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At Dragon Beach

It didn’t take long to reach the beach the islanders called “a dragon in the sea.” It was a paradise: a brilliant white sandbar extending south of the island proper as far as the eye could see, surrounded on three sides by dazzling blue-green waters. “You see how white is the sand?” said Jung-Shan. “Penghu Island sand is also coral and seashells, ground fine as salt. They cause the sparkle. It is called Dragon Beach because . . . surprise! It is the shape of a dragon,” the happiest of smiles sweeping across her lovely face.

They grew silent, watching David and Rick as they windsurfed the waves, clutching at their boom bars like contortionists. 

“You have a sister?” Jed asked Jung-Shan.

“Hai, she is seven years younger.”

“What does she do? Where is she?”

“She lives in Los Angeles with her boyfriend. We call her Nini. She is a professional wedding photographer.” 

“Uh-huh,” said Jed. “So, how old is she?”

“Hǎo! Jed, you are trying to trick me into telling you my age! I told you I am a sheep. You must learn the Chinese zodiac to figure it out,” she said with her throaty laugh, giving him a little push on his shoulder. “You are clever, but not clever by enough! Therefore, I will give you a clue. Nini is a tiger. She is very creative and loves to take pictures of happy married peoples.”

Jed stood and said, “I will find out your age, Jung-Shan. Depend on it. I will.”