Trust issues

I feel like I have a hard time making friends sometimes, and I came across this article that might explain why:

http://www.thefriendshipblog.com/why-do-some-women-have-such-hard-time-making-friends-nature-or-nurture/

This article said that if someone moved around a lot as a child, and they are introverted to begin with, they’ll have difficulty forming relationships in the future due to trust issues. I think that’s me. I continuously moved throughout my childhood, and back then there was no Facebook, so there was no way for me to keep in touch with old friends.

I really miss my old job in Canada before moving to Taiwan. There, I had many friends, and many of us still contact each other even though I’m halfway across the globe. However, I’m having a hard time fitting in at my workplace in Taiwan. Don’t get me wrong; they’re actually pretty nice people, but for some reason or another, I still feel like an outsider. Maybe because they’re all in their 30’s, or maybe because I don’t fit in with the Taiwanese culture, but it gets mighty lonely here oftentimes…

But enough with the sad talk. I should feel happy for many things, such as my health and the health of all my family and friends. Sometimes, some things cannot be forced into happening. If I find a close friend in Taiwan, then I will cherish the friendship. However, if I don’t, I will still find reasons to be very happy. :)

Today is New Year’s Eve in Taiwan, and I’m going to watch the fireworks at Taipei 101 after having hot pot for dinner.

May the new year bring happiness and health to all.

Demons

People often have stigma toward mental illness, and even though places like Canada and the US have become more open-minded, Taiwan still has a ways to go in terms of acceptance.

The other day at work, my coworkers were chatting about a coworker that used to work as a web designer for the company, but acted weird so everyone ostracized her. She ended up quitting (one of the reasons was because people didn’t want to take the elevator with her, and she could feel that she was being excluded). I think if it were me, I wouldn’t do that to her. I’d treat her like any other person, because nobody wants to feel like a freak.

Maybe because my aunt had schizophrenia in high school, and maybe because I grew up in an open-minded place like Canada. Maybe because people also ostracized me before. Maybe that’s why.

We all have our demons.

Almond crisps

I love Friday nights! It marks the end of another work week, and the start of a happy weekend.

Last night I watched “The Blind Side”, baked cookies, and uploaded photos on Facebook. Basically, I got to get things done that I normally don’t get the time to do during the week.

My almond crisps:

image

Today I Line-called Li because it’s been ages since the last time we talked. It was nice to finally talk to her, and it felt like I was in Canada again. I am so grateful for technology; everyone is simply just one quick phone call or message away!

Bo Duo (博多) Ramen

It’s chilly in Taiwan these days, and what better food to have on a cold day than a bowl of delicious Japanese ramen? So for dinner yesterday, I tried Bo Duo Ramen, and it was delicious! I still like Santouka ramen the best, but this place serves ramen at half the price, and the server was even considerate enough to offer me a hair band to tie up my hair so it won’t get singed by the flames (they keep the ramen heated on top of a small flame at this restaurant… also quite different from other places!).

Get ready for lots of food photos… *Warning: Not recommended for viewing at 2 in the morning.

Egg (with half-cooked yolk! Yum):

image

Agedashi tofu (small order):

image

Curry croquette:

image

Deep-fried chicken pieces:

image

Original Bo Duo ramen with cha siu:

image

Their broth is really rich and creamy, and the serving size was perfect (with lots of delicious cha siu), but because we ordered all those side dishes, I barely finished my noodles!

Now that it’s winter, it’s cold outside so I don’t get to move around as much, and feeling cold leads to more eating… I have to take care to watch my weight!

Seedless grapes?!

A coworker brought in fresh blueberries today, and people had no idea what they were.

One person guessed: “Seedless grapes?!”

Most people just looked puzzled.

Only I knew what they were.

Fresh berries (except for strawberries) are extremely rare here… Most people in Taiwan have also never had fresh raspberries. </3 Berries are what makes Canadian summers so amazing! Maybe I should try to grow fresh berries and start a berry business in Taiwan…

Winter Solstice

Tomorrow is winter solstice, when evening will be the longest, and daylight will be the shortest. It’s an event that’s not celebrated extensively in Canada, but is celebrated here in Taiwan.

On the day of winter solstice, it is a tradition to eat rice balls in soup (湯圓); traditionally savoury, but sweet is also quite popular (stuffed with peanut or black sesame).

Grandma makes the rice balls pretty much from scratch every year. Her friend takes rice to somebody who grinds it into flour, then they take the flour and make rice balls. The result:

image

Delicious rice balls in a savoury soup with meat and vegetables. Chewy, delicous, and just perfect on a cold wintery day. :)

I honestly feel like winter solstice is just another excuse to eat good food… at least in our family. I’m not quite certain if there’s a religious purpose behind the rice balls! There probably is.

Christmas time

I got up this morning and decided to paint my nails. Easy Christmas nails design: candy canes!

image

3 years ago I spent Christmas in Canada, 2 years ago in Las Vegas, last year in San Francisco, and now this year in Taiwan. I must say that Taiwan Christmas isn’t quite as fun as those other places. There are still some beautiful decorations though:

image

image

image

image

image

Merry Christmas and happy 2014 everybody! :) May the new year be happy and bright.