Xiaofang asked me, “Have you ever thought of how to co-exist with a house?”
“Co-exist” with a house!?
She’s the first person who ever asked me such a question.
On an evening after a rain, I came with Xiaofang from Taipei for a vacation in Dulan. Each day, we got Fei and Moto to come and do labor for us. Upon walking into the yard of a certain house, they said, “This place could become an inn!”
At the time, we weren’t really sure at all.
But I really liked that house that offered a view of the whole Milky Way,
not to mention the vegetable garden.
Thus, in the deep of the night, surrounded by quietly sleeping neighbors,
we couldn’t help but make a wish from the very center of our beings that this place would become our inn.
We begin to get to know the house.
This was a house that an old man lived in before.
It is short and was divided into two living rooms, a bedroom, a kitchen and a bathroom.
A life was lived out in this small space.
Upon looking at the house,
I thought, “What can we do with this?”
Xiaofang said, “We need to think of how to get a breeze and some sunlight in here”.
From that statement, our lives as laborers for a summer began.
A whole summer of endless classes on carpentry, pouring cement, tiling and making furniture.
Each day we thought about where else needed a bit more, where else needed some of this or that.
Weaving class and becoming friends with the neighbors.
On the day we notified the other owners of how the inn was coming along,
we suddenly realized: our dream is really big.
It just so happened that we had an idea for an unused house on the east coast.
It just so happened that there were people who wanted to become owners and others who stayed as guests.
It just so happened that Xiaoguan had a lot of vintage-style bricks.
It just so happened that we found an old man’s house.
It just so happened that there were ten building professionals around to help us out.
It just so happened that Banai, A-bay and Eleng often came and checked up on us.
It just so happened that we got help from a variety of passers-by for a combined force that allowed the Little Inn team to continue the pursuit of their dream this summer.
And this force propelled the inn to cross over from imagination to reality.
We made this dream happen with our hands, and we felt this feeling of reality grow inside our hearts in a very tangible way.
“Birth” is pronounced as “cu sui” (using Hanyu pinyin) in the Hakka language.
I like the word “sui” because it embodies a sense of announcing the beginning of one’s existence in the world.
Before the “sui”, there is a long period of fermentation, incubating the life that has not yet been born.
And after the “sui”, this life develops the attitude it has in interacting with the world.
Before, this house recorded the life story of one old man. Now, it will begin recording the new story of the Little Inn and those who stay there.
we’d like to announce to the world:
the “Watch Your Head” Little Inn is born!!!