My first time celebrating Chinese New Year was in Taiwan in 1994, and it was really special. The team owner (aka Big Boss) invited us to the Lai Lai Sheraton hotel in Taipei. The hotel was beautiful, with a dragon painted on its walls.
We ate at the Executive Club restaurant on the 17th floor. Dinner included ten different dishes including shark fin soup, which cost $100 a bowl and takes a week to make!! There was spicy shrimp in a tomato sauce, fried rice, noodles with bell peppers, onions, mushrooms, and thin pieces of chicken. There was a fruit tray, red wine, orange juice, and other delicious dishes I wish I could remember (why didn’t I take pictures?? If only iPhones existed then!)
Everyone was so kind and generous to us.
In my second year, I met these amazing ex-pats aka “The Rainbow Coalition.” Our coalition represented many races and nationalities. We had monthly potlucks, conversations, birthdays, and lots of laughter! Oh and this isnt even everyone!
In a weird twist of fate, I met one of my closest friends in Taiwan. We attended the same university in New Orleans at the SAME time but never crossed paths until a basketball game in Taipei. We’ve lived in different countries, states, briefly in the same Cali beach town, and remain friends.
In conclusion, I didn’t know back then how blessed I was to experience living in different countries. These experiences and especially the people shaped me into who I am today. I’ll treasure these memories in my heart forever.
Happy Chinese New Year!