Visit From A Taiwanese Friend

When I was studying in Taipei the school assigned the exchange students a “buddy.” The role of the buddy was to help us get situated. I never met my buddy, but I was adopted by my buddy’s buddy. She helped me translate when I need administrative forms filled out and when I was negating the price for the scooter I totaled.

She was a real life saver.

So when I got back to San Diego State, I signed up to be a buddy for an exchange student. I was assigned a student from Taiwan (presumably because I had been there). I took here around San Diego breweries, we went camping, hiking, shooting, all kinds of American things.

That was over a year ago. But, she sent me and my ex-girlfriend a group message saying she was coming back. We both ignored her.

A few weeks later she sent me a private message. I told her what was up and that my summer schedule was busy. Wisconsin, Montana, Arcata, Montreal. I wouldn’t be in San Diego long.

We exchange dates and she changed her trip to be in San Diego for the three days I would be there between Montana and Arcata. I also told her i had already made plans with friends and she is more than welcome to come along. But, I have to work during the day. “Okay, it is fine :)”

I picked her up at the train station loaded her luggage in the truck. “Hey we’re going to meet up with some couchsurfing friends in Ocean Beach and go to someone’s birthday party. But we gotta leave and go to a going away party in the even.”

We  walked from Dog Beach to sunset cliffs with some friends to meet up with friends-of-friends. That’s what is great about couchsurfing, everyone is so damn friendly. My friend took a nap on the beach while I talked to cool people.


Later that evening I took her to the going-away party for my friends that were moving to Arcata. All my old friends were there, all their friends, and family. Everyone was drinking, playing beer pond, and catching up. It’s nice to offer foreign travelers a real American experience. It doesn’t get realer than American friends and family drinking together.

The next night we went hiking up in the mountains East of San Diego. She enjoyed the camping and hiking we did up there last year, so  we had to go back. A couple couchsurfing friends came too.


That evening we went to another going-away party. This time at the husband’s family’s home. Everyone in his family is a good friend of mine. His dad even introduced me to his friends as, “Alan, a friend of our sons. Well, actually, he’s are friend too!” Made me so warm and fuzzy inside.


During the week I took her on some work errands. We went to a couple bars. Saw an Iggy Pop tribute show. And, did some loitering with friends.

I have to say I am pretty damn good host if you want to experience typical life in San Diego.

She got lucky that all those things were planned in a short time period >.< I’m not awesome!


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