Lost in Taipei: Chapter 4

Charles Avatar
view of Taipei, Taiwan

Missed Encounter

The air in the Taipei office continued to buzz with energy as another day began. Still adjusting to the unfamiliar surroundings, Charlie quickly stopped at the HR department and submitted the mandatory paperwork to start his work in this office.

Xing and Wen were engrossed in a lively conversation, their laughter echoing through the space. As Charlie settled into his seat, he observed his colleagues with curiosity. Memories of the office in New York City flashed through his mind, reminding him of the times he shared with his best friend and “work-wife,” Maya. Maya was warm and exceptionally intelligent. She had always been there for Charlie, providing unwavering support at work and during Charlie’s tumulus breakup with his ex. Though miles apart now, Charlie knew that their bond would remain strong but couldn’t help and wonder what Maya was doing at this very moment.

Charlie immersed himself in his work and diligently tackled his tasks. Ming caught up in a whirlwind of back-to-back client meetings, barely had a moment to catch his breath. When Charlie ventured to one department, Ming had already moved to different floor for another appointment. And when Ming returned to his desk, Charlie was whisked away to a spontaneous meeting. It was as if a playful force conspired to keep them apart, teasing them with near misses on this busy Monday.

Meanwhile, Xing and Wen, keen observers of the office dynamics, couldn’t help but notice the unfolding comedy of errors. Xing, ever the humorous commentator, whispered to Wen, “It’s like watching a game of hide-and-seek. These two accidentally bumped into each other on the street, yet to meet each other properly in the workplace.”

With the sun beginning its descent, casting a warm glow across the office, Charlie decided to call it a night and wrapped up his first workday in Taipei.

Out of the blue, Xing showed up at Charlie’s desk with a smirk. “How was your first day here, Charlie?” he asked. Charlie looked up from his phone, a forced smile on his face. “Busy but productive,” he replied. 

Without missing a beat, Xing leaned against the edge of Charlie’s desk, “Well, my friend, it’s time to celebrate your first day properly. Do you have any dinner plans?” Xing raised an eyebrow, “If not, I would love to introduce you to an authentic Taiwanese restaurant near the office. It’s a hidden gem, and I will not take no for an answer,” he added, winking at Charlie.

Charlie thought about it for a moment, “Well, I do need to eat, and I guess it won’t hurt to eat with Xing. He probably knows where to go in the city for good food.”

“Sure, why not, Xing. Thank you for inviting me to try something new in the city,” Charlie also figured that Xing would not give up until he said yes. 

“Good choice,” Xing exclaimed with a grin. “And I won’t disappoint you. Get ready for your first authentic culinary adventure in Taipei. Come and find me when you are set to go.” 

Xing swiftly typed a text message to Ming, keeping the details vague. “Hey, there’s this amazing Taiwanese restaurant nearby. Let’s grab dinner tonight and unwind after a long day. I expect to see you there,” Xing hit send, a smile on his lips.

Wen, always attuned to Xing’s excitement, couldn’t help but notice the gleam in his eyes. “What’s got you so happy, Xing?” she inquired, her lips curling into a knowing smile. Leaning closer, Xing whispered, “I’ve invited Charlie and Ming for dinner tonight, but here’s the catch, they don’t know they’re both coming. It’s going to be a surprise. I can’t wait to witness their reactions when they finally meet!”

A playful twinkle danced in Wen’s eyes as she enthusiastically played along. “Count me in, Xing. This Monday night just got a whole lot more entertaining.” Together, they shared a knowing look, their excitement mounting as they anticipated what was to come next.

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