Taiwan Rolls Out the Welcome Mat

Though our blog is centered on things Taiwan I’ll be starting this post on another island, one which I called home only briefly. I’ll wind it back to Taiwan, I promise. In the summer of 2001, I found myself living in Newfoundland. I was following Lao Tzu’s maxim on travel, the one about a good traveler having no fixed plans and not being intent on arriving, and spent a month or so just hitchhiking around before finally settling for a spell in the city of St. John’s. I wound up sticking around longer than intended, partially because the place was so beautiful, and partially because I found the people of Newfoundland so overwhelmingly friendly. Newfoundlanders have a unique charm, and as a Come From Away (which is what Newfoundlanders call visitors), I was treated quite well. Strangers bought me dinner (fish and chips, and a few more exotic dishes like…