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Fan Tuan Man Still Here

The first time I came to Kinmen was in 2012. I walked into Jincheng from the port and the first thing I did was get a roll of fan tuan from a guy selling it in the street next to the bus stop. The guy smiled, asked me some questions, we had a little talk. [...]

The first time I came to Kinmen was in 2012. I walked into Jincheng from the port and the first thing I did was get a roll of fan tuan from a guy selling it in the street next to the bus stop. The guy smiled, asked me some questions, we had a little talk. He was the first person on Kinmen that I ever met. 

Two years later I returned, and the first thing I did was go and get some fan tuan from the same little street stall. He remembered me. Not only that but he remembered what we talked about. I was impressed. It kind of felt good to have been remembered. 

Going to meet the fan tuan man then became one of my Kinmen arrival rites. The next time I came I introduced him to my wife and daughter. 

This time though was the real test. I hadn’t been on Kinmen since early 2015. I arrived, went into Jincheng, and the fan tuan guy wasn’t there. Where did he go? How could he just leave? The guy and his stall are landmarks in this little city. 

A day went by and I came back into town this morning. I lackadaisically peer over in the direction of where his cart usually sat as I walked out of the bus station not expecting to find him there. Instead, I found him looking back at me waving. 

Travel long enough and you will find that you are no longer homeless anymore. You return to places many times that start to feel familiar, places that you get to know through an extended series of temporal waypoints. And sometimes, every once in a while, these places get to know you too. 

Filed under: Kinmen, Taiwan, Travel Diary

About the Author:

Wade Shepard is the founder and editor of Vagabond Journey. He has been traveling the world since 1999, through 89 countries. He is the author of the book, Ghost Cities of China, and contributes to The Guardian, Forbes, Bloomberg, The Diplomat, the South China Morning Post, and other publications. has written 3490 posts on Vagabond Journey. Contact the author.

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