Being thankful for Taiwan

Had I never moved to Taiwan,

I wouldn’t have met a government representative from Guam, who told me to email her if I ever made it there.

I wouldn’t have tried Nestea’s Honey Pear flavored bottled tea, which is making my life without soft drinks that much easier.

I never would’ve gotten involved with TUAPA, which allowed me to meet some of the most selfless people on the planet. I wouldn’t have become such a dog person.

These dogs are my therapy. When a dog looks at me like this, it's everything I can do to not turn into a baby-talking, cooing fiend.

I wouldn’t have tried grilled chicken sphincter. Or duck blood soup. Or vegetable jelly. I promised my students I’d try stinky tofu at some point and told a friend I’d attempt to eat durian fruit sometime. I need to learn to choose my culinary battles more carefully.

I wouldn’t have discovered technical writing. If I can make networking cables interesting to read about, I can probably find a cure for spontaneous dental hydroplosion.

We were going to make more loops, but a VP walked by... twice. I don't think he found the humor in, "We're increasing company morale!"

I wouldn’t have developed a taste for beer. It took me 7 years, but I finally like it. I’m a late bloomer.

I wouldn’t have met the diverse, generous group of friends I have here. They keep me sane and laughing.

I wouldn’t have so drastically expanded my food palate. I used to hate vegetables; now I prefer to cook with them.

I wouldn’t have seen Benny Benassi or Tiesto or Roger Shah live in Taipei. Benny Benassi wouldn’t have waved to me from the stage (I was dressed as a beer can. Who doesn’t want to wave to a giant beer can?).

I was cheersed a lot that night.

I wouldn’t have learned just how much impact the words “I love you” have.

I wouldn’t have gone to Beijing over Chinese New Year 2011 and done a handstand in the middle of Tian’anmen Square. Or luged from the Great Wall back to the bus. Or stayed in a hostel with a round bed and mirrored ceiling.

Showing my respect in front of some government building or museum in Tian'anmen Square.

I wouldn’t have lived in a cash-based society, which completely changes your view on money and finances.

I wouldn’t have celebrated Thanksgiving 2011 by sharing a massive chocolate-filled crepe with four other people who yelled, “Happy Thanksgiving!” every time someone took a bite.

Yeah, I live a blessed life.

17 comments

    1. WordPress gets all the credit – it’s one of their themes. I just chose the color and the header photo.

      I think I tried Free Tea, the green tea. It tasted like dirt and grass. Am I doing something wrong?

  1. I always eagerly await your posts, Mandy. Yes, you have much to be thankful for. As I’ve said before, we are all the sum total of all of our life experiences, so your adventure to the other side of the world has added much to your “life resume!” Not only have you accomplished what your initial goal was, but would appear from reading your posts that you have grown both in maturity and in compassion for others. We all have much to be thankful for and I am most thankful to have such a wonderful young woman as my niece. ~ Love, Aunt Norma

    1. I don’t think of my life as anything extraordinary; in fact, sometimes I think it’s quite dull. But every once and a while I’ll tell someone what I’ve been up to, and I realize that I do some crazy stuff not many people get to do (or want to do). My life’s kinda cool!

  2. You make living and working and eating in Taiwan sound like so much fun. My old self would have trouble getting past the pollution, scooting in the rain, and chicken sphincters. So glad you’re getting to enjoy another culture while you’re young. May your adventures continue!

    1. It’s like parenting. If someone else’s kid pukes or poops on me, I’m grossed out. But if I had a baby, it wouldn’t be a big deal – it’s just part of being a parent. All my little adventures are just part of being a foreigner.

  3. I too love when I see you’ve updated a new blog post, even if it takes me a few days to find the time to read it! I laughed out loud at your response re: baby poop or throwup. I’ve had both of those on me in the last week and Brett and I both laughed hysterically when it happened. Perspective is a good thing. 🙂 I admire your sense of adventure since I have a tough time even imagining moving to another city in Texas because Brett might get a job there. When I do worry about that though, I gently remind myself that if you can move to another country where you only know a handful of people, I can handle another city in the same friggin’ state. 🙂 Keep on being an inspiration, Amandy!

    1. I imagine the 2003/2004 version of Julie Wright saying all that, and it makes me laugh. We’ve changed a lot in 8 years, haven’t we? 😉 I need to hear more about this possible transition of yours. You aren’t moving to Silsbee, are you?

      1. No, we aren’t moving to silsbee! But Brett is in the final steps for a job in Conroe so we may have to move there if he gets it. It’s kind of exciting but sad for me because I’d be leaving all of my family here. 😦

        1. Conroe isn’t bad. It’s in a pretty area and close to a huge city (and outlet malls!)… but what are your job prospects?

          No matter what happens, your little family is going to continue to be blessed. There’s so much love and happiness under your roof that it doesn’t matter where that roof is. And, let’s be frank – you could move to Snook and I’d visit you and we’d have a blast!

  4. That smiling dog is precious!! And your beer costume is outstanding. I always look forward to your posts and seeing what you’ve been up to!

    1. Hah, thanks! Sometimes it takes a lot of effort to not be boring, that’s for sure. I haven’t been able to get online from home recently, so I haven’t checked your blog. How’s everything in the MM world?

  5. “We were going to make more loops, but a VP walked by… twice. I don’t think he found the humor in, “We’re increasing company morale!”

    Loving it!
    Great photos, great text, great post.

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