The train is disappearing into the night, I walk along the trails beside the Shanli Train Station that lead me to this hostel. Gently, the door swings open and in front of me are pieces of furniture that remind me of a home. And I can smell that dinner is almost ready.
Looking around, I still can’t believe that I am already here. The distance between the west and east of the island is not long, since one just takes a U-turn to make it to the other side. The distance is also not that short either, since those mountains sitting in between are actually high. From those crowded cities to the suburbs, from fields to the vast mountains, it’s like an amazing journey that transforms the distance of a smile into something that make you feel joyful.
The dinner at Shanli Shanli is shared and enjoyed by all the guests of this hostel. The owner, Grace, prepares everything for dinner and arranges different dishes everyday. She wants to make her guests feel at home while enjoying her dishes. When she was a little girl, Grace’s family ran a restaurant so she is used to preparing all these dishes. She takes ease at cooking for her guests and sometimes she even invents some new dishes for travelers to enjoy in the future.
Tonight on the dinner table, we have a roast chicken with chopped potatoes, which is a second trial from Grace. The corn chicken is stuffed with spices and laid over a layer of chopped potatoes. The idea is to let the potatoes absorb the chicken grease during the roasting. The meat is tender and fragrant! The potatoes are filled with chicken gravy and the spice creates a soft yet intense flavor that best goes with a bowl of rice. This is one dish that I will never forget.
The wonderful dishes made by Grace and the warmth of Shanli Shanli hostel have made me think that although I am traveling, I can still live in and feel the comfort of a home.
☆ Information: Shanli Shanli hostel