Friday, December 21, 2007

Christmas greetings

Can't believe it is around the corner again. Sometimes I feel like the Grinch. Christmas is always a busy time for us here in Taiwan and the worst is that it is NOT a holiday, hence no "time off." Yes, you've heard me correctly. It is a normal working day for us here. So for those of you who have the luxury to relax a bit and enjoy the Christmas cheers with family and friends, think of me here while you are celebrating and I can certainly use some good vibes you've sent to beat all these deadlines.

The only good thing about not having it as a mandated holiday is that I can skip all this shopping- and I don't complain on that. It used to be hard to be a Taiwanese in the U.S. We shopped for Christmas and gave money out to family for the Chinese New Year. Doubling spending, you know.

I have problem uploading a video to this site so instead I am linking you to my Christmas greeting video on vox.

Vox does not allow non-members to leave a comment so if you want to leave a message for me, you are welcome to comment here.

Happy holidays.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Daddy's Birthday

Dad called me yesterday, which was unusual because my folks rarely called me up. I remember calling them every weekend when I lived in the States, just wanting to hear their voices and know how they were doing. So on picking up the phone, I said to dad, "wow wow, what a surprise that you called." He said he did because he hadn't heard from me for a while. Now you have to know that my parents have five kids-me being the oldest and always the one who wandered miles away from them. When their grandchildren were born, they were too happy and occupied to check on me, and I did not
mind(well maybe a little)because I used to live in a place that was day and night apart from where they were. But for dad to call on a regular Sunday..I was suspicious..what was going on?

It turned out that it was Dad's birthday yesterday. And I forgot about it. This morning I was driving around running for errands, and all of a sudden I remembered that. Darn, I swore to myself, and felt so bad about forgetting it. No wonder dad called. He must have been receiving happy birthday wishes from my siblings and the grand kids all day long, except for from me. "What should I do?" I thought to myself. In our culture, it is okay to celebrate a birthday early, but never late. Never. So I was debating whether or not I should send dad a belated birthday wish. And there is one thing, I do not quite feel like driving home because I have to be back at work in the morning. I just don't like to drive, and purposefully try to avoid it when the gas price keeps climbing up.

So I tried calling my sister Carol, who might still be home from visiting for the weekend. I wanted to see if she had driven home and if I could catch a ride back here tomorrow. She did not answer the phone. So I called my mother instead. Mom has Monday tea ceremony classes in a town that is close to me. I thought she probably wouldn't mind coming over here to pick me up on the way home tonight. But it turns out that mom is doing her volunteer work today in a different city. Still, I am glad that I called because I found out today is actually Dad's birthday on the Lunar Calender. Well, lucky me. Then it is not too late to celebrate if I can make it home by today. So I rushed to a nearby bakery to order a cake and went to the bank to cash money for the gift. I usually give Dad aftershaves for his birthday. I just think someone should be a constant supplier for that because he doesn't shop for himself. In fact, I tried to present a different type of lotion or cologne for his birthday or Father's Day each year. An alternative is to offer a red envelope which can be seen as a standard good luck charm in this culture. It can't go wrong with money!

I am just glad that I did not miss the big day and I want to celebrate it with my folks. I am happy that I am here, living in the same country to see them whenever I want, and I want them to know that by driving back home to spend a night with them, I show my respect and love for them. So here it is, the red envelope. It says, "daddy, wishing you a happy birthday, good health and all that you've ever wanted."

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Teacher's Day Eulogy

As I was going through the motion of another routineous day, I remembered very well that it was the Grand Teacher's Day when the ancient Chinese philosopher Confucius was honored for his birthday. Didn't we use to get a day off and didn't we use to send cards to our teachers? Now it is not celebrated as a holiday although its significance remains on the calendar with a tiny mark next to the day.

