Multilingual Week Continues…

So, after my lunchtime class, I headed down to the nearby bus stop to catch a bus to meet Connie.

As I walked up to the bus stop I noticed there was a Taiwanese woman there checking out the bus routes, 40 something but with pigtails that made her look like someone trying to be younger than she was. I didn’t think much of it and flopped down on the bench to await my bus.

Several times the woman wandered past me, occasionally offering glances at me, but since locals do that sometimes (must be my stylish clothes) I didn’t pay much attention to her.

Then suddenly she comes back and walks up to me.

“Can y’help me?” She says with a strong American accent that I couldn’t quite place.

It turned out she’d been in Taiwan two days to visit her cousin and managed to get lost, speaking on the bare minimum of Mandarin. She was from New York (which explained the accent) and needed to find her way back to the subway lines.

Not a problem. I, having now been here 6 months, quickly gave her the instructions she needed to get back to the subway line and I also told her to have her cousin give her a card with his home address written on it in Chinese so that she could just show it to a cab driver and get whisked home if the need arrived. (Travel advice that’s saved me many the time.) After putting her on a bus headed in the right direction I went back to waiting for my own bus and musing that you really do never know what will happen next in Taipei…