We spent several summers in Taiwan while growing up, splitting time between Taipei, where Mom’s sister worked, and Yuanlin, where Mom’s parents lived in a typical multi-story apartment with balconies for dangling laundry, courtyards for storing useful-ish junk, and a kitchen for housing mini lemon ice creams, which I swiped pretty often.
Some days, we’d visit tourist spots like Taroko National Park, Xitou Nature Education Area, or the Aboriginal Culture Village. Xitou was my favorite, with cool, shady paths leading through bamboo, ginkgos and green ponds. At the forest’s exit, peddlers sold carved wooden animals with toothpick-holding pockets - useful for the nightly de-vegetableing of your teeth.
Ginkgo leaves remind me ofXitou, Mom, and summers in Taiwan.