So it was a work day for me on a day that was not publicly acknowledged anymore. I sat with my morning freshman psych. classes in an international conference which they were forced to attend. I felt like a nanny and many times I feel so in my current job. What was really funny was that the department sent a student worker to remind me of my duty to keep the students from skipping the event. The topic was music therapy and I doubted how many of them felt truly inspired at their age? Why did they call this an international conference anyway when the audience wasn't international at all?

At 3:30pm, my dear student Mr. Liu showed up to present a card to me. It was the third time in a roll that he did this and I, on seeing him outside of my office waiting, suppressed my tears. I really wanted to hug and thank him for remembering me on this day. For the first time in three years, I felt like a teacher who was truly appreciated by a student. I told him how special he was and he seemed embarrassed, not expecting this to come from me-a teacher. Taiwanese student may not be used to hearing compliments. But I ignored that and told him how much he had made my day.

On the card, he wrote, "dear teacher, I want to know if you are as pretty as ever, and I hope they are not killing you with this amount of work. I wish you are more beautiful each year. Thank you for being a part of my life." How can I not feel touched by sweet words like these? Mr. Liu certainly did not expect me to read the card in front of him. I answered each of his questions in the card and asked him to show me the secret of staying young and beautiful as we age.

There was this person in my life whom I owed thanks to on every Teacher's Day. It was my first English teacher Mr. Huang in junior high school. He gave me a key to the world by leading me to understand the north American cultures and language. He was not only a teacher, but a father figure to his young students by giving his love unconditionally. There I was, a sad girl searching for the meanings of life at the age of 13. I did not like school and doubted why I had to be imprisoned in a culture where my individualism was not valued. I wanted an outlet to a different life and found my escape in the world of English. I felt as if I was in a different world where I could be who I was, without having to abide by the rules of absurdity. It was a make-believe world where I temporarily relieved myself from the boredom of life.

Mr. Huang raised two children on his own after his wife had passed away. He would often come by and reach out to hold us, urging us to practice English with him. But we all ran away. Studying English for more than five hours a day was drilling to young teens. As much as I enjoyed learning it, I couldn't help join other students for a complaint from time to time.

It was when I was in college that I heard Mr. Huang had cancer and was very sick in the hospital. I was in shock and did not know what to do to cheer him up. I had not kept in touch with him although I was one of his favorite students. I was too scared to go see him. From other former classmates, I learned that he was not doing well. Several of them had visited him. And I, waited, and waited until one day I heard that he had passed away. I heard that he worked away typing the English practice sheets for his students on his sick bed, until the very last day of his life.

All these years, I felt like a coward because I was too afraid of death to visit Mr. Huang while he was still alive. I missed my chance of saying goodbye. Mostly, I miss him so much that I wish I could see him smiling with his cute buck teeth again. I know that he is in good hands with the Lord but I really miss him. I want to ask him to teach me to say the double "r" in Spanish, again and again. I would practice very hard until I get it right this time. And I would tell him that he is the best teacher that I've ever had, the most talented Asian teacher who rolled his tongue so well when speaking Spanish. I want to tell him that I was mimicking his ways in teaching my own English classes to teenagers when I was back in college, and I had done very well producing some excellent students who went on to shine in the world of the English language. Perhaps I've managed to keep his legacy?

I am writing this in memory of the one and only Mr. Huang from Concordia Middle School, for he inspired me to interact with another world that I found comfort in my early miserable teen years. I love you very much Mr. Huang. Can you see that I just got a card from a student? I wish you had an address that I can send my card to.

Saturday, September 8, 2007

Beauty or Persecution?

Some say it is inhuman to treat women like this while others say these women and girls should be freed from wearing coils on the neck. I simply do not judge. There is nothing wrong in letting people do whatever they want to preserve their own cultures. Most of the long neck tribe live in the mountains of Mae Hong Son where they are widely spread out. This village we visited was only a "show case" where souvenir selling was a major activity.

Perhaps they took turns to man the exhibition booths. Perhaps they lived in the tents for a few days before other tribal women came in to take over the duties. I saw women caring for little ones, girls putting special make-ups on to attract visitors and mostly people persuading us to shop.

