A couple of weeks ago, I joined Jennifer, Stephanie, and Stephanie’s father, JB, in Taipei to visit some old friends of Jennifer’s. This family has an interesting story. The wife, Jenny, was born in Shanghai but spent most of her life in the United States. The husband, Martin, is German but has spent a lot of time in Canada (I think). They have two children, Tatiana (6) and Oliver (5), who were born in the United States but haven’t been back since. The kids are fluent in English and probably German, and have a grip on Chinese. They have lived most of their short lives in Germany, in the castle-turned-hotel which their parents just purchased, and have most recently moved here from Singapore. Now they’re in Taipei, attending a Canadian school there. When we went to visit them, they were staying at the Grand Hotel, one of Taiwan’s most famous buildings, for one week, and were about to move out into an apartment as soon as their furniture arrived from Singapore. We drove to the Grand Hotel, which is in the Neihu District on the northern edge of the city, backed up against Yang Ming Shan National Park, and spent the day hiking around and swimming with them. Living large isn’t my style at all – way too tedious for me – but I found that I could handle being steeped in opulence for one day fairly well.
There are no foreign lands. It is the traveler only who is foreign.
- Robert Louis Stevenson