Thursday, December 18, 2008

Christmas Cow

This picture was just too great to pass up sharing. I'll definitely miss being in America for this Christmas holiday. Being away from it all makes you really miss the hyper-commercialized yet hyper-traditional and uniquely American holiday. On what other holiday can we enjoy not only great food, great family, great friends, AND great gifts? Possibly a wedding but that's only fun for two people. Now, I've already shared what I'll be doing for Christmas, so now I'd like to know that YOU're doing for Christmas!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

I Got a Catfish

Before, I think I had been having a hard time transitioning to life in Taiwan. After all, as an editor, my best asset is my command of the English language which is difficult to take advantage of in a social situation here in Taiwan. But as of now, I have found friends at work and many other things for which to be thankful for, which makes life in Taiwan much easier, although I still get homesick now and then. And I still can't be happier that I'll be moving back to the states around May.

Things for which I am thankful for.. currently:

1) I got a small catfish for my tank. Its super cute and works as a miniature janitor in my tank. I'm considering letting him work in my coworkers' tanks too... although he's a pretty pricy fellow ;).

2) This weekend I'm going to Hualien with my coworkers. Hualien is a beautiful part of the country where people go out to hike and bike around. It'll pretty much be an outdoorsy sort of merriment.

3) Christmas will be spent in Japan with other Americans. I'm thankful for this opportunity to not only visit Japan for my very first time but also to spend Christmas with friends. I think that Christmas would be disappointing at the office and in a country where people only celebrate Christmas because its trendy.

I, of course, have many other things to be thankful currently. But I mostly am glad that I have found my bearings here. I know that four months seems like a long time to finally get used to a place, but thats where I am right now!

P.S. This experience has not only made me appreciate how other people live around the world but I really think that it has allowed me to appreciate how much one can become fond of their "home."

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Biking Around Taipei

Yesterday, I totally had a "Now and Then" moment. For those that don't know, "Now and Then" was a great childhood movie for me. It's a 1995 film about four women who get together and reminisce about their days as childhood friends growing up in suburbia in the 1970s. For me, its particularly iconic moments are when the four (as preteens) bike around their suburban town in search of adventure. So yesterday when I experienced such a vivid "Now and Then" moment that I thought I would share it.

In Taipei, it is difficult to get around with a car even if you have one, due to the lack of parking spaces. So yesterday when a couple of friends and I decided to go shopping around town, we decided to bike. Obviously biking around a large city is very different from biking around a 1970s suburban movie set but while biking I felt the wonderful euphoria that comes with the joy of feeling wind rush past your face and the vivid impression that I, myself, was placed inside my favorite childhood film.

Although I am completely out of shape and nowhere near athletic, I feel like biking can be a great way to explore a city, its a bit faster than walking and its definitely more convenient than driving. Its unfortunate that most suburban towns like the one I grew up in can be very inconvenient for sightseeing by bike -- maybe only for biking as a means of excercise. This I find disappointing since in the movie the girls all seemed to have a ton of fun biking around their neighborhoods. Maybe I'm too old to remember what childhood is like, but I don't remember biking around Allen, Texas with my best friends to raise money for a tree house!

Perhaps this newfound inspiration to bike around will take hold and the next time I travel will be by bicycle... we shall see. Until then, here is a picture that I thought best describes how I felt. Enjoy!