One of the visitors, a nurse, reached out to touch a little girl's neck, saying that she had suffered from an allergy to brass. I tried to stop her from doing that. It was an act of disrespect to me and I did not like that. This lady expressed her sympathy and swore that something needed to be done to "rescue" these women and girls from wearing the brass coils.

What right do we outsiders have to judge what is good for people from a different culture? Can we be forcing our values on them without understanding the history of their perceptions of beauty? On my return flight to Bangkok, I read that the Long Neck tribe actually welcomed the help from the government to draw their community together. The government's plan was to help with the housing and life subsidy by opening their community to visitors without charging a fee to enter. Of course it can be seen as a scheme to spruce up tourism. At the same time, it helps the villagers earn extra incomes to improve their lives in the mountain. It can be interpreted as enabling the sharing of the tribal cultures too. As long as a permission has been obtained from the tribe, or most of the people from the tribe, they can decide their own future.

But when I heard one of these women talking with a coarse voice and the little girl breathing hard as I sat beside her, I couldn't help wondering if that might have been the result from wearing this heavy metal..Would I change my position to become one of these "rescuer wanna be"s if more adverse facts were presented to me? I do not know what to think anymore.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Aka boys

Walking quietly up the hill with bamboo shoots in the bags, they made no sounds and I couldn't read their emotions. I spoke a simple Thai hello, had an urge to shop for the goods, but the ridiculous thought of carrying a bamboo shoot in a mountaineering trip stopped me. They didn't speak back. I posed beside them for a photo and oops, I didn't ask for their permission. But how would I know if they had granted me an okay for photo shooting? They didn't speak at all. I felt that I was taking advantage of their silence. How many bamboo shoots could they sell each day and who had sent them up here? I waived a good bye and walked to the car. They seemed to frown a little but perhaps it was just my illusion. I kept turning back to check on them, waiving my arm several times and there they were, standing still, looking at me. They did not move at all. I waived my final good bye before getting into the car, and finally one of them waived back. The gesture melted my heart at that moment. I wanted to make sure that they knew we were leaving and we weren't going back to buy those bamboo shoots. Weren't they supposed to be in school at this time of the day? Were they curious at us too as we were at them? What if I were born an Aka woman? Was this the way I would have raised my children and would I surrender to my fate?

For the rest of the clear day in northern Thailand, these boys' images stayed with me. I wondered what they did and where they went after our brief encounter.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

A few things in life

I was at my parents making Thai curry and realized we were out of coconut milk. I went around the corner to to a tiny grocery stand which have been in existence since I was very little.

I asked in Chinese, "do you sell coconut milk in a can?" The man looked at me as if I were from outer planet and replied with disgust in Taiwanese, "can you speak Taiwanese?" Heck of course I speak the language, not super great but comprehensible. All I had in mind was that my curry was sitting on the stove and I was in desperate need of this very ingredient, which the traditional taste relied mainly on. You know how some words can slip off the word bank when you need it the most. I stood there and thought about it for two seconds, only failed to remember how to say it in Taiwanese. I looked on the shelves to ignore his question, "it comes in a can, you know, coconut milk," I said again. The mid-day sun was scorching me badly that I was starting to lose patience in looking and decided to head home. "No, I don't think you have it." I talked to myself. "No", he said those words in Chinese. Apparently he heard my self-talk. "But you don't speak Taiwanese?" He raised his voice. I was irritated. It sounded like he was interrogating me like this:
1. How sad that you don't speak Taiwanese living in Taiwan, or.
2. Taiwanese should be used more predominantly than Chinese in Taiwan. And, this woman does not speak it? That is just not right. She has to speak Taiwanese.

I felt being disciminated upon at that very moment. In smaller towns of Taiwan where people claim the real Taiwanese identity, discrimination like this does happen. But I've only seen it on TV or heard about it. To be confronted like this was novelty to me. And it happened in my very home town.

