December 2015

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I’ve just been too busy (and lazy) this month to blog. Sigh, why does this always happen. I’ve also been recently feeling like I don’t know how to write anymore. I don’t even know how to properly speak anymore, and maybe this is also one of the major reasons why I’m not motivated to blog – the feeling that words have escaped me and that I’m not interesting to read (even if I just read it myself) anymore.

Enough about that drama, let’s just get on with how December went.

I recently tweeted something along the lines of quitting my job if I don’t get a business trip / sent to another country in the next year. However, the more I think about it, the more I realize that it’s not imperative that I get sent abroad. Going on a business trip is indeed tiring and stressful, especially because of the preparations prior and the reports after. Once you’re there and more often than not, you won’t have time to go explore anyway. Therefore, my new motivation and goal for year 2016 is to just learn as much as I can, both in and outside my work scope/industry. I’d much rather travel on my own, in my own pace and with people I truly like. However, I’d still like to feel a sense of growth in my role, and that’s one of the more important things I’d like to have next year. Well, let’s see what the year brings.

Breeze Nanjing has been renovating for a couple of months now (I think?) and today, I saw that some signs have been put up. There’s going to be a Jamba Juice, Krispy Kreme, and Godiva (among other stores)! Woahhh.

They launched Starbucks’ new drink, the Panettone Latte, this month here in Taiwan. It had already been launched in the Philippines around November (I think?) so I saw some friends sharing it on social media saying it was good. When I heard that they were launching it here as well, I was pretty excited. However, when I actually drank it, I felt disappointed because it didn’t meet my standards. I really thought it was going to be yummy or different – but there’s nothing special about its flavor and it mostly tastes like plain latte. Maybe the syrup mix wasn’t enough or they didn’t get the flavors right? I don’t know. I’ve noticed that panettone is another thing that’s pretty popular in Taiwan (Taipei) these days. It’s being sold in Costco and in some restaurants as part of their dessert menu.

For some reason, this month has been a really busy one in terms of work. My colleague went to Europe but over the time she was there, I was still mostly working on my own stuff and not hers. If I had to quantify it, maybe it was 90-10. I’m thankful that I was busy, which made days go faster. However, it also made me really physically and mentally tired. Add to that the fact that I go to yoga class everyday, which makes me even more physically tired. I’m also thankful for yoga class though, because even if it’s really tiring and even if there are days I dread going there or I’m not in the mood to workout, I usually come out feeling refreshed and at peace after yoga. I push myself and I challenge myself to do the harder versions of the poses and to focus on holding the poses and that is why I sweat a lot and why my body is super sore when I get home/the next day.

T and I went around the East District to window shop. We checked out some shops but they didn’t have good sales so we didn’t buy anything. We also had dinner at this supposedly popular food stall selling noodles and dumplings. It was pretty good and the dumplings were huge. After that, we went to Starbucks to give the Panettone Latte another try, but it was still disappointing. Oh well, I guess I’ll just stick to Toffee Nut Latte should I ever be in the mood for another Starbucks Christmas drink. When Starbucks closed, we went up to the 24 hour Eslite bookstore to check it out. It’s been featured in international publications such as Time I think, because even if it’s a bookstore, you can read the books that are on display/on sale. They’ve marked books as “reading sample” so you can take the time to read it. Some people spend the whole day inside! Iwanna try going there next time to start and finish a book.

Over the past few months, R has interviewed people for an opening. Each time, she didn’t like the candidate because according to her, they were “weird.” There was one who kept playing with his hands, one who couldn’t make eye contact, one who’s neck was short, and one who didn’t have any work experience but was asking for a “high” salary. Regarding the last one, I asked her for the range that the candidate asked for, and she said it was more than 30. Ohhhh.

T’s cousin got married, and his parents and sister came to Taipei to attend the reception. It was held at this restaurant in Beitou, and the kids took the MRT to the venue while the adults went there by car (cos all of us wouldn’t fit inside). The food was really good! T and I sat at another table together with his cousin’s  colleagues. Too bad we weren’t able to take home any of the leftovers because our other table mates had dibs. Oh well. After the reception, we went to J’s house to hangout and also for dinner. We also played mahjong after dinner.

I met up with my cousins for dinner at Light Cafe in the Shida area. They only had light meals such as sandwiches and toast pizza. The minimum per person is a drink order. After dinner, we went to Shida night market to walk around. I also needed to shop for stuff for our department’s exchange gift giving. I ended up buying products from Bath and Body Works, and I also bought a pair of denim jeans that had a nice fit. For our exchange gift giving, I also bought Keri Hill’s Wreck This Journal because I felt like it was something different and unique. At the very least, no one would think to get that gift because I’m pretty sure they’ve never heard of it. Hihihi.

