life's adventure lately

you are the sky. everything else is just the weather. // Pema Chödrön

hello friends, remember me? it's been so long I'm not even sure where to begin. this year has been flying by in a whirlwind of ups and downs and adventures in between. and this past month has just been crazy. Taiwan has quickly shifted from sweater weather to sweaty weather, with a smattering of sakura blossoms along the way.

at times it has actually been pretty rough going for me. but I'm trying to remember that despite whatever happens around me, it's all temporary [the good and the bad.] in the interest of all our time [and easing myself back into this blog] we're going to stick with only a few major points. here's what has been happening around here lately:

my parents in Taipei

this is probably my number one excuse for the lack of blog action lately. my parents came for their first ever visit to Taiwan, and spent 10 days exploring Taipei with Luke and I. to be honest I was nervous before their trip - I really wanted them to love Taiwan and enjoy their time here. plus they had never been anywhere in Asia, and I kept thinking how overwhelming everything was when I first arrived [ok, and some days still is!] but they totally handled it like champs. and I'm pretty sure had a great time.

thanks to road closures in Taroko, a layer of pollution that blew over, and some really inaccurate weather reports - things did not all go according to plan. but let's be real: when do they ever? I'm not ready to unpack their whole visit yet, but I have some great memories to share involving chicken feet and pizza delivery by bicycle. among other things.

life without cheese

I've gone 45 days without eating cheese. and - surprise! - I'm still alive. but I've also gone without all that other stuff I'm allergic to, and my body has been much happier. especially once I figured out I needed to eliminate olives and olive oil as well [even though that meant almost zero options for dining out.] I've been trying to stay positive about all this, though I admit some days it's a struggle. I'm pretty exhausted from all the planning and shopping and label-translating and cooking.

having my parents visit forced me out of my comfort zone [aka my kitchen where I have total control] and got me to eat in an actual restaurant again. after, of course, asking a million questions. thank goodness I can still eat at Din Tai Fung! it's nice to have some options again, even though we've been saving a lot of money by eating at home all the time.

the never-ending leaky ceiling saga

our bedroom ceiling has been leaking again. and now the paint is literally cracking and peeling off. it's pretty upsetting, since we've had these issues off and on for about 6 months now. a lot of the places that are showing damage are areas that had previously leaked and were "fixed." even after we brought it up to the landlord they couldn't do anything to fix the roof until last week - since it was raining for pretty much all of March. things seem to have dried up now and they are [fingers crossed] coming in to repair and repaint our ceiling this weekend.

side note: this is not our first Taiwan apartment to have a leaky bedroom ceiling

all things Taiwan and the internet

maybe it's presumptuous, but I would assume that most of you have at least some interest in Taiwan if you're reading here. another Taipei blogger [Alexander of Synapticism] has assembled a list of Taiwan sites and blogs revolving around our island home. by no means have I finished looking through them all, but it's great to get a peek into how others view my expat home. [also, a lot of them have been to some amazing places I'm now adding to my Taiwan bucketlist.]

in somewhat related news: this list article about life in Taipei has been circulating for a while. it's pretty spot-on. and honestly I think it covers life in most of Taiwan, though you may not "get" everything if you haven't been here. and for those of you who still have trouble telling them apart, I came across this illustrated guide that explains 10 key differences between Taiwan and Thailand.

10k race training

it's been almost 3 years since I ran a race [the Crim 10 mile in 2013.] a friend of mine here in Taipei is training for a 10k, which happens to be happening on my birthday, so it seemed like a good idea to sign up. the weather has not been ideal. we went though weeks of rain, followed by heavy pollution, and now we are entering hot and humid for the next 6 months. but so far I've been sticking with my training plan and trying to balance things out with yoga to stay limber. it also helps that a group of us have signed up to run and have been meeting once a week to train together.

this morning we hit the river trail even though it was 88F/31C. I sweat my face off but I think the endorphins have finally kicked in, because I feel pretty amazing. [ok, and maybe a little sore and tired.] running an early morning race may sound like a weird way to start your birthday, but I'm pretty sure 31 is just going to be weird in general.

what's been happening with you lately?

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