Monday, July 30, 2007

China, Super Condensed

I am ridiculously jealous of Grace's gift for being able to make anything sound exciting and interesting. Anyway, my China trip was not nearly as eventful (thank goodness).

First went to Kunming, which is up in some mountains that I don't know the name of, and played around for a week and a half. I went to China with the preconceived notion that all the girls would be superwhite because of all those whitening cream ads (and the superwhite girls) I saw the last time I was there, but apparently the same does not hold true for mountain cities. The people there were, to put it bluntly, butt ugly. I was v. amazed. And the girls there don't wear camis, I guess, because I wore one out one day and I got so many incredulous stares. Or maybe it was because I was a head taller than pretty much every other girl on the street. Kunming has some pretty awesome mushrooms. Yum.

Then I went to Nanjing, which was ridiculously hot. I stayed inside with the AC and my grandparents most of the time. Went to all the usual shopping places, but after four trips to China I think I've finally gotten over the allure of the cute but useless pieces of random crap they sell on the streets. Yay! Ate way too much and definitely peed in too many hole-in-the-grounds.

Finally, spent my last day in Shanghai with Jack as my guide. Got to play gawky tourist, which was fun. The heat was also ungodly. Stayed with his aunt and uncle in their supernice house. Then flew back to Dallas! YAY HOME.

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Tuesday, July 24, 2007


I am so ready for the fourth time through HP7. I really want to reread the other ones first to see all the hints that she dropped (finally, gleam of triumph answered!) but another reading of this one seems more pressing. Anyway, don't want to go into the actual content because I don't want to spoil anyone's reading, it is too precious to touch (I can't help it: "Look at me" CRY CRY CRY), I could never do it justice, and there would be too much to write about. Luckily, most people at work have read it and we can talk about it for hours and hours!!

In other news, I MISSED DOOBY SO MUCH!!!

I'll blog about the rest of my trip later.

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Friday, July 13, 2007

more on why i'm going to hell

Well one thing I learned is that tuna fish are actually really enormous. Not like megalodon enormous, but I had always imagined them to be roughly salmon-sized fish. Not so! One of the Japanese game shows had these two guys who had to eat an entire tuna, and it was a rather small tuna, about the size of an 8-year-old Dudley Dursley I'd say. Then I found out that they can grow to 2-4 meters long.

In other news, Taiwan is so omg cheap. Like I said with the HP voodoobaby, you can find about anything for $100 NT when on sale($3 here), so I bought a bunch of $3 t-shirts, tanks, and camis. How am I going to buy anything in the U.S. ever again? Bubble tea is also really cheap, like 60 cents for a cup that would cost upwards of $3 here. They also have Dunkin Donuts here, and the donuts are soooo much cuter - they have little flower shapes with the hole still in the middle - and much chewier in a good way (what they call QQ - just say the letters).

At the Miramar movie theater, they practically have a museum exhibit for all the new movies. The exhibit for Secret (Jay Chou's new partially autobiographical, or so I've heard, movie) even had one of those pianos that is programmed to play by itself with the keys moving up and down. Of course every exhibit has a screen that plays a trailer of the film. I'd say about three-quarters of the movies were American, and the rest were evenly split between AZN and foreign movies. The popcorn also comes in "sweet" (basically, lightly caramel covered) and "salty," what we're used to here. Medium is a giant bucket, and they all have clear plastic tops for the Flavorshake.

You know how at Starbucks they have those dispensers with vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg, chocolate, etc.? Flavorshake is a couple of those dispensers with stuff like chocolate, seaweed, cheese, and other stuff I can't remember. You shake it on the popcorn, close the top, and shake the bucket. Oh, and some of the escalator railings have Ratatouille coverings on them, pictures of which I'll probably put on Facebook since nobody reads this and I want to share it with the world.

And now for the part in which I am a terrible, terrible person...and possibly the worst sister in the world. I swear I would never do it to anyone but my brother though, and he deserves it because he's the spawn of Satan!!

