An Update On My Life So My Mother Doesn’t Think I’m Dead

See text from my mother last week for context behind the title:


I admit it. I’m really bad at staying in touch with people from home. In my defense, communication gets hard when you’re 15 hours ahead of everyone in California. It gets even harder when you refuse to buy a SIM card and have to rely exclusively on wifi to communicate/remind people of your existence. Basically, by the time I get back to my hotel after work every day (aka when I have free time and wifi AKA the best time to chat), most people at home are asleep. And when everyone at home is tanning at the beach or drinking matcha lattes at Alfred’s or Snapchatting the temperature, I’m the one who’s asleep.

So no, I’m not dead. Just far away, data-less and lazy. A winning combination.

To counteract this lack of interaction with my friends and family, I have decided to do a rough update of my life via The Milk Tea Memoirs. Doesn’t get more personal than a public blog for anyone to see, right?

In General

Life is good. Taiwan has become more of a home to me than the intimidating foreign country it once was. I’m well-versed with the MRT, I’m starting to recognize food on menus and I’m getting used to seeing umbrellas out when it’s sunny. Speaking of umbrellas, mine has become as essential as my wallet, as it pours without warning almost every day here. It also thunders so, very loudly. I never thought I could be scared of the sound of thunder until I came to Taipei.


In other news, my boba-drinking habits remain out of control. I sadden myself because I know (and can see) what I’m doing to my poor, undeserving body but I. can’t. stop. I have a theory that they put crack in the milk tea here – it’s the only logical explanation, really. And for a sad testament to my lack of self control: this week, I resolved to cut down my intake and only drink two milk teas, but it’s Tuesday, and I’ve already had…all two. We all know I ain’t going to last this week without another one. I LOSE AT MY OWN GAME.

I also currently have six welty mosquito bites on my legs, which are itchy and unsightly but still better than my currently healing, maybe-scarring bed bug bites. I’m not sure what to do about the bugs here because Off!, although a decent bug spray choice in the US, simply does nothing to repel the bloodsucking insects of Taiwan. Do I need to rub my legs with garlic or something? Or does that only work on vampires?

Note: I started this section by saying “Life is good” and then proceeded to complain about loud noises, my impending weight gain and my itchy legs. I’m the worst.


I’m not trying to bore anyone, so I’ll keep this short. Work is, for lack of a better word, fine. I have one data collection/analysis project that I’ve been working on and will be working on until the end of my internship. Things can get confusing sometimes because my field of work is so narrow, but I’m understanding more every day. Hit me up if you ever have any TV technology questions!


This is why you shouldn’t feel bad for me. I get to spend my weekends doing whatever I want in this amazing country where there’s always something to do.

Recently and most notably, I’ve visited:

Jiufen, the location inspiration for Miyazaki’s Spirited Away, which offers

  • Beautiful views of the sunset
  • Unbeatable snackage on Old Street (see this post for some examples)
  • Rich history as a mining-town-turned-tourist-destination
  • Cute animals roaming loose everywhere


Processed with VSCO with c1 preset

Keelung, a port city 40 minutes outside of Taipei, which offers

  • One of Taiwan’s best night markets, especially for seafood lovers
  • Boat tours around the harbor
  • Beaches, which I wish I went to
  • Opportunities to be tricked into doing hard labor (you might want to ask me about this in person)


Beitou Hot Springs, a popular spot for detoxification, which offers

  • Five pools of varying temperatures
  • Old men and women who will reprimand you if you don’t know hot spring etiquette
  • Other tourists that you’ll probably have to chat with due to close proximity in the pools
  • Cold showers for cooling off and closing the pores


And there we have the past two weeks of my life in a nice, lengthy post. Sorry again to all my friends and family that I’ve been terrible about keeping in touch with. (Follow my Snapchat @javanaz? Texting is too hard.) I miss you all very much and am counting down the days until we can eat tacos/acai/sub-par American boba together again.




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