Woman finds message in bottle
Taipei - A Taiwanese woman who found a message in a bottle tossed into the sea by a US sailor said on Tuesday that she looked forward to meeting the American some day.
Hsiao Wei-chen, a shop clerk on Orchid Island off Taiwan's south-east coast, found the green bottle as she was strolling on the beach on January 10.
The note in the bottle, sent by Oliver Hickman, wished the finder health and happiness. It also said the world is full of fun, love and beauty.
Hickman tossed the bottle into the sea in 2008 near Wake Island in the north Pacific, about 3 000 nautical miles from Taiwan.
Hsiao said she wrote to Hickman but has not received a reply. On Tuesday, the United Daily News told her that it had contacted Hickman, who said he was happy that his message was found by Hsiao.
Hickman posted Hsiao's photo in his blog and wrote:
"A message in a bottle that I cast from a ship has washed ashore on Orchid Island off Taiwan, and apparently, it has made big news on the little island."
It was the second time Hickman has heard from the finder of a message he cast in the waters in a bottle.
In 2005, a couple found one on the shore of a Hawaiian islet who wrote to him and offered to send him pictures of the bottle and note.
In an e-mail to the German Press Agency dpa, Hickman said he has been a seaman on a container ship for seven years. On each ship, he writes a letter, puts it into a bottle and throws it into the sea.
"Then I wonder: 'Who will find this note? What language will they speak? Where will they find it?' Now I have answers to those questions," he said.
Hickman said he never expects to be contacted by the finder but feels happy if it has reached someone, conveyed his wish of good health and helped to connect people who are far apart.
Hickman did not say if he would visit Orchid Island, but Hsiao, who is married with two children, is waiting and hopes to meet.
"I always believed that the sea can bring surprises and joy," she said. "Now it has happened. I feel that I am the luckiest person on earth."