Wednesday, January 20, 2010

I'm a Lost Girl.

My first post as a Lost Girl is up! Check it out here: "What Not to Pack: Five Items to Leave Behind."

Please let me know your thoughts in the comments section over there!

Monday, January 11, 2010

Why this Year is Already Better Than Last

I hope the next 50 weeks will be as good as the first two.

1. My Debut as a World Class Pillow Fighter on Taiwanese News.
I spent the first Saturday of the year outside Chiang Kai Shek Memorial Hall with hundreds of other pillow-wielding, flash-mobbery enthusiasts. Twenty out-of-breath, laughing-'til-your-abs-are-sore, joyfully-chaotic-hysterically-juvenile minutes of pillow fighting until the cops shut us down.

Plus, there were people wearing helmets. I love quirks like this that are "so Taiwan."

Here's the video of the news clip. You'll find me getting bashed in the head by my friend Jim at around 0:13. Sweet revenge comes at around 0:31 though.

2. I Ate Bees...On Purpose.
I went to WuLai over the weekend with some friends, and, among many other exciting adventures, we ate at Taiya Po Po, which was featured on "Bizarre Foods with Andrew Zimmern" for its authentic aboriginal cuisine. 

I don't know why, but I was a little surprised when our plate of fried bees arrived at the table. I felt like, " really look like bees. I'm about to eat a bug." Anyway, the dish was really tasty. A little too oily, but the crunch of the bees complimented the greens and the refreshing spice from the red chili peppers.

Highlights from the trip also included wild mountain boar sausage, bamboo tube rice, wild mountain yam soup, fermented pork, sesame oil betel nut salad, sugar cane juice, preserved eggs. We also rode a cable care through the air up a mountain and saw the highest water fall in Taiwan.

More photos here:

3. Diving Right In
I'm already one step closer to my New Year's resolution of learning to scuba dive with my dear friend Julie. Tickets purchased for the Philippines Feb. 17-26.

4. It's A Good Time To Make Babies...Or Die. 

I recently purchased a tiny scroll of paper from a fortune telling machine for $10NT. I had to have my Chinese teacher translate it for me, but apparently my near future is looking very peaceful and calm. The fam is happy and healthy.

If I become a fisherman, I will make money. If I become a farmer, I will not make money. If I become a businesswoman, I will make money.

It's a good time to make babies. If I get pregnant, I will have a boy.

It's a good time to die. If I die, I will have a nice burial.

5. Come Ride with Me!
I have visitors lined up to come starting next month, every month, all the way until summer! Hooray! Reserve your spot soon if you'd like a room at "旅館 愛鈴" or "lǚ​guǎn​ ài​ líng​" or "hotel ashley."

Friday, January 1, 2010

Resolve in the New Year

It's still New Year's Day back in the States, so I feel like I'm not quite too late to be posting New Year's resolutions. 2009 was a big year for me, so I have high hopes for 2010. A few goals (not necessarily in chronological order):

1. Speak Mandarin.
2. Buy a bike.
3. Learn to bike.
4. Ride my bike across Taiwan.
5. Practice > 365 hours of yoga.
6. Pay more attention (to my surroundings, my loved ones and the environment).
7. Never stop surprising myself.
8. Travel to India.
9. Climb up things (like rocks). Dive into things (like oceans). Walk up things (like mountains and 101-floored skyscrapers).
10. Make someone else's life better.

I've had a lot of time to reflect on this past year, and I realize that it was a huge opportunity for personal growth. I think 2008 me would barely recognize 2009 me. These past 12 months I focused a lot on myself and tried to figure out what I needed to be happy, which I think is important. However, this also meant it was a year of selfishness and narcissism. Since I'm still in my "early twenties," I think that's OK.

But now that I'm quickly approaching "mid twenties," I think I should change that. If I fail at all of my resolutions over the next year, I hope that I will at least keep in mind the last.