Meet hometown in foreign land

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It’s been a long time, and I’m not entirely sure if it’s rice with steamed pork ribs or not. Since there are no records left, let’s take it for granted.


In September 1995, I flew from the US to the UK alone to attend the 8th European Eye Tracking Symposium. The meeting place is at the University of Derby. After I arrived in London, I spent the night first, then took the train to Derby, and then took a taxi to report to the school.

The registration office gave guidance on where to stay. Graduate residence halls are in the city center, a mile or two away on foot. The streets of Derby are so winding that I just can’t get there. I dragged my suitcase and walked around the wet and cold Derby streets for half an hour in the rain. There are few pedestrians on the street, and no one knows the dormitory when I ask the local people I meet by chance.

Later still went. After roughly settled down, the next worry is that I am hungry. It’s not really tempting to go out again when it’s wet and cold, but I still have to eat dinner. So I planned to visit the dormitory first and then go to the street for food.

Not sure how it came across. It should be that I was walking around and a young Taiwanese couple or boyfriend and girlfriend asked me if I was Taiwanese. I said yes, just arrived, the meeting starts tomorrow. They kindly invited me to their dormitory for dinner. I was originally embarrassed to interrupt, but the whole journey was really tiring and lonely, so I happily went to the appointment.

The main course is a pot of steamed pork ribs rice. The food is very warm, and so is the heart. I haven’t had a good meal since I left, and I won’t even have a fellow countryman to attend this meeting. But when I went from one foreign land to another, I was about to cry on the spot when I met and received care from my fellow countrymen. Now recalling that meal, the dining table is glowing.

At that time, I didn’t bring my camera with me when I was a guest, so I didn’t take pictures as souvenirs. I remember exchanging contact information, but it has long been lost after all these years. So the whole thing remains a hazy memory.

I didn’t remember this before. Take it easy this time. There are many details forgotten, and many recalled details may not be correct. Just feel right.

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