Searching for My Personal Space

If you don’t like strangers constantly touching you, maybe don’t come to Asia.

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Before I moved to Taiwan, I thought New York City was really, really crowded.

I’ve been to New York countless times, but for some reason, every time I picture being there, I remember it like this:

7xuozhu

Boston is a comparatively small city, but it’s still a city. So I thought moving to Taipei would be a piece of 蛋糕(dàn gào).

giphy

(sorrynotsorry)

As it turns out, a lot of fucking people live in Asia. And since I didn’t want to just start spewing my feelings on this without having facts to back me up, I did some research. Continue reading “Searching for My Personal Space”

Japan Animal Adventure #2: RABBITS

Also known as buns, bunnies, and bunbuns. Also 兔子(tuzi) in Mandarin, I learned later.

Off the coast of Hiroshima there is an island home to a colony of LITERALLY BILLIONS (not literally) of feral rabbits. The island itself was key in the early-to-mid-20th century, as it was the site of a poison gas factory that developed chemical weapons for Japanese use in China during the Second Sino-Japanese War. To this day, there are still parts of the island inaccessible to tourists due to contamination.

I won’t go into the significance of rabbits to this island. I will say, however, that rabbits were intentionally brought to the island to be freed after the war ended.

There is a ferry that takes tourists from the tiny town of Tadanoumi Nakamachi which, from what I can tell, only exists to serve the bunny-bound. There are a couple of cafes (I think), a convenience store or two, and a railway station. When I googled the name of the town to check my stats, the entire first page of results were Airbnb listings.

But before you get to Tadanoumi Station, you must go on An Adventure. Continue reading “Japan Animal Adventure #2: RABBITS”

Japan Animal Adventure #1: DEER

Initial review of Japan: if you want to interact with any animals, come here and find a colony where they live.

Adam and I spent 5 days in Japan tagging along with our friends Romana and Brett as they hopped from city to city, checking out everything from rabbit islands to owl cafés (links to @theromanashow on Instagram). It was great to spend time with one of our best friends while seeing a whole new side of Asia.

Our second full day in Japan we went to Nara, a medium-sized city just over an hour via public transit from Osaka. Nara is known for a few things: gorgeous historic monuments and temples (including a UNESCO World Heritage Site), museums, a giant statue of Buddha, and an adorable little downtown area.

But we weren’t there for history or shopping. We were there for the FUCKING SACRED DEER. Continue reading “Japan Animal Adventure #1: DEER”

Learning to Love My Tiny Kitchen, Part 1

I’ve mentioned Taipei’s eating-out culture before, and how it’s basically amazing. Cheap, tasty food is readily available at all hours of the day on every street corner in the city. However, this creates somewhat of a Catch-22 when it comes to living and creating a home in a place like this.

It boils down to Cook Allowed or No Cook Allowed.

Continue reading “Learning to Love My Tiny Kitchen, Part 1”

This is a Garbage Post

Cities in Taiwan have a municipal waste collection program unlike anything I’ve ever heard of, let alone experienced, before.

If you are a follower of Roman Mars’s 99% Invisible podcast, you may have caught the great episode he did on trash pickup in Taipei. But if not, this has been my experience with Taipei’s unique approach to community involvement when it comes to garbage*.

Cities in Taiwan have a municipal waste collection program unlike anything I’ve ever heard of, let alone experienced, before.

If you are a follower of Roman Mars’s 99% Invisible podcast, you may have caught the great episode he did on trash pickup in Taipei. But if not, this has been my experience with Taipei’s unique approach to community involvement when it comes to garbage*.

Continue reading “This is a Garbage Post”

Immersive Language Learning

Like eating spicy food: it hurts, but in the best way possible.

Here’s a fun fact: I took six years of French in school. If you came up to me today and started speaking French, I’d freak out.

Here’s another fun fact: I’ve taken one week of intensive Mandarin class. If you came up to me today and started speaking Mandarin…… I’d probably still freak out.

Continue reading “Immersive Language Learning”