*DISCLAIMER: This site has nothing to do with apes or tacos, except in the broad sense that I am a human that eats tacos, and as a human, I am an ape.


On Holiday

Short trips places on holiday. Or, as Americans would say: “vacation.”

I had some free time today in Tokyo. My phone had no cellular data so I couldn’t waste time on the internet. I’d left my book in my hotel. I had my journal, but I couldn’t think of anything substantial to write. I had no story ideas or interesting thoughts clawing at my brain screaming to be let out in graphite on the page, just this general dullness that wanted to be assuage by doing something. Anything. 

I decided to sketch. As I’ve been writing more short screenplays I’ve been trying to draw out rudimentary story boards for them, so I want to get better at sketching. A friend of mine who’s an awesome artist in Taipei says: draw what you see. So I drew a woman that was walking down the street with her kids. Then a bike since everyone rides a bike in Japan. Then the rail symbol. Then a section of the road by the subway station. 

It was fun because I put no pressure on myself for these to be good. I just wanted to focus my mind on something and not feel bored. I think they’re pretty good for a first attempt. 


What I Learned on My Winter Vacation: WWII in the Pacific

****DISCLAIMER: I am not a historian. This is not meant to be exposition of definitive historical fact, but my opinions based on the various things I’ve been exposed to in history textbooks, museums, memorials, and my own lived experiences.

I don’t know if I’d call myself a history buff, but I did genuinely enjoy reading my AP U.S. history textbook junior year*. I also often like to wonder what the page of the history book from our present time will look like in one hundred years. Trump’s rise makes that page of the textbook look interesting, but I’m not into politics so I will not comment on Donald Trump here.

Of the chapters on the War in the Pacific, I can really only recall two passages: one was on how the Battle of Midway was the turning point for the allies; the other, on Truman’s decision to drop the atomic bomb.

On my recent trip to Okinawa and the Philippines, I learned considerably more about this history. And I’d like to share these things I learned (organized chronologically!) since I think these are things that are not known by many Americans.

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What I Learned on My Winter Vacation: Okinawa

When I was in the States over the summer, I spent time with one of my American of-Japanese-heritage friends and her family. We were talking about if I was planning any trip to Japan since I’m living in Taiwan. I said something along the lines of, “yes, Okinawa’s only about an hour away by plane.” My friend’s dad replied: “Oh, Okinawa isn’t really Japan.”

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What I Learned on My Winter Vacation: The Philippines

When I told people I was going to the Philippines, many responded: “Be careful” or “Manila isn’t a very good city.” Even before I planned a trip there, I’d heard people say the only reason to fly into Manila was to fly directly (as in, don’t even leave the airport) to one of the report islands (Palawan, Cebu, Boracay).

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Observations at Breakfast, Cafe Arquiza, Best Western La Corona Manila

From my vantage point in the corner of Best Western La Corona Manila’s Cafe Arquiza, I can see families and couples eating the most important meal of the day. For me, that’s two pieces of toast and soggy, cold, mush called scrambled eggs. There’s an individual egg maker in another corner of the cafe. Disappointed with the scrambled eggs, I order a proper fried egg from a new trainee called Kaylee.

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Estimated arrival time: 4:40 PM.

Actual arrival time: 5:10 PM.

Continue reading “#SFO”

Mongolia: Snapshots

This post is over 9000 words (literally), so I don’t mind if you don’t read it all. Or even if you don’t read any of it. WARNING: F-bombs and S-bombs are dropped. If that will bother you, do not read. You should at least skim through and look at the pictures (click to enlarge). Read the words if you want to know about my experience in Mongolia. When I felt like something was entertaining or important, I would write it down in my journal. Thus I’m calling this: “Mongolia: Snapshots.” There was a lot that I thought was interesting.

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Holiday in Thailand

Over Chinese New Year my mom and a family friend (former babysitter, but if I say babysitter you’d probably think: “What? She still needs a babysitter? Isn’t she 23?”) came to visit and together we went to Thailand and then Cambodia. It was one of the best vacations I’ve ever had, I think because it was exploring a new realm of the world that has a much different culture (South East Asia). These are some thoughts/highlights from the Thailand portion.


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I Took Off My Buddha Necklace…

At the Chi Lin Nunnery in Hong Kong, I bought a jade Buddha necklace. On my first full day in Taiwan, I put it on. I was wearing blue pants I’d gotten from Nigeria and a green V-neck from Target and I thought: “I’ve just gotten this new necklace and I think it would look nice with this outfit, I’ll wear it.”

Continue reading “I Took Off My Buddha Necklace…”

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