Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Oh, Also.... Happy New Year!!!

2nd post in one day..... this is a RECORD for this girl right here.

Maybe it's gonna be the new normal in 2O13?... or maybe it's just because it's FREEZING COLD outside and I don't feel like going too far today. Actually at 6:55pm right now I am still in my pajamas.... just finished doing laundry and drinking a cup of tea ... so ANY sense of "productivity" will have to be found online and/or from the couch. :p

I can't believe that it's January already.... and 2O13... 4 more months and I'm HOME for another home visit ... for 3 weeks, possibly a month. Despite my "insomnia"... this year the time has TRULY been flying. Here's a little re-cap of MY 2O12

1. Finished up my FIRST YEAR TEACHING IN CHINA. Started learning Mandarin - learned/sang Mandarin songs at KTV - I can now sing Cantopop singer Sandy Lam's "Zhi Shao Hai You Ni" - At Least I Still Have You- and Malaysian singer Fish Leung's "Meiyou Ruguo" - No If.

2. WENT TO THAILAND for the FIRST TIME - to CHIANG MAI. Explored the city and volunteered at Elephant Nature Park for a week. Thailand is beautiful.... and I intend to see more of it in 2O13 ... going to Bangkok, Phuket, and Koh Phi Phi ... if you are interested in ELEPHANT RESCUE I would highly recommend ELEPHANT NATURE PARK or PATARA ELEPHANT FARM - both in Chiang Mai... I think out of EVERY "elephant tourist option" in Thailand, they are the MOST HUMANE in terms of their treatment of elephants and truly wonderful places to spend your time.

3. Decided that I wanted to MOVE TO TAIWAN - and to a bigger city- specifically the capital, Taipei. Did the footwork to make that happen. Now, I'm HERE.

4.  STARTED taking REAL MANDARIN CLASSES - not just downloading podcasts online- at TAIWAN MANDARIN INSTITUTE  here in Taipei. Love them. Wo you yi wei hen hao de laoshi .... I really like her a lot.. she's great. I take PRIVATE LESSONS twice per week, 2 hours each class... and it's fun. I'm learning a lot and even more than I planned to -- in regards to starting to read/understand some basic characters.
5. STARTED FOSTERING A CAT .... from "Animals Taiwan" shelter here in Taipei. Her name at the shelter was "Come On" but I've re-named her "MINK". She's SO full of love and curiosity... and just more love... she's a 4 year old sweetheart who will COMMAND your attention and PLOP in your lap even if you're in the middle of sending an email - she don't care! LOL. SHe actually reminds me more of a dog than a cat in terms of her personality. She will look in your eyes as if she's REALLY trying to understand you when you're talking. She's completely relaxed here - she's definitely made my apartment her home .... I love to just watch her sleep.... because she makes it look SO good- especially when I can't get to sleep until 3am! She skypes with my family...  oh, that reminds me...

6. GOT INTERNET ACCESS IN MY APARTMENT HERE -INTERNET is AWESOME in Taiwan. It's fast and reliable. No "Great Firewall" to try to get past in order to access websites. No VPN codes needed to access "blocked websites" Facebook, etc... NO BLOCKED WEBSITES period. ALSO, I TAUGHT MY PARENTS HOW TO SKYPE  IN 2O12 - SO THAT was new too! They got a laptop.... and before I left to come to Taiwan I showed them how to use it and they love it.... it feels like I'm right there with them... and they can see a bit of my world over here too. I promise this year when I go home I'm going to teach them how to add "friends" skype numbers so they can skype with my dad's cousin Maureen and maybe one or two of my other cousins.

7. LETTING GO/KNOWING "MY LIMITS"/FORGIVING MYSELF - regarding Lisa and our relationship in China. I don't want it to ever have to be that hard again. I personally have NO LIMITS - in terms of life and what I can do- none of us should think we do,  BUT I know language barriers exist, and the next relationship I get into, the next time I fall for someone, I want communication to be easier. I don't want the bulk of our conversations to be through GOOGLE TRANSLATE. I'm learning more Mandarin, so it IS a little easier than last year already. But if I fall for a Taiwanese woman and English is not her first language, I want to at least be able to have conversation in English.... I don't care about "grammar" or "perfection". I think it took her, Lisa, by surprise when I left China to come to Taiwan . I don't think she realized that Foshan wasn't my original plan and I didn't really want to be in Guangzhou for the next year ... if language was easier, this could have been communicated earlier. I think a lot of the insomnia... has been unconsciously because of "her"... just getting past that. I slept better last night - in bed by 1am instead of 3am. So, it's slowly getting better.  While in Asia, I plan on living in Taipei - it's a good "home base" - to go out and explore everywhere else. But I hope to FALL IN LOVE and HAVE THAT while I'm here .... and then maybe we could MOVE to NEW YORK?!? hao bu hao??? I'M READY. I just hope it's a little easier this next time. The LGBT community is definitely more visible in Taipei and I intend, in 2O13, on going out and exploring it more.

I guess that's it for now. Reading, cuddling with the kitty, trying to stay warm .... watching tv... those are the plans for today.

and HEALTH - I'm grateful for the health of my family and friends in 2O12. I've had TWO people close to me- one a relative and one an old friend - both who I love very much.... battle cancer two years ago, but today both are cancer free. So I hope and pray that their health and the health of ALL my family and friends STAYS GOOD in 2O13...

Again, Happy New Year!

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