By Trista di Genova, The Wild East
I’ve never been homesick in Taiwan, but once in a while — not often –something positive reminds me of ‘home’. In this case it was when people started improvising jazz in the park yesterday at the Potluck in DaAn.
Brian Funshine’s done a great job in organizing this event for the past couple of years, to the happening it has become. And yesterday seemed to culminate in a Great Time, with him remarking, “I know I say this every time, but THIS WAS the BEST potluck EVER! if you disagree, you left too early!”
Read more about the potluck tradition here.
The near-gourmet vegetarian spread was overflowing, beautiful women danced with poi, manly men banged the drums, the Mr. Huangs led taichi chuan (they’re old schoolfriends from Kaohsiung), there was a jazzy open ensemble, excellent conversations were flowing, and fast and firm friendships were being struck left and right.
This was Heather’s first potluck; she found it easily because ‘it was too animated’ to be purely a Taiwanese function. The fantastic music drew exercising Taiwanese to approach the area and watch the goings-on with a curious and kind of amused/happy expression. Some approach and join in the intercultural action.
Chris the anthropologist taught Kiki the hipster Taiwanese girl an aboriginal dance. Chris’ ke-ai wife Winnie, the radiant mother of their new child, showed off chubby Aldous and let him play with the cold beer can — and mouth the fringe on Sarah’s top!
Jenna Funshine and I tried to suss out Brian’s ukelele, and got him to give us a 2-minute introduction — basically you take a guitar chord and kinda bastardize it to fit this 4-stringed instrument.
The weather was perfect, a little sultry, but by nightfall, it cooled down and the place got more packed. The table was piled high with fruit, lychees, lu-wei, fine breads, bagels, cream cheese, all lit up with a candle that kept going out. There was so much food that by the end of the evening, I managed to score a fat juicy mango and a bottle of leftover extra-virgin olive oil from Italy — one of the benefits of being one of the last people to leave at 10pm!
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