT$1,000 to pay the exit fee and to help me go to where I was staying in Taipei.

I remain immensely grateful for their generosity and hope they chance upon this letter and will know how thankful I am.

While it should be pointed out that hitchhiking in any country is potentially dangerous, I want to thank Yu for providing such a poignant reminder of how friendly and welcoming the Taiwanese people really are.

Stephen Hope

Alberta, Canada

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