Not the Doorbell

Walking through a nature preserve on the outskirts of Holland, Michigan last week, we heard a sound that took us back to Taiwan, and it WASN’T the buzz of a motor scooter.

Doorbells in older houses in Taiwan sound like a frantically chirping bird when the button is pushed. I don’t know what mechanism resides in the bright little bird-house shaped plastic thing that hangs on the wall, but it starts out fast and the chirping slows when the finger is lifted from the button, getting slower and lower pitched until it dies away.

taiwan doorbell

During our final two years in Taiwan, a couple from North Carolina came to live in a house near ours. He (Juan) and she (Ruth) had lived many places, but never in Taiwan.  The first time we rang their bell from outside they nearly panicked, not knowing WHAT kind of small animal was running around their living room.

On our walk through the preserve, we heard a similar bird call. Not nearly so shrill as a Taiwan doorbell, but lowering as it slowed to finally stopping. We heard that call several times, leading us to wonder if there were more than one of that species, or someone wanted us to open a door.


David Alexander now resides in Holland, MI after 39 years in Taiwan.

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