Good and Evil


2019-The year of the Pig

Greetings from Asia! It has been a very busy time absorbing everything from a new job, new culture, and new community. There is so much I could write about but how does one really sum up such a life change in a blog post? I'm sure someone has figured it out; I haven't. So here are some highlights:


Last week, I was invited to accompany a couple of other expats to one of the local markets. I jumped on the opportunity because I have not had much success on navigating the local town so, having someone who already knows the bus system can be helpful. We picked up a few things at the local "dollar store", ate lunch, then headed to the market, all without any major snafus. Admittingly, I took my life into my own hands when offered a sample of a healthy looking snack at the market. But after being 80% sure there were no peanuts in the product following a sniff test and my fellow compadres tasting it, I took the plunge and thankfully, didn't have an allergic reaction. So after a bit of Russian Roulette in the market, off we went to head back to post. And that's when I saw it. As we were riding on the bus, we passed a large building with a comparably large Swastika. Utterly confused, I didn't know whether to point it out to my companions or sit in confusion. I chose the latter. Then I saw the Swastika again in a different area. Convinced that I might have chosen the wrong place to be, I made a mental note to Google this (because we all know that's reliable lol). Before I got to investigate, I began research for my trip to Taiwan. More horror ensued as a picture of Buddha with a Swastika on his chest appeared. I instantly turned my research over to answering the question: why is the Swastika being used in Asia. I highly suggest you look it up for yourself. Here is the cliff note: The Swastika is actually representative of respect and reverence in the Asian culture. We all know the German history of this symbol. It's a shame what it has become; the difference between good and evil. But this is why it is so important to understand cultures. What is understood as evil in the Western world has a totally different foundation in the Eastern world.

Taipei 101

For President's Day weekend, I had the opportunity to go to Taiwan. My favorite part was the food tour. Taiwan came on my radar when I first became vegan a few years ago and read that Taiwan has one of the largest and best vegan food festivals in the world. So, I decided to venture out and see if it is worth the hype. It certainly did not disappoint. My favorite was a scallion bread that was just delectable. Freshly made potato chips on a stick with plum seasoning was also an interesting treat though I was not a fan. I am also always amazed at how amazing produce looks at the markets compared to the grocery stores. What am I holding in the bottom right picture? I will give 50,000 KRW to anyone who can guess that! Yes, Korean Won...1 because I don't actually have to give it to you unless you come to Korea lol and 2 it would require you coming to Korea so...I would have a visitor!!

The Taiwanese are very nice people. I flew China Airlines which wasn't anything special but their customer service was definitely notable. The food was edible. I was just thankful that they served a meal lol One thing that stuck out to me while there was the number of shops that had animals freely roaming around. It was a bit gross actually. Like, if I go to an ice cream shop, I don't want a cat freely walking around. Another phenomenon that could be difficult for Westerners to adapt to is when going to a restaurant, it is common for them to not have something on the menu or to close in the middle of the day for a break. This goes beyond not having avocado or Pizza Hut not having cheese, Burger King not having burgers, or Olive Garden not having Marinara Sauce. It's more like "we ran out of this entire dish and don't bother coming back the next day for it because we aren't making it again for another 4 days." Flexibility is definitely needed to travel!


Those are some of my recent adventures! Until next time!


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