Basically one day he left his gmail open and gave me permission to use MY OWN COMPUTER for 30 minutes before he had to chat with his little girlfriend. So he was pretty much asking for it. >=) I read through their correspondence and tried to not laugh my head off. Disgustingly sappy, but here is a choice selection from my brother:

"hmm. tempted to put a psychoanalysis in here (to return the favor for that very very goofy-grin-inducing psychoanalysis... which we should abreviate to psycho-anal from now on xD), but i'll save it for after a confession =D"

LOLLERSKATES. Psycho-anal!

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Wednesday, July 11, 2007


So I thought we were all coming to Taiwan to play, shop, visit family, etc. As it turned out, I WAS WRONG. Instead, the rest of my family came to do just that, and I came here to suffer a painful fate worse than death. Yes, my friends. My mom, without asking me, authorized an ARMPIT SURGERY. I did not know how much this would hurt, or its lasting effects, or else I would have fought tooth and nail to get out of there. As it was, I thought it would make a pretty interesting blog post at the time, and it would be over in a day. Plus, the doctor made it sound way less invasive than it really was. Alas, I was young and innocent then! Basically, my mom thinks I inherited axillary hyperhidrosis from my paternal grandmother, so she found this surgery in the paper to remove sweat glands. Embarrassing? Quite. Excruciating? VERY MUCH SO. Let me tell you...

What they did, according to the doctor who explained it to me afterwards, was slice open my skin in an armpit fold - like an inch - stick a laser in there, and cut out the glands. At least that's what I medical Chinese is none too awesome. The worst part of the actual surgery was the local anaesthetic. Try sticking 3 needles into the tender, sensitive, pitiable skin of each of your armpits, and that might be the beginning of the pain. Then a bunch of almost-as-painful crap happened, and I couldn't really tell what was going on (but I heard a lot of stuff). When it was finally over, I was really angry at my mother, but what can an 18-year-old adult do these days? That night, the anaesthesia wore off, and it was hell.

Pretty much, I've had to hold my arms in an approximately akimbo position for a week, literally. This includes sleeping (I wake up every day with a terrible stomachache - either the food here does bad things at night or I'm really not used to sleeping on my back), showering (the area of surgery isn't allowed to touch water anyway), and yes - peeing. I'm in for another week, apparently. The doctor says I'm healing nicely, though, and today I managed to contort my arm in a way in which I could take some pictures of my own arm. However, I don't have the link from my camera to the computer yet, so I can't upload them =( Anyway, more on this new form of torture when I can get the pictures.

In other news, I think that girl who got eliminated off Canada's Next Top Model, Mika, does a commercial here for Vanish detergent, but I'm not completely sure it's her. Also, they have MTV! With mostly Chinese songs, but they have Avril Lavigne, Mika, and other western bands, as well as this super cute French song - I think it's called Le Papa Pinguoin by Pigloo (maybe from a movie or tv show?). Whenever they play Umbrella, they have three little Rihannas holding umbrellas that pop up on the bottom of the screen when she sings, "Eh eh eh" and glide off to the right.

Most everything here is cute, but there's still some scary stuff. First off, the air outside smells like smoke and gasoline, sometimes with food mixed in. Once I almost walked into a dead rat on the sidewalk. There are also lots of dogs just running around. Umm...I saw them cook a live fish on tv - they placed a live fish on the cutting board, made a couple of slices on each side, and held it by the head and tail over steam. When they put it on the plate, its gills were still moving. If you know me, you know how I feel about fish. If you don't...long story short, birds and fish REALLY freak me out. I don't like eating animals when I can see their eyes and mouths. Anyhow, the pain that the fish feels probably approaches the pain I am feeling as much as 1/x approaches 0 in the positive infinity direction. On a not very similar note, the girls here are so thin, their arms are like sticks, but they don't look unhealthy. Maybe they exercise in school or something...

So far, I've been to Danshui, Fisherman's Wharf, and the night markets. They sell VoodooBaby-like things here for around 100$ NT, which is about $3 in the US, so I got one a couple days ago that sort of resembles Harry Potter (which I saw with my cousin today, 7-11, omg awesome!!!). Speaking of 7-11, they have them eeeeeverywhere. Sort of like Starbucks in America, but with a cute little mascot with his own line of products and tv commercials. They are waaay better than 7-11s in the US, though - they sell a ton of cute stuff, delicious drinks, and tasty snacks - like baked pudding, strawberry pudding, blueberry gum - not blue razzberry or other artificial stuff like that - and all kinds of chips, including chicken- or seafood-flavored Lay's. Clothes on the street are also really cheap, and my mom bought me a bunch, probably to assuage her guilt.

