"so you're not a local?" he asks
i smile
"where are you from?"
today, i say i come from taiwan
"do you think taiwan is better, or china?"
i say both have their highs and lows, like any other place on earth
"but doesn't taiwan have more money?"
i laugh. money doesn't bring happiness right?
we look out over the landscape of rows of crops lined into the rows of trash, wedged among the broken buildings with new buildings under construction and skyscrapers in the background, smoke rising from two piles of trash and the dull roar of traffic in the distance
"but life is harder with less money"
but it doesn't matter where you go in the world. it's all the same. everywhere, people experience immense joy and deep contentment. everywhere, people experience immense sadness and deep pain. everywhere, we go through life one day after the next, and we all try our best to live it to its fullest potential.
he looks me in the eyes. his eyes are bright. i like the crinkled corners, bearing years of laughter and tears, and endess stories, "you are so young. i am glad you see this."
my heart rises over the crops, roof, and even airplane.
we understand each other.