Imagine this, when you receive a present, what do you think is in the box? A delicious cake, a dress that you have been wanting for so long, or…a journey that is about to begin?
A six-day trip in Taiwan during winter time was the gift that Sumalee and her two sisters gave their Thai Chinese father. The family members took their father to our beautiful island ready to be surprised by the food, the people, and the scenery.
When we were going to apply for travel insurance for Sumalee’s family, we realized that the personal information of the father, Mr. Anan, contained only year of birth, but no date. This event brought up a sad story of the Thai Chinese people’s past.
The story went like this: when Mr. Anan was still young, he escaped from China to Thailand. He had nothing; no belongings, no identity, nothing. After quite some time, he finally earned an ID. However, whether it was a loss of memory or lack of evidence to prove his birthday, the ID card only recorded Mr. Anan’s year of birth. After hearing this story, we could not help but think about the soldiers who were left in the northern Thailand when the National Government of Republic of China migrated to Taiwan in 1949. At the border of northern Thailand, where some Chinese villages still exist, people share this history. This is also one of the reasons why there is confusion between Thailand and Taiwan.
Mr. Anan can speak a little bit Chinese and is a huge fan of Teresa Teng (鄧麗君), a legendary female singer in Taiwan. When the travel consultant, Allan, responsible for Sumalee’s trip, found out, he bought a mix tape of Teresa Teng’s songs as a gift to Mr. Anan so that he could enjoy his trip with the company of the singer’s sweet voice. Allan also arranged a mini bus with karaoke facility. This way, they could have a blast singing in the bus on their way to Sun Moon Lake, Mount Ali, and other gorgeous scenic spots.
What’s interesting was that when Sumalee decided to choose Topology Travel, she did a comparison between us and other travel agencies. She admitted that our price was higher than the others, but so was the quality of our service. In addition to the information that Allan provided, Sumalee could also feel that Allan treated her more like a friend than a client. While she was struggling between price and service, Allan gave Sumalee an interesting response:
Allan asked Sumalee to picture the scene where her husband proposed to her. Imagine her husband’s heart pounding like crazy wondering whether the love of his life would say yes or shoot him down. Even though the proposal might go in vain, he still picked the ring with all his heart. Allan said this with a smile, “Actually, I felt very much like your husband. Even if I don’t know whether you are going to choose us or not, I am still willing to share as much information as I can because this is how I show my ‘love’ to my clients.” It was this humorous “action of love” that convinced Sumalee to pick Topology Travel.
In the spring of 2015, Sumalee came back to Taiwan again with her husband and son. When they were releasing the sky lanterns in Ping Xi happily watching their dreams slowly floating up into the sky, one thought came to mind: maybe travelling in Taiwan is just a way for the family to bond; the precious gift was the will to spend time and money to explore the world with the loved ones.