Saturday, August 11, 2007


I fell in love with wordpress. sorry blogger.

Monday, July 23, 2007

I'm flubby

Lol I found this on a website of WHY girls gain the freshmen 15:
  • social eating: yeas... every minute of the day, because there is nothing else to do
  • portion control: it's not my fault the cafeteria loads the pasta on
  • fried foods: well that's the only thing that tastes good right?
  • the fat free fable: yes... my good ol' fat free wheat thins
  • rewarding yourself for workouts: lol, SO TRUE, OVT BROWNIE SUNDAES!
  • study snacking: this one's the worst
  • the beverage trap: well... not beverages, per say, but alchy?
  • emotional eating: had a lot of times... good and bad... which meant lots of bags of potato chips
  • too many sweets: ben and jerry's cartons are my friend?
  • eating like one of the guys: more like, out-eating the guys... I have to prove my self worth in SOME aspect of life, don't I?!

Friday, July 6, 2007

in sickness and in health, but mostly in sickness

So sick.

Went to the doctor (this already demonstrates the extremity of the situation, seeing as the last time I went to a doctor was... well... let's just say that dates back into the parts of my life that don't even remain in my memory.) He said it's going to last about 4 weeks total... which is just about the entire duration of my stay in Taiwan. Lovely.

I'm on six different meds. Three different pills plus a tablespoon of liquid three times a day. Before bedtime, another white capsule. And if those prove to be ineffective, I have what I call "desperation pills" - doctor said to take these only if I don't get better. I haven't gotten better, so I'm on those too. I have a terrible dry cough that resurfaces at random intervals throughout the day. I also feel like I'm housing a marble every time I swallow. I'm basically a walking infectious disease. I looked up the purpose of the capsule and it's for bronchitis, which the doctor did NOT inform me that I had... but the wikipedia<3 description sounds pretty accurate. They sent me home early from work on Thursday, probably in fear that I'd have the whole staff coughing their lungs out in a couple of days.

The wheels are in motion: side effects that have surfaced include drowsiness, insomnia, minor diarrhea, dizziness, blackouts. Sorry if that was TMI. But to think people do drugs for recreational purposes!

And you know I'm sick when I can't sing at karaoke. Normally I'm the biggest mike hog around, but I just don't have it in me. Could barely get one or two songs out, and only with about 17 cups of water. I was wheezing songs more than I was really singing them.

I can't do normal everyday things without more or less hacking up a lung. I can't sleep. I can't go out and party with people who actually are here in Taipei, because I'm scared of drinking with bronchitis (as I should be). I'm useless at work, and I think more than anything they'll want to avoid me. I can't even go shopping because I get so fatigued. I can't eat or drink cold things. Shave ice? Pearl milk tea? Fresh fruit? I've been passing them all up. Worst of all was at dinner last night, when they had sesame ice cream. AHH! And the heat just makes all my symptoms and drug side effects feel that much worse. Didn't think I'd ever say this - I'm in Taiwan, with the FOOD I love, with the FAMILY I love, with so many experiences and opportunities at my feet, but... I just want to go home.

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

the tropics of Taiwan, if you can call it that

Day 1:
Took a train to Hualien. First we stopped at "Taiwan's Grand Canyon," as my dad called it. I'm not much of one for scenery, except for beaches. But even those get old. So in the sweltering heat, I wasn't all that impressed by rocky cliffs with holes in them. Then we stopped at a temple commemorating those who had died while building the tunnel. Kevin and I made a futile attempt to reach the high temple but it was only stairs after stairs after more stairs. That night we went out for wonton soup. Apparently Hualien is famous for its mochi, so we stocked up on a ridiculous amount of that - in sesame, taro, red bean, green bean, etc. Then mango shave ice. And do hua. The parents then got way overexcited for duck heads, coupled with a couple of beers. That night we stayed at Farglory hotel, with a gorgeous ocean view that I failed to take advantage of. I played Scrabble with the boys, only to lose to Kevin.

