1/24/09 This evening I went to the Lins for what I thought would be a brief visit but turned out to be a long 2-hour lovely chat.
Benny and Amy are long time friends from the Bay Area. It wasn't until we met in the Bay Area that we discovered that Amy and I went to the same elementary school in Taipei! Amy's family lives right nearby the school, and prior to my return to Taipei Amy had contacted her family to make sure that we meet and get together. Uncle Lin called twice already and I hadn't had a chance to go visit. On this lovely evening right before the Chinese New Year, I decided it was time to visit the Lins' home.
A short 15 minute walk took me to the "Xing Fu Jie" Lane, which, in Chinese, transliterally means "Happy Lucky Lane". What a nice street name. The Lins have lived on this street since supposedly 30+ years ago. I also have some elementary school and kindergarten friends on this street. It's been a long while since I set foot on this street.
Soon enough I located the right building and the Lins took me into their home. This was the first time for me to meet Lin Bobo ("revered uncle"), Lin Mama and D, who is Amy's younger sister and is the same age as me. Their home is a very lovely, welcoming, yet unassuming apartment, with a grand piano smack in the middle of the living room. I know Amy plays piano beautifully and I knew she learned piano from Lin Mama, who is a retired music teacher at a local highschool. D also place piano and plays at her church on Sundays.
Lin Bobo went to San Francisco to visit Amy and I missed the call for me to play local host, thus we didn't meet at that time. He is a kind-looking, energetic man of medium stature and salt-and-pepper hair. I was ushered into the living room where I sat and was quickly greeted by Lin Mama and D a moment later. They are so warm, nice and friendly that I quickly grew fond of them. We started chatting and very quickly the pleasant conversation went on and on and before I knew it, 2 hours passed!
Before we parted, the Lins invited me to church the following morning. They attend the Free Methodist Church right by my elementary school. I didn't have any plans the following morning so I thought it a good idea to go to the service. This set the Lins into action and quickly they produced a detailed map--so detailed it should have been submitted to the Taipei City Government to be incorporated into the official City Map.
Reluctantly we parted ways. The Lins sent me off and we were all happy to have made new friends.
I walked down the dimly lit and very narrow Happy Lucky Lane, noticing both the odor of motor-bike exhaust mixed with the fragrance of night-blooming flowers from the neighborhood fence in the air. One could also hear the occassional dog barking and the somewhat disaccording but pleasant enough sounding music from some kid practicing the piano. These are the sensations I remember, that are so specifically particular of Taipei. As I walked the Happy Lucky Lane, I thought to myself how happy and lucky I have been since coming back to the City with so much of my memories, and so many people who are dear to me. Happy and lucky I am, indeed!