Convenience stores in Taiwan always have tea eggs for sale — but in my eight years in the country I had never yet bought one until today. Today I had a sudden craving for protein, so I popped into a 7-Eleven on my way to work and bought and ate two tea eggs.

Less than an hour later, at work, I stepped into the director’s office to discuss a few things with her, and just as I was leaving she called me back and said, “Here, do you want these?” — and handed me two tea eggs! She explained that one of the students had given her three of them but that she had only been able to eat one. She has occasionally given me food before — generally sweet vegetarian snacks that I don’t much like — but this was the first time she had given me eggs. So I ate two more tea eggs, feeling like the recently deceased centenarian in a newspaper article I once read, who had reportedly eaten some ridiculous number of hard-boiled eggs every day (a dozen, if memory serves) for what the reporter described as “complex psychological reasons.”