I waved to the store impatiently and said, "no, I don't" in Chinese and then as I walked away, I made a face that he couldn't see and continued with my self-talk "non, je ne parle pas and it is none of your business!" I wasn't even PMSing but was not a happy camper either.

Enough about this. I went home and made myself some English fruit tea. Immediately I felt much better. English tea does wonders to me.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007


The last time I went to a karaoke was perhaps when I studied for my Ph.D. in Colorado a decade ago. From time to time, the bored Taiwanese students would ask me to join them and we would car-pooled out to Denver for a night out. We had our moments with karaoke.

My friend Jane is a very good singer and she performed at restaurants when she was still in college. She had asked me to go with her to a Karaoke but it hadn't happened until a couple of days ago when I was really bummed and in a bad mood. At the lunch with Eric and Jane, I proposed to have a "singing our hearts out night" and Jane gladly agreed to go.

We were taken to this huge room with only the three of us! The snacks were not impressive but we loved how we could be our own DJs with the innnovative digital song request system. Jane dedicated an English song to me at the end and she sang so beautifully. Her specialty is Taiwanese songs and I think she is one of the best singers that I have ever heard. Even the very reserved Eric tagged along and he did pretty well too. As for me, I tried some Taiwanese songs with Jane's help. She thought I was good, but I had problem with some of the Taiwanese lyrics. Well, having a compliment from a pro was something!

These two photos were taken with my Nokia N-70 phone camera. Jane didn't mind my spontaneous photo shooting but Eric was not thrilled with it. He blocked my camera with his microphone.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Another summer outing

I am in my summer slumber here so am not motivated to do a lot other than vegetating in the air-conditioned room. Ooh, the electricity bills will be scary to look at later. Here are some photos I took on a day trip to southern Taiwan. As there is an increasing southeast Asian population here from immigration (and mostly through marriage), we found that there was actually a place called "Vietmese village" in a little town in Tainan. We bought some dried pho, a can of coffee that was super sweet from the little shop. I tried to practice some of my Vietmese with the store clerks but all of them spoke Taiwanese to me.

And here is my voice greeting to you all for a great summer ahead!

Thursday, June 28, 2007

What's in store for me?

I was so far away from home for a long time and after a while home started calling me. I tried to deny it but when every vacation was made for homecoming, and when I was always the missing piece in a family puzzle, I thought of returning. I am so glad that I did. Now I can see my folks whenever I can and spend time with them. I don't have any regrets anymore in not seeing how fast my niece and nephew are growing up.

I don't interact with Taiwan and I don't think I'll genuinely like it for what it is. But I cherish the moments I share with my family for fear that one day I may leave again. I used to feel guilty about not being closer to them and I think I will be torn unless there is a compelling reason to justify my going away. I am not young anymore and as the days go by, my adventurous spirit dwindles, and I just don't know what to do with that. I wish there is a simple answer out there.

Friday, June 22, 2007

Tsong Tsu Time of the Year

It is Tsong Tsu time (May 5 of the Lunar calender, and 6/19 of 2007)again. Originally associated with the "Poet's Day", Tsong Tsu was first made by kind village dwellers to keep the fish from devouring the body of an ancient patriotic Chinese poet Chui-Yuen, who depressively gave up his life by suicidally jumping into a river. After days and nights of futile search for the body, the village people decided to wrap rice in bamboo leaves to feed the underwater creatures, assuming that food can keep the dead body from being attacked.

Mom made these wonderful Tsong Tsus that were extremely tasty. The ingredients included black mushrooms, chestnuts, lotus nuts, pork and sweet rice. Oh, the fried red onions added so much to the flavor. Here are two photos of the freshly cooked beauties:

And the aroma filled the whole house:

The nude one:

With yummy sweet and hot sauce:
And Finally, Li-chi for dessert!!