Day 2:
The next morning we woke for a buffet breakfast at the hotel. Left soon after to stop at a Buddhist temple, 8 arches bridge, etc. Then we waited in the sweltering heat for what felt like hours to board the bus to Green Island. It was so hot and sticky that the paint on my wooden necklace started melting onto my neck, and the chain started to rust. The boatride was rocky - got seasick for the first time. Probably doesn't help that I actually am sick (how long is this illness going to last? I've had a cough since before I came to Taiwan last Monday... and now it's Wednesday. Good grief.) After arriving at the island, we rode mopeds to the hotel. Ahhhh the hotel. Where do I begin. I mean, hotels are possibly my favorite things about vacationing - I love the whole concept of messing up a room and having it be perfect the next time you come back. Free toiletries? That also presses my buttons in all the right places. This "hotel" - if you could call it that - had what might as well not have been a weak fan. No functional AC. Cleanliness was in doubt. The sink was in the shower (yeah this confused me too.) Motel 6 status, no joke. And this is a girl who loves me my 5 star hotels. God, that was painful. In the afternoon my dad took me to a track to teach me to ride. No lie - I'm disastrous at the moped. I mean, I suppose considering I have no balance on a bike already, a moped would be more difficult. But hey, I'm improving. By the next trip, I'll be able to do it. I have faith. For dinner we went to a BBQ place. Not exactly quality food here either and I think it gave Sherry's mom diarrhea. We gave George beer though and his mom asked him "You get a sunburn?!" I could have sworn the next day too that he had a hangover. Drove my dad home and ran into incoming traffic. Almost hit a girl and a kid. Oops. Tried to watch Anchorman but passed out early on.

Day 3:

We woke up at the crack of dawn - no, more like at 4:00, so that we could catch the crack of dawn. We rode out to the hot springs - one of three locations in the world in which the springs bubble up from below the sea. My dad kept saying, "But how many opportunities will you have in your life to see the sunrise from one of only THREE locations?" Guess he sucked me in. It was nice, riding with the sea to our right side and the moon's reflection sparkling up. The springs were warm but not exactly hot, and the clouds blocked the sun for the better part of the sunrise. We got tiny peeks at it every once in awhile. Still an experience. Passed out at the hotel after that. We went snorkeling - in full on wet suits (compolete with matching boots). Saw a lot of fish at first but after about 10 minutes it was like, same old, and the bobbing of the ocean started making me feel kind of seasick. Had lunch at the hotel - some nasty seafood. Eh. We went for an afternoon ride around the island - took about 30 minutes with a couple stops in between. Finally - boat back to Taiwan, and train back to Taipei (4.5 hour ride). Luckily I had Kevin to entertain/to entertain me all the while. Good discussions.

I am SO tired. I'm at work and suffering. It's nice that I can just go online and have my fun but I literally am about to pass out from exhaustion. My cough keeps me awake all the time at night which means I'm always tired throughout the day. Arghhhhhhhhhh.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

for the love of SHOPPING!

Clothes, FOOD, puppies, toys, FOOD, mole removal, shoes, FOOD...

Shilin Tourism Night Market: heaven on earth (plus 35 degrees). So basically, I had a wonderful stinky tofu, oyster/clam/something? omelette, and da bing bao shiao bing (literal translation: "big pastry wraps little pastry") dinner. The power went out mid-meal but that sure didn't faze them... vendors kept right on waving me down to their stands and shoving menus in my face. Determination is a powerful thing.

I also scored:
  • two dresses for $15
  • a pair of heels for $12
  • two headbands for $1.50
The best thing about shopping in Taiwan, I think, is that a shopping trip isn't like an ordinary trip to the mall. Normally, in America-shopping, I usually buy nothing the entire time and then allow myself an overpriced "pity item." [pity item: something you buy that you don't like all that much but a trip to the mall is just not worth it at all if you come home emptyhanded... so that little something gives you a tiny, fleeting feeling of satisfaction that lasts at least through the car ride home.] However, in Taiwan, you find and consider and actually buy so many things that by the ride home you kind of forget what you bought. But then you open up your bags at home and you discover that wonderful top you completely forgot about. It's like getting Christmas presents that you actually like. It's like having your cake and eating it too. It's... it's just awesome. See what I mean? I just looked through my stuff and realized I bought the cutest pair of $5 sunglasses that completely slipped my mind.

God, I love beating the system.

Note: Oh yeahs, I mean it about the mole removal. There are literally little stations where you can have them burned or scraped off or something for a price so reasonable that I seriously, seriously question anyone who would trust their faces at such things.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

The daily grind.

