sometimes you need to give yourself a little reminder - not so much of what you think you should be - but of who you already are.
it's been a busy few weeks around here. celebrating anniversaries and Chinese New Year, having girls nights and game nights, biking and hiking and yoga-ing and... well, a lot. here's a bit of a news update on what's been happening:
making summer travel planswe've booked our airfare and accommodations, and I'm just too excited to keep it a secret any longer: this summer we will be traveling to both Turkey and Prague! Husband has been trying to get me to Istanbul ever since he first studied there ten years ago. and finally, I'm going. we'll be traveling around a few other places in Turkey before heading up to see friends in Prague for a week. Husband hasn't been to Turkey in 5 years, and neither of us have been to Prague - so consider this a request for recommendations!
exploring more of Taipeiwhile planning our summer escape, I've also been seeing much more of my home city. in the past few weeks I've been to several places for the first time. this includes: lounging with friends in Daan Park, followed by wandering the cute nearby neighborhood of Dongmen. accidentally stumbling into the opening of the Taipei Lantern Festival [to which I plan to return, camera at the ready] at the Taipei Expo Center. taking myself on a YouBike ride by the river and losing my phone for a half hour. and returning to shoot photos on Dihua Street, which inadvertently led to my first trip out to Tamsui.
waiting for resultsin between all this activity, I've been trying not to fret over my impending results from an allergy test. I went in before the holiday to give blood for both IgE and IgG testing. though I've never had confirmation from a doctor, I've been lactose intolerant for 15 years, allergic to shellfish for 10, and have had issues with gluten for the past 5 [or probably longer.] and though I've been very careful with my diet, there seems to be something else upsetting my system. I've tried to keep from speculating what that might be... but of course I have my suspicions. regardless, I should have some definitive answers [I hope] at some point this week.
writing my manuscriptI've been working away [not each day but at least consistently] on my book manuscript. sometimes it feels hard, and a little selfish, to carve out time to write. but I'm learning to say no to things that aren't what I need right now, and to protect my time better. I'm 25,000 words into the latest draft. it's been gutted and the tenses are changing and I've reached one of the more difficult parts of my story. in fact, it was so difficult that I just skipped writing it the first time around. but. sometimes the hard parts are the ones that need to be told the most. so I'm writing it now.
celebrating expat winsit seems silly that after nearly 4 years in Taiwan, I still have expat milestones left to cross. but last week I conquered a big one: successfully shipping an international package from the post office, all on my own. turns out it was ridiculously easy. we've always had someone to do all the forms and mail packages for us and so we never tried. yep, facepalm. but other than that, I've discovered that I look like I know what I'm doing in Taipei. I had a man approach me at the MRT station for help on buying fare and finding his station. and two girls were having issues returning their YouBikes and I helped them figure it out. obviously, I won't ever blend in like a local here. but it's nice to know I don't quite look like a tourist either.
so what's been going on with you lately? and do you have any recommendations or links for me on Turkey and Prague?