I am not sure if Chui-Yuen's body was ever found, but the Tsong Tsu tradition certainly brings some festivity to this hot lunar May day.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

You are lucky to be alive in Taiwan

We should all feel very lucky to be alive to this day while living in Taiwan. I seriously mean it for the following reasons:
1. Pedestrians risk being killed every second crossing the street. The right of way never belongs to those who walks. You will get the honking and brutal staring from drivers and motorcycle riders if you take time to do your business of walking. And beware of the holes and unevenly paved roads that might trip you over. The best way is to watch the road as if you are walking on brittle ice.
2. Drivers are always on nerves in dodging the motorcyclists who seek to sneak into every space they can find and who never pay any attention to turn signals from the cars. Traffic rules mean nothing to them because they create their own in sliding through every crack of traffic.
3. Designated lanes for the traffic and people here are a luxury. The moment you walk out of the door, road rages await you. And the police is nowhere to be seen for law enforcement.
4. When it rains really hard in the monsoon season, you are literally walking in streams and rivers. Beach sandals go very well with my work outfits on rainy days. Everyone should have a pair or two of these if you do not want to ruin the shoes. Why waste the money when your nice shoes and clothes can easily be destroyed by hot sweat and tears from the heaven?

Every day is a maneuver and struggle in a place where human lives mean nothing. I used to love my mean friends in the states by inviting them to visit Taiwan. I threatened my American students by suggesting to throw them out to Taiwan when they failed to cherish the respect they had received for granted. It is a society where community well-being is non-existent and craps for others are acceptable as long as everyone gets what he/she wants. Hail to an orderless society! It is too late to draw city plans that should have been done 50 years ago. Regretfully, only strict laws can bring the society to order.

Everyday when I walk into my place safely, I am so thankful to have lived through another day by remaining intact.

Ohmmmm....may the Buhhda grant us some moments of peace.

Friday, June 1, 2007

Hot summer days

I can't even begin to describe how unbearably hot summer in Taiwan is. The humidity is making things worse each year. Soon as May arrives, the heat level escalates and the air permeates with mildew because of the monsoon rain. The moment you move, your skin starts to develop a sticky salty layer that can only be taken off with a quick cold shower. The only way is to stay in an air-conditioned room. Here in Taiwan, you do not see happy people walking about leisurely, but only those with perspiring struggles to survive the heat and humidity.

Before I go out of the house, I have to remember to carefully apply the sunscreen lotion and get my umbrella ready to shield of the blazing sun rays. I used to laugh at those women with umbrellas, but now I realize that these are necessary weapons to protect people from the sunburn kiss. The umbrella carriers range from men to young girls. It is quite a summer scenery here. Just to prove that I am not making things up, here is a picture of a man holding an umbrella. Then when I drive, I put on slip-off sleeves on my arms to fight off the harmful heat.

So summer really isn't a good time to be in Taiwan. It is a steam room with pollution from the flooding motorcycles. I am always looking for summer hide-outs so if you know any that is not too far from here, let me know and I want to check them out.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

On guard

I can become totally on guard whenever I receive positive comments about my looks from men. I know that first impressions usually are based on looks but the older I get, the more I dislike about being noticed on the appearances. Also, I have become very impatient in having to say, "thank you" before moving on with a conversation or discussion. It becomes a problem for me in potential romantic relationship building. The minute I hear these comments, I turn off my interest in these people. It is not that I question these people's sincerity, but it is because I would rather that they focus on my personal qualities as much as I do with them.

I met a Christian couple months ago and was lucky to learn about how they met. Being very devout Christians, they prayed for God to bring the right people to them before starting to develop any loving and lasting relationships. In our society where appearances and superficial gratification outweigh character-building, it was refreshing to hear such a story. I couldn't help admiring them.

I may have been over-reacted about these comments, but I'd like to rationalize my over-reaction. I wonder if it is possible at all to meet someone who is interested in knowing who I am inside, who is willing to embrace my strengths and weaknesses in being my confidant. Appearances fade but the soul can grow to be more beautiful over time. Sometimes I wonder if my naive hope for a soul mate is lofty.