The uncle and aunt I'm staying with are the best!! I've probably gained like 7 pounds from all the food I've had, but now is not the time to count calories! I think my favorite breakfast so far is dou jiang you tiao (soy milk and fried dough sticks), but the fruit milk and yang le duo yogurt drink (which comes in larger bottles, not the tiny ones they have back home) are good, too.

Only a few more days until my brother leaves, after which I will be extremely delighted. The more time I spend with him, the ruder and more selfish he seems to me. He's been hogging the computer for the past week, which is why I had to remember everything until now to post, and is so vain and egocentric I can hardly stand it. Anyway, to spite him, I purposely left my camera at home when we went to Taipei 101 (Technology! Art! Innovation! People! Environment! Identity!) so he couldn't take pictures of the tallest building in the world, or something like that. When he found out, he was infuriated and I was very pleased with myself. >=) I had ice cream 3 times there, as well as a classic oyster omelette and shabu shabu hot pot. Lucky me! Wait...not lucky. Ugh. My mom took off the bandages to let the wounds air out a bit and I keep getting poked whenever I let my elbows down a little by this stitching, which I swear is stiffer than fishing line. Yes, come join my pity party! You couldn't pity me more than I pity myself if you tried.

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Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Day One

So today began our journey to the land of cuteness. I know, Japan is arguably cuter, but Taiwan is supacute too.

(Oh yeah, yesterday I watched 4/5 of Notting Hill. Aww Hugh Grant. He intensifies the anglophilia inside me and makes me want to speak with a British accent.)

This morning I woke up and when I went to take off my contacts...well, I still use the little suction cup thing. Everyone has to have some kind of disability right? I can't get out my contacts without that. So, first thing that happened to me was that the little suction thing fell down the drain. I had to unscrew the little pipe thing and get it out and it was muy disgusting. I was sort of frantic because if my mom found out, she would start complaining about how I can't take care of myself, blah blah blah, how am I gonna survive in college, etc. Luckily, I got it out in about 10 minutes and it was quite a travail, but I won't go into that. Basically, it was gross.

While we were waiting at DFW, this weird balding guy with a combover was staring at me. Whenever I looked back at him, he would keep staring for like 3 seconds, which was the really offputting part. 3 seconds of staring at a stranger is actually a very long time. Usually if I'm caught looking at someone else, I look away immediately. Not this guy. Say what you will about the male gaze - this one was freakin creepy.

At both airports, Jeff was being sooooo annoying and clingy to his little girlfriend on the phone. More disgusting than the crap that came out of my drain. That load of sap seriously sickens me. (Nice alliteration, right?) Them and their gross little nicknames...mmk don't want to go into this either. Main point: he's a needy moron.

Today was not all gloom and doom, however. The overseas airplane was flossy flossy compared to AA (we rode Eva Air). Well, it was the nicest airplane I'd ever been in. That's not saying a lot, but there you go. It had more amenities than all the others, probably because the flight was 13 hours. All the flight attendants had cute pastel aprons with flower-shaped buttons. On the flight, I watched Disturbia, In the Land of Women (<3 Adam Brody), Reign Over Me (which turned out to be a lot better than I expected), and a bunch of Candid Camera-styled shows only in Canada/Europe. I thought they would be lame, but some of the pranks were actually pretty funny. There was also this reeeeally cute and campy version of the Nutcracker, except it had nothing to do with Christmas. There were people dressed up in Hello Kitty and flower costumes with really high-pitches voices dancing and singing in Japanese. Apparently, Hello Kitty and Dear Daniel were celebrating Hello Kitty's 30th anniversary.

Also, I had to go to the bathroom on the airplane (they had Apricot facial spray? and eau de toilette "to counteract the effects of the bathroom") and once I had to stand there for like 10 minutes while the person inside tried to get out. It reminded me of the TXFS bus.

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