Taiwan is sticky. And as my dad says, "How you say it... been raining cat and dog?"

I went underwear shopping yesterday and my boobs are officially different sizes. One's a B and one's a C (Asian bra sizing makes me feel so good about myself!). But girls here are literally flat as boards. I feel like my boobs, pressured by the media and the population of flat-chested Taiwanese girls, are deflating at top speed to assimilate to society's expectations of them. Yes. Boobs have feelings too.

I'm still jetlagged, so I've been waking up at 6 in the morning. I go for a run around the local park, where old ah-mas sit around on benches chatting up a storm. Given the billion degree weather and my intolerance for it, I'm also dripping wet when I'm through. My mother and I walk to the outdoor market a couple of blocks down to pick up groceries for lunch - water spinach, tomatoes, eggs, clams, edamame. Duck wings and seaweed for the walk home. Basically all of this for $6... you have to love the exchange rate. Sanitation is in doubt, but since when does anyone in Taiwan care about sanitation? I was examining this fuzzy-looking thing while my mother was picking out pork bones to make soup. 10 seconds later I realized it was the ear of a full on hog's head... good grief.

In the afternoons, it rains. My mother believed otherwise and refused to buy an umbrella (so that's where I get the stubbornness.) We emerged from an accessory store to the pouring rain and had to shop down that single side of the street with the meager protection of the overhang for about, 1.5 hours. Fun.

I also came across a cockroach on the towel after my shower. It's my second showertime cockroach encounter at my dad's Taiwan apartments. This either says
something about my dad's level of cleanliness or something about what I deserve for things I've done in past lives. My dad claims he's never seen a cockroach here though, so it must be the latter.

Anyway I'm going to head out soon to the drugstore. I love Taiwanese drugstores. Just yesterday I picked up oil absorbing papers, fake eyelashes, a nifty comb, nipple tape (cool huh? I thought so too), among other things. Every trip to Watson's is seriously an adventure... and they are full of cool Japanese products with labels I can't read. Somehow this is reassuring, like if I don't know what it's for how could it possibly go wrong?

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

I'm leaving on a jet plane.

6/26/07 - 2:12 AM PST

My little monitor is providing the following information:

Altitude: 35000 feet
Ground speed: 555mph
Outside temperature: -50 degrees celsius
Distance to destination: 2405 miles
Time remaining: 4 hours 54 minutes

All of which is relatively useless and extremely depressing.

So apparently I'm a frequent flyer or something, allowing me to have Eva Air Silver Club membership. This means absolutely nothing except that I'm allowed lounge access, which is equivalent to free internet and tea eggs, among other things. I ate like four eggs (much to my mother's dismay), and took 3 mini water bottles and several tiny tuna sandwiches for the epic journey. Would have gotten some Lays and Oreos as well but I was under the watchful eye of Mommy "Why are you so fat" Wu.

Airplane bathrooms are so questionable. I always get scared when the toilet goes WHOOSH. I mean, even though I'm the one flushing it, so I kind of know it's coming but that has always frightened me.

The person behind me totally stuck his nasty feet up onto my armrest. I mean I don't have cute feet myself so I don't judge, but at least I have some common courtesy and I don't stick my feet up into other people's business.

I hate airplane food. Not to the extent of my hatred of ketchup, but it's pretty high up there on my hate list. Chinese airline food especially. Well, I can't remember the last time I've been on a long haul flight that wasn't Eva Air or something, so I can't judge what say, Southwest Airlines serves. But we always get these totally questionable things of like, braised beef with curry sauce or equally unappealing sounding/looking/tasting food. Even the bread rolls are usually lacking. On occasion, there is some ice cream cup that is my saving grace.

You know what though? I don't understand why it's so difficult to make a decent airplane meal. I mean, I buy $2 microwaveable TV dinners at Safeway all the time of fettucine alfredo or chicken and rice that taste perfectly delightful. This is the only time that I will eat cuponoodle (which I can proudly say I have not eaten a single one of all year in college). Currently I'm having to survive on little snack bags of "mixed nuts and rice crackers" as well as my tiny tuna sandwiches, which we all know are not enough to sustain me through the 12 hour flight.