Friday, March 30, 2007

Kids who made my day

Capturing the images of some Malaysian children:
Image 1:
Boy 1: Let's go, I don't pose for strangers.
Boy 2: That's okay, Sam, she seems nice and it will be fun!

Image 2:
Boy 1: I don't know..what does this foreign woman want for taking our photos?
Boy 2: Who cares, it will be fine, Sam.
Boy in baseball cap: What are you guys doing here? Come on, let's go. Wait, am I in the picture too?? Should I grin?

Image 3:
Boy 1: All right, just do it quick; we have to go.
Boy 2: Look at the camera, Sam. Maybe she'll make us famous.
Boy in baseball cap: Ooh, I think I am in. Hope that's good.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Practice makes perfect

What does a worry free me look like? With puffy hair??? (shirt from France, skirt from Taiwan and earrings you can't see from Japan)

Just last night, I was lying in bed wondering why I had so many worries? I finally got tired of worrying and decided to quit doing it. For a moment, I felt good about myself for being able to convince myself into that. Seriously, I was very proud of myself. One of my grad school professors once commented on my personality and said, "Loretta will always find something to worry about even if there is nothing close to be doing so." He was darn right! I do not have much confidence in myself even though I have been perceived to be successful in many things. I am still this little girl seeking the approval from someone.

But being able to perceive the problem doesn't lead to easy correctin of my worrisome personality. What I can do is to "make up my mind" to stop the vicious cycle of carrying unnecessary responsibilities and start to learn to enjoy myself.

The first step will begin from separating others' problems from mine. Well, this is a big revelation for me. While others' behaviors may have an adverse impact on me, I want to be free from perpetuating the effect. I can build up this invisible wall to shield them off and I can tell myself that I am free from their influences. So it was really unfortunate to be hitted on by this married guy in my department and it was not my problem. I despise him and the best I can do for now is to avoid him. This man holds some sort of power to manipulate my promotion so I have to be careful in taking any actions. If this was in a different culture, then I would directly request an apology. But in this sytem, things are different and I have to be very caustious.

I am blessed with many good things in life and I should be happy and worry free. I know I can be a genuinely happy person so I'll start being one today. Good luck to myself and I can be a whole new person in a few weeks.

Monday, March 19, 2007

Weekend get-away

I visited Kuala Lumper, Malaysia over the weekend and got together with my friend Marcus whom I haven't met for over 16 years. Marcus is one of those people who tries to keep in touch with friends no matter how far they are. My family or I received new year's wishes from him all the time whether I was abroad or in town. I am a people person but I also moved a lot over the last decade. We all know that when we moved, old friends tend to drift away sometimes. I really admire Marcus' effort for keeping in touch with me.

It was nice to experience a bit of the multiculturalism of Malaysia and listen to stories of the Chinese Malaysians. Met a few interesting people of various cultural backgrounds, and I think I'll drop them a note to say hello.

I wish I can take a year off to do some soul searching and overseas traveling. But then I feel insecure to abandom a steady income by quitting a job that is not so satisfying anyway. Getting away is nice at times but returning to the boring routines is a pain after the stimulation. But to think about it, I need to give myself permissions to be out of the ordinary and be wild. After all, life is short and unpredictable. We may have the whole life time to hesitate but then it may not be as long as we have in mind.

Tuesday, March 6, 2007

Yikes I am deteriorating

My back hurts! Seriously. The dreadful four hours' of non-stop lecturing and monitoring class activities exhausted me. Tomorrow I am doing this all over again. No it is even worse. It will be classes all morning and a night class for two hours. I am not feeling well and never has this happened before. What's wrong with me? Is age finally having an effect on me? How depressing..I've finally become one of them. Oh my gosh! What else could have gone wrong with my health beside the minor problems that I know of? Was it exacerbated by sitting in front of the computer for the last couple of months? I don't know but I want to get well.

