Peter (柯益友) (peterintaiwan) wrote,
Peter (柯益友)

"I've come to rely on the kindness of strangers"

Adjusting to living in a new country has been quite the experience for me but I have found the people of Taiwan to be quite kind and giving.

A few examples have come from the students I teach English to.

I had been teaching for a few weeks and mentioned that I had been to the National Palace Museum and had enjoyed it. I wanted to go back because they have 3 permanent exhibitions, and 3-5 rotating ones. And while I was there most of the rotating ones were under construction. The next week one of my students brought me 2 free tickets. She goes quite often, has a membership and as such gets some free tickets very once in a while.

Just this past week 2 events happened only 2 days apart. The first: Another student gave me a little lazer pointer. I am often walking to the map and pointing to places in America whether they be places that the article talks about, or in telling a story. He thought it would make it easier because the map is against a wall and students desks are in front of them. It was very nice.

The most recent event happened yesterday. Our class discussion also revolved around the National Palace Museum. Newsweek recently did a "top 3 things" to see in Taipei and the Museum was one of them. We talked about our favorite piece of art that was displayed. Mine is a famous scroll called "Along the River During Qingming Festival." [ Wikipedia * NPMI] I mentioned that there were reproduction scrolls and I had wanted to buy one but it was too expensive and they did not have postcards of it.

A student says, "I have a copy of it I have had for years. I will give it to you."

"No," I said, protesting, "That is too generous I cannot accept it. It is kind, but too expensive a gift."

I left it at that.

Later that night that student brought to my other class the scroll. Still in the box. Obvious that is has been on a shelf unused, unappreciated for a long time.

Needless to say, while it goes against my nature to accept gifts of an expensive nature, especially from people who I don't know very well. However, it was offered without any prodding on my part. I am quite grateful and appreciative but those words don't seem to express adequately how I feel.
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