The other day, some of our friends drove out to a reservoir.
We followed on our scooter.
First, we drove through snarled traffic jams (breaking a few traffic laws white at it).
Our friends turned right onto this upward sloping road.
From there, everything melted away: there was no traffic, no industrial buildings, no high rise apartments.
There were no people.
The road curved up and up.
I spread my arms open and allowed the gushing air to flow all around me.
Vegetation hugged the road.
For the first time in a long time, I felt a tad bit like I was close to home, to the landscape I adore.
The trees and bushes broke to our right, and there they were: true mountain peaks poking up over Hsinchu's haze, the sun a fierce ball glowing red hot in the sky.
We drove on and on, through small villages that sprouted from nowhere, past stray dogs that were well fed and cared for, past farmers tending fields.
This was the Asia I remembered from our backpacking.
This is the Asia I love, and it was only a 20 minute drive away this whole time.
We pulled off onto the shoulder and there it was: this beautiful reservoir surrounded by towering trees and green rolling hills.
Hsinchu is not so bad.
Sure, it's an Asian city with all that entails but here, well...
Thank you Ruth and Ben for showing us this haven, where life stills.
Thank you for showing us a place we can be alone, just us and our scooters on the dark road.