Dana and I have been best friends for 30 years.
Dana and I first met after his family moved from Fiji to Hawaii. Since we were the only 2 Baha’i youth boys in the community at the time, we hit it off quickly. For two years, it was hard to see one without the other. As many know, Dana couldn’t do anything at a normal speed, so he graduated from high school when he was 15 and went to Taiwan as a Baha’i Pioneer when he was 16.
When he wrote me to say that he wasn’t going to return to Hawaii and he was getting married, I had to go to Taiwan to see him. We spent many years in Taiwan and these were some of my happiest years of my life. As nothing stops for Dana, I had to go to visit him during holidays. As usual he would put me to work. I have so many stories about Dana, but i will share 3 that stand out in my mind:
Just after i got to Taiwan, Dana wanted a local contractor to build him a dinning room table and in exchange he promised to help gut the first floor of this house that the contractor was remodelling. Naturally Dana got me to help. When we arrived at this house, the contractor’s workman had already started working. They were neatly pulling out nails and saving this old wood. Dana asked the contractor if he wanted the wood and he said no. So Dana and i both grab some sledgehammers that we lying on the ground and just went to work. All of the workers just ran in fear for their lives. We gutted that house in less than 2 hours. The next day Dana’s table was delivered.
One day Dana called me up and suggested that we meet in Taipei for the weekend. It was my birthday and he suggested we go have some fun. Of course for Dana, “fun” is work. We met in Taipei and Dana needed to buy some computer parts. We borrowed a motor scooter from a Chinese friend and off we went. Dana was driving and I was on the back with a map.
Somehow we got lost and ended up driving in front of the presidential office which is illegal. A policeman saw driving and pulled us over. He was very angry that we dared drive on this road and demanded to see Dana’s license and registration. At the time neither Dana or I had a license for Taiwan, so in very poor chinese, Dana said that we were lost and we trying to find chung shan rd. The expression on the officer’s face changed to confusion as he didn’t know what to do. He finally pointed and said it was that way. Dana quickly thanked him and drove off with the officer still pointing and confused.