Taiwanese Smile

Wednesday was Dragon Boat Festival, and we celebrated by watching a handful of boat races, drinking a caramel macchiato, and generally enjoying the scorching heat outside of the ‘office’. When my face started to turn a deeper shade than my shirt, we decided it was about time to retreat to our air-conditioned apartment.

However, our plans didn’t last long when these smiling faces intervened. Our brief encounter began as I absentmindedly glanced their way.

The older man congenially threw a small piece of wood to us.

Smell it,’ he gestured, lacking the words to actually tell us what to do. I lifted the bark to my nose, and the man laughed out loud as my entire face reacted to the strong, floral aroma.

He began to mockingly slap at imaginary bugs, silently explaining to us that the wood is used to keep mosquitoes away. We nodded in agreement, although we had no idea what kind of tree this bark came from or how to actually use it.

Our new friends were more than happy to pose for a picture with me, small and fragrant bark in hand. The man then gifted us with an entire bag of wood chips, insisting we take it without paying, all the while charming us with that gigantic smile of his.

We had a pretty darn good day after that. Face encompassing, genuinely joyful smiles tend to do that to us. 

Hope this smiling face cheers up your day, and inspires you to go out and spread some smiles of your own!