I spent 1 hour 20 minutes and 3 seconds to watch this movie called ‘Taipei Exchange’, and an extra five minutes to draw this quick sketch based on the movie. I prefer the Chinese name better, ‘The 36th Story’.
It is a sweet story based on exchanging useless items. How do you define useless? Everyone has something that he/she never thought it could worth anything, but you never know what you can get from these little things. These items are all displayed in this little coffee shop. You can’t purchase any of these items with money, you can only make an exchange with another item. A beautiful song for an old song book, one day of free labor on painting the wall for an old little wooden horse, 35 memories for 35 pieces of soap from all around the world, the entire coffee shop for airplane tickets around the world.
Most of the time we forget what we want in our lives. I keep being asked about this question from my job interviews: what do you want to be/do after 5 years? Honestly I still have no clue of what I want to do after 5 years. Get a stable job, get married, have kids? Buy new house and car, get famous, get rich? Maybe these are part of my life, but not really what I want. I quite enjoyed traveling alone and meeting different people during the journey, they told me what they have experienced. I met a mid-age photographer, he still sends me postcards and little gifts when he goes to travel. I met a group of young boys and girls that followed me around, and bought me a dinner on the last day before I got on the train. I met a young boy carrying only one small backpack traveling half of China all by himself, he had a tiny build but beautiful smile. The joy of listening different stories is something you‘ll never get from any office, no matter how great the company is, and how much money you can make. It’s the value of your heart, it may not be what you want the most, but it’s what you enjoy the most.