I’ve been helping D with translating documents for the annual bid for a large auto company. They finally got awarded the bid package (is that how you say it?) and to celebrate (as well as plan for it), D treated the relevant people to lunch at Jolly. I was mainly there to eat while they discussed the logistical aspects of the upcoming shipments.

T has been very generous this year but I feel guilty because I haven’t gotten him anything. I bought him shoes but he was the one who picked it out. For Christmas, he bought this hair dryer because I’ve been telling him that I want a new one since the one we have in our house was left there by the previous tenants and it’s not really a good hair dryer. For my birthday, he bought me Kose’s medicated toner thing that supposedly makes  your skin brighter. I’ve been using it as a face mask every 2-3 days and I’ve noticed that my face has indeed become brighter. Of course my acne and whatnot are still there, and I’m still not “white” but I have noticed a change. I’m going to continue using it in the hopes that I’ll get brighter and clearer (if it has that effect) skin.

I’d been wanting to go to Banqiao’s Christmas Village but we hadn’t had the opportunity to go. One Saturday evening, we decided not to be homebodies and to actually go out. First, we had dinner at this Cantonese restaurant near Jing-an MRT station. We didn’t know which restaurants were in the area, so we were walking around looking for a place to eat. It seemed like an okay restaurant so we went inside. It’s pretty good – the prices are reasonable and the food is delicious. We ordered a rice dish, a noodle dish, and dim sum. Then, we headed to Banqiao where there was apparently a Christmas concert sponsored/organized by the government. There were a looot of people but we still managed to stand amongst the crowd and listen to the music. We were also able to see some Christmas decors such as trees and lights. However, we weren’t able to go into the actual Christmas village because of the amount of people in the area. Oh well, there’s always next year. The concert ended past 10PM and we left the venue immediately after the concert. We were supposed to go home but we passed by this 24-hour 85C cafe and decided to go inside to sit and hang out. We ordered the almond milk “latte”, which was a wrong decision because it was basically almond powder + water. It didn’t even have any coffee or milk inside.

“Because in the end, to learn a language, to feel connected to it, you have to have a dialogue, however childlike, however imperfect” — I got this line from a translated article about Jhumpa Lahiri, a writer who used to write in English but eventually started writing in Italian because she has this fascination and obsession with the language. As far as I know, she refuses to write in English anymore until she feels like she has reached the level of proficiency that she wants to have in Italian. I have decided that one of the things I’m going to work on in 2016 is my Spanish. I have to stop feeling like every sentence that comes out of my mouth should be perfect. I have to practice writing more. I’ve also started watching Spanish YouTubers to practice my listening skills and to hopefully also assist in building up my vocabulary.

A: Europe is really pretty. I hope I get another chance to go back in the future.
B: Of course, Europe is reserved for you.
C: Seriously? What about me? Well fine, I’ll just go there by myself to travel.

We had another one of our steak dinners at home. T has aready perfected cooking steak. I told him that we just need him to make a special sauce and he’s all set. Haha! I was originally planning on buying red wine, but T isn’t a big fan so I ended up buying apple juice instead.

We have a little Christmas corner in our department, where we have a small Christmas tree, Christmas-themed decors, sweets, and gifts. It’s so cute! For our December celebration, we had steak lunch at Texas Roadhouse Grill. Yummy! We also went to the KTV where I mostly sang old English songs while they sang Chinese (Mandarin and Taiwanese) songs. We ordered too much and ended up with a lot of leftover food. A bit wasteful, if you ask me.

J brought back Stroopwafels and it really is best paired with coffee. I had it with latte (Starbucks’ Medium House Blend Keurig + milk) and it was sooo good.

I’m proud that I was able to accomplish all my achievents today on my own, and not because I had contacts/parents who had friends inside. I worked hard for my achievements – getting into UP, graduating from UP, getting my first job, obtaining the scholarship to Spain and to Taiwan, obtaining my master’s degree, landing my first job here, etc etc.

On the other hand, I know someone who was able to study abroad because her parents paid for it (with a whole lot of money), she got the best room in the dorm building because her dad knew the director, she got her current job because her dad is friends with the owner and so he took her in no questions asked, etc. There were/are days I’m envious of her because it feels as if everything is handed to her on a silver platter and she doesn’t really have to work hard for things, but then I also realize that I’m thankful for all of my experiences, and it wouldn’t be as satisfying or fulfilling if everything is just handed to you. Maybe. I don’t know.

This month, I think I was only able to read two books – Go Set A Watchman by Harper Lee and Modern Romance by Aziz Ansari.

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