A Place That Reminds Me of Home

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An Ode to the Emerald City

There is a city in the East where the streets are paved with emerald. To the south there are the tea mountains, where the streets smell like jasmine and oolong. To the north is the ocean, and maybe it’s the saltiness in the air that inspires the night market hawker stands. (A city surrounded by mountains and water – sounds like a place I know.) I say emerald, because the city looks like it was built with the forest in mind. In the Old Town, every sidewalk is lined with potted plants and the walls are dipped in vines. The trees back home grow thick-ringed and reach towards the clouds. But here the trees grow like twisted lightening bolts that lean towards the ground; bent over as if they want to hold you.

Our last night in Taipei, we ate a dinner so fresh that it still tasted like the sea. It was the kind of meal where everyone quiets down to eat. Bare fingers were needed to pry open shells, and time was taken to taste every bite. It was the kind of food that needed your full attention to enjoy.

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