I arrived to my hostel, chosen for its name: "The Camels Island." A wee bit of confusion left me sitting outside the gates, but a friendly fellow helped me by calling the establishment. He left and I set up shop waiting in front. As I sat, reading my Christian Science Monitor, the stranger returned and offered me a welcome present. Welcome to Taiwan, he said with a smile, and offered me lychee.
"Chiris," they are called here, and I sat on the ground, peeling the bumpy alligator skin off the eye-ball-textured fruit. The succulently sweet nectar flooded down my throat and covered my hands with stickiness. Taiwan's brand slogan is "Touch your heart"; to be perfectly honest, I had chided it as I do most branding slogans as not really meaning anything. Yet sitting on the ground, peeling those lychee, I swallowed my words and actually understood as Taiwan had immediately and irrevocably touched my heart through the simple gift. For a stranger in a strange land, it is often the simplest gifts that mean the most.