Finally! Now I get to write about 謝宅, directly translated as “Hsieh’s House”, but they also have a fitting English name, Old House Inn. I’m excited about this post because living in Old House Inn was one of my favorite experiences during this trip! (so yea, sorry this post would be a little long…)
I was going to start with what I like and dislike about this place and go from there, but I honestly can’t come up with any cons except for some little things. So, I guess I’ll just start with why I like Old House Inn so much.
- THE HOUSE ITSELF
【My House for a Day】
One reason I love so much about Old House Inn is that, it really makes me feel like the “owner” of the house for a day.
We met up with the concierges on the street and had them lead us to this inn in the afternoon (they didn’t tell us the address beforehand, because they choose not to publicize their address for privacy reason). Then they told us because the owner knew we came back to Taiwan from abroad, so he purposely moved the other group of guests to another inn so that we could enjoy the whole house by ourselves while the other group could enjoy another one (so touched! I love how thoughtful B&B owners usually are…) A lot of times, it’s these little things that make a huge difference from a good service and an average service.
Some people aren’t comfortable with how “friendly” B&B owners are, because it would make them feel a little bit unease or…awkward? But here, the concierges left after they gave us our keys and a short tour, and the owner only came when we checked out the next day. To me, that’s the perfect balance between the living-with-host-family feeling of B&Bs and the lack-of-personal-relationship of hotels. Anyways, technically it was OUR house for a day. And I have to say, it made me feel so free and so relaxed.
【Living in the Past, in Our Own World】
Because of its traditional Taiwanese interior design, it also made me feel like I was living in the past…I felt like in my own imagination, I was a local Tainan-ese in the 50s or something. And as a Third Culture Kid who grew up in cities, and then moved from cities to cities, I never experienced this type of life. So everything I saw in the house either reminds me of our grandparents, or reminds me of things we see in old movies.
In other words, it made me feel like I was in a different world while the time in the real world stopped. One of my favorite moments was when I woke up in the morning, played my favorite classic music that Old House Inn happened to provide, and just sat there, wrote, and looked at all the greens around me. All I could hear was my music, birds and the sound of the leaves; enjoying my own morning while no one and nothing disturbed me.
At that time, I just felt, wow, don’t we all need time for ourselves, far from the city and noise, just once in a while? I don’t know how to put this into words, but I honestly felt “recharged” just after such a short stay in Old House Inn.
Old House Inn is probably the only one in the world that has such a huge tree “in” the house. I love it because it’s three-story high, and it’s very interesting seeing it from different floors. Apparently, it has already grown 180cm since last year, and the owner Hsieh told us that in 5 years, the tree will be big enough to cover some parts of the roof. And by then, Old House Inn will be actually “green” and “environmental” (not to mention how much green the inn already has—which I love!)
Hsieh said, ever since he was a kid he wanted to live in a tree house…so this was sort of like a dream-come-true for him. Besides, trees are the best proof of “time”. Every season it has a different look, and by the time we pass away, thIS tree will still be there for our future generation…(isn’t that heart-warming? The image of his great-grandchildren touching the tree and thinking of him is just so touching.)
I also saw a quote (I think it’s by Hsieh too): “Life will always find its way”. Just like the tree that grows taller and taller each day (even in a house where at first was very hard for it to adjust to), I guess we will too find our own ways in our life.