I have this desire of running away right now, just to put all these behind me. I had always fought to get myself to places-I was a warrior, but maybe that didn't help to make it to the point of ultimate happiness. I am just too tired to do that all over again. I want to plan a vacation but I am just tired. My anxiety is back-or it has never left. God I wish it disappears right now. Why can't I make myself happy?

Thursday, February 22, 2007

The Green Tara Mantra

The Green Tara is the embodiment of the Buddha's compassion..May her protection and blessings heal our wounds and shelter us from disastrous pains..

weng da lieh du da lie du lie sou ha

It will take a while to load the music file. The music was produced by Jane Wang Beck and sung by Ito Kayo.

The holiday blues

Holidays always make me sad, with or without family around. I wish I can sleep through the holidays and wake up to a normal day. I just don't like how my emotions are always intensified during those days. All the imperfections of life jump out on me so vividly. It is hard to be optimistic on holidays.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

The changing climate

This year, the seasons have been obscure. The plum blossoms were gone by mid-January and it started to feel Spring like, which normally wouldn't be until early March.

A butterfly befriended me and my camera phone in this early Spring.

Married men need not apply

There is nothing more insulting than being an object of fantasy for a married man, and being told of that to the face. Integrity is what makes who I am and no one should ever test that. NEVER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I wish for these obnoxious people to stay away from me forever.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Driving in the rain

Driving in the rain, I longed for the beaming sun of North America;

I looked for signs of inspirations, but they were nowhere to be found.

The hustle and bustle surrendered to the splashes of water;

and I, a dweller, buried in pensiveness behind the wheel.

Driving in the rain, my wandering brain echoed my escaping heart.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Small world

I was dining with my family at Saturday noon, and found this interesting lady taking photos of us with her new camera. So we posed for her. Her name was Lynn. I went up to introduce myself, left my card with her and asked for copies of the pictures. There were three of them visiting from South Carolina, U.S.A., and after our brief conversation, Lynn's husband asked if I were married and that he would like his son who lived in San Diego to have a cup of tea with me so that I could counsel him. He cracked me up. It was just so funny!

Then my sister found out that their local host worked at the same university where her former roomate did.

Lynn's husband's mother was born in Pennsylvania, where I lived in the early 90s for more than two years.

What can I say other than that it is a small world (they said the same too), and we never know who we will run into in the next minute of our lives.

I was in a good mood for the rest of the day. Meeting interesting people always cheers me up; and I simply couldn't take my eyes off Lynn's fancy Sony camera.

Friday, February 9, 2007

Magic and Love

Lighting up the candles of magic and love, I wish for peace of mind, love and a good time. What is yours?

Trying out Nokia

I was riding in a car when I passed the Nice Plaza in Chiayi. It was New Year's Eve of 2006. I was testing the phone camera and it came out okay. Nokia rocks!

Sorry that I haven't talked to most of you. Believe me, I am dying to get out of my "shell" for the light and fun out there!! Only if I give myself permission first. See what my problem is now?

Totally pooped

Before I ramble on with my complaints, here is a belated happy new year wish for all in the world and universe. How are you all doing?

After working days and nights to get my promotion review file out, my body is protesting to me now. I am so very wiped out! Going through the hoops isn't so bad compared to working with the bothersome protocols. Why do people have to give each other a hard time instead of loosening up? Why do they create a system to lock us in?

I've spent more time translating my paper and thoughts to Chinese than doing anything else. I lose my patience often in doing that. It is like living in a foreign country all over again. What's even more scary to me is the feeling of "being stuck" because I am not learning anything new here. I've stopped growing professionally and that is so not me..

I can't imagine sitting in front of the computer researching till the day I die. What an awful future to have...

But of course I can look at the bright side of things..and I don't have to be in this..I can get out if I want..

So what's keeping me here?