five random things

one. I might have a small obsession developing... for dragons. every time I walk past a temple or shrine I get the urge to whip out my camera. some [like these I spotted in Nanliou] have long teeth and claws, some have warriors riding on their backs, some are emerald green or blue or turquoise or green with accents in every color of the rainbow. one of my favorite things about living in Taiwan is that these dragons seem to pop up everywhere.

two. I have been trying my best to start using bloglovin, but it's hard to break my google reader habit. yes yes yes I understand that bloglovin lets you click from viewing one blog post to the next while still actually visiting blogs [and giving them page views.] but as much as I like seeing everyone's cute blog designs, I hate all the ads and other clutter and miss the simplicity and seamlessness of gr. google reader has less than two weeks left though, so I better get used to it. hmph. in other news, you can follow me on bloglovin here [reluctantly or not.]

three. ok. so I was at Costco today and got in line to check out behind a mom and her young daughter. the girl spotted me, dropped her jaw, turned to tug on her mom's arm, and then pointed and laughed at me while jabbering in Chinese. the mother did not stop the child or act embarrassed. she eyed me warily like I was some exotic creature that might give her fleas if she got too close. and then she ignored me and paid and pushed her giant cart away all while the girl was still staring. [this situation, though not always this extreme, happens to me at least once a week while grocery shopping.]

four. I am now in my third week of training, and to be honest, it's been a little rough. it's beyond humid here, which makes my knees angry to begin with. [yes I am like one of those old people who can predict when it will rain by their aching joints. and yes I take glucosamine but it is a weaker version derived from plants since most comes from... shellfish. hello, allergy. oh, and yes it is currently the rainy season in Taiwan.] the area where I live is densely populated but also very hilly. if I want to run somewhere away from traffic lights and scooter smog it means a 130 meter climb over less than a mile. so most mornings I can be found running along a sea of scooters in rush hour on their way to work, feeling a little bit like a circus animal on parade. let's not even start about how many stares I get because I am a) white and b) a woman running and c) not wearing jean or cargo shorts and converse while exercising. and I think I have developed a runner's toe as the nail on my right big toe is bruised and starting to lift on one side. gross. and slightly painful.

four-and-a-half. that was two  three-ish rants in a row, sorry.

five. go read this post about the futility of comparing yourself to others. it will make you feel better about the next time you check facebook. I know sometimes it's hard for me to remember that some things in life [like trying to bake cookies] are infinitely more difficult because of the life I live. I try to remember that I have some things others lust after: the freedom to not work and the ability to travel to exotic places. and I try to remember that we are all on different paths, that comparison is the thief of joy, and to love what's yours.

even if what's yours today is an ouchy toe and an embarrassing expat moment...


  1. can i just say that i hate it when number three happens! it's one thing for a small child to point and stare (they've at least seen westerners in movies right?) but for the grown adult to not do anything about it is just plain annoying and rude. i've tried to get used to it and not get annoyed because i live in a country where blatantly staring is not considered rude

    1. I'm not sure which annoys me more... the pointing-and-staring or the acting-like-I'm-invisible-and-cutting-in-front-of-me?

  2. Lol love this little post all random and ranty. So funny that you get pointed at in the supermarket.


    1. haha! well at least my rants are entertaining, thanks :)

  3. I absolutely love your blog. I also find I can relate to a lot of your rants! (having lived in Thailand for 10+ years...) :)

  4. comparing ourselves to others is futile and damaging - but I doubt anyone can resist doing it 100% of the time. I feel your pain [what is it about how something in a grocery store abroad can wreck you?] Let me point you to your local pizza place where the owner knows you by name. Also I think the child was stunned to see you and confused you with a current fHollywood ilm star whose name I can't remember and she wanted to talk to you but her mother said NO. You're doing GREAT!!! Seriously. I don't know many girls who would be as positive as you. Besides - there's something about training hard that always makes me feel really hostile, angry. The three days I trained consecutively before deciding training was not for me that is xx & love

  5. Just wanted to leave a note to say we just stumbled upon your blog, and we're so glad we did! We can thoroughly relate to the being stared at thing, although now we've just taken to giving huge smiles and waves back in return. After two years here, it just annoys me too much to pretend like I don't understand what 'wai guo ren' means ;-P Where do you live in Taiwan? We're in Hsinchu. Also, not sure if you mentioned what kind of training you're doing, but we trained for a marathon last year... there were definitely horribly humid days that just about killed us!


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