#Adulting

Do you remember the days where you could just play around with your friends in the backyard? Do you remember the times where your only problem is which flavor of candy to buy? Do you remember the times where you could just wake up and everything is prepared for you like your breakfast, uniform, and lunch money?

I really miss those times. I am at a phase right now where I am really struggling with my future.  One of the things I needed to figure out soon is finding a place to live. I need to find an apartment as soon as possible since I just graduated from my MBA. I couldn’t live in the dorm anymore so I have to find a new place. With that being said, I find it so hard to find an apartment that would suit your preferences. Sometimes the place they are offering would require you to share the bathroom with strangers. Sometimes when you have your own private bathroom, the rent is just too expensive. When you wanted to find a cheaper place, sometimes it could be really dirty. So, you know how I feel. This is just one of the things I am currently worrying about.

I know I am not the only one experiencing these types of situation but for those of you who I am currently in the same boat with, I know it could really be hard! Thus I would like to share some of my ways on how to cope and find solutions for this kind of situations.

But whenever I am worried about these dilemmas, I would always be reminded to take a step back and do something I genuinely enjoy like go outside and take a long walk, or do photography or even do retail therapy. These things could really help you destress. You will need it whenever the situation becomes too overwhelming.

I am the type of person who becomes really motivated to solve a problem instantly. Like when a situation comes up, I would always immediately find solutions because I don’t want to overthink a certain problem for too long. It would make me just feel depressed in the end. So my advice is to always look for solutions and face your problems head on. The truth is, if you keep on overthinking certain situations, it would only make you feel tired emotionally from thinking a lot and that’s not a healthy way to live life. But if you’re not this type of person, I think it would be best for you to tell your friends or family about it then try and find solutions after.

I also realized that in every decision, there is always an opportunity cost. You have to give up something in order for you to gain the thing you wanted. Sometimes there really is no such thing as a win-win situation. You have to give up something.

I am also reminded that in the end, everything will be okay. Eventually, everything will work out. You just have to trust your instincts and trust in the Lord. You have to lift it all up to His hands and He will take care of it.

“Cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you.” – 1 Peter 5:7

These were just some of the learnings I have learned by living the expat life. This lifestyle could be really hard at times, but you what they say,

“Wilderness is a place of testing and growth.” – Dr. Stacey Tay

Hope you all have a lovely weekend!

Love,

Caye

We went to Keelung City!!

My friend and I had the privilege of traveling (most of) Keelung last weekend. We went there on Friday afternoon and went home on Sunday afternoon. It was not really hard to go there knowing we are living in Taoyuan, but thanks to the very convenient transportation system of Taiwan, we were able to reach Keelung by riding just one train! So glad that commuting is hassle free!

A super short background of Keelung (According to Wikipedia):

Keelung City is a port city near Taipei, in northern Taiwan. Surrounded by mountains, it’s known for its sheltered harbor.

With that being said, the first thing you see when you get out from the train exit are harbors, large ships, and water! We got off at the North Exit of Keelung Station btw! You can also get out of the South exit but we did not do that since our hotel is nearer at the North Exit. Upon arriving at Keelung, we had our lunch at Burger King. Then we went straight to our hotel.

 

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At the ceiling of Keelung Train Station, North Exit side (so beautiful!!)

 

 

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What you see when heading out of North Exit of Keelung Train Station

 

 

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Keelung Port

 

Beidoo Hotel

We stayed at the Beidoo Hotel. The location of Beidoo hotel is very convenient since it is around 8 minutes walk from the Train Station. A bakery can be found near the hotel. A lot of restaurants are also near the place. So if you are hungry at night, you can just go out and eat. Miaokou Night market is also near the hotel. Plus, a 32-floor mall is also near the place! That 32-floor mall has Muji, Uniqlo, and other stuff. The room is very clean! Their employees are also very accommodating and warm. Don’t worry if you cannot speak fluent Chinese, some of them can speak English (not that fluent though, but enough to communicate).

We first chilled at the hotel for a few hours because we are still waiting for our friends and it’s really hot to walk outside, so we just decided to play Everwing to kill time! Yes, we love Everwing!! haha

Location: No. 319號, Xin’er Road, Zhongzheng District, Keelung City, 202

Phone: 02 2422 7899

Jasmine Cafe (茉莉森咖啡)

When our friends have arrived, we first went to Jasmine Cafe to catch up. They serve really good drinks. Don’t worry if you’re not into coffees and frappes because they also have fresh fruit juices for you! This place is a really chill place; the ambiance is also really cozy. The price is also not that expensive that is why if you plan to chill at Keelung City, you can visit this cafe!

Location: 200, Keelung City, Ren’ai District, 孝二路98號

Phone: 02 2429 5857

Miaokou Night Market

We had dinner at Miaokou Night Market. This night market is really unique for me because of the numbers located at the side of every restaurant sign. Most of the food they are selling is seafood and kiampong (Hokkien Chinese Rice Casserole). They are so good!! This is not the typical night market where you only find stinky tofu and milk tea which is why this night market is very unique for me.

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Raw Sea Urchins

 

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Huge Escargot

 

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Clams
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Roasted Suckling Pig or better known as Lechon for the Filipinos (Upper right) and Raw Sea Urchins (Bottom)
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Bamboo shoot with Mayonnaise

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Kiampong (love)
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Strawberry Bingsu for dessert

 

Location: Rensan Road, Ren’ai District, Keelung City, 200

I definitely had a great time here! Would definitely come back! To all who are planning to go to Taiwan, visit this city for a unique experience!

Love,

Caye

A Bank Turned into an Ice Cream Parlor

When my family came to visit me two weeks ago, we were able to travel a little bit of Taichung. For all of you who don’t know where Taichung is, it’s at the upper middle part of Taiwan. While we’re strolling along the train station, we really suddenly thought of going to this huge ice cream parlor. and so, we walked and walked until we found this ice cream shop which is formerly a bank.

This ice cream shop is very interesting because they haven’t renovated it totally, so you can still see the board where the exchange rates are shown. They also haven’t removed the vault where you store money. I wish you could see a lot more pictures, sorry if I haven’t taken a lot them. But I have taken a picture of the ice cream they serve, and it is HUGE!! REALLY HUGE!!

 

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It’s even bigger than my face!!

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They have a lot of ice cream flavors for you to choose from. I think they’re over 50!! I can say that the names of the ice creams were very complicated! I remember something like 75% Scottish Chocolate, something like that but they taste good!! Not only do they offer a wide variety of ice cream flavors, they also do offer a wide variety of toppings!! (You can see the toppings I chose in the picture, they gave the butterfly for free!)

You are allowed to choose many different sizes of cups but for me, we ordered this cup which you can choose two ice cream flavors and then 3 toppings! I am very satisfied with my order. The ice cream tastes good! The price is worth it! The ambiance is very relaxing also.

For all those who are planning to drop by Taichung, you all have to go to this place!! It’s just near Taichung Train Station, so it’s easy to go to! I’ll put on the address below! Hope you all have a good day!

Store name: 第四信用合作社 (Di si sin yong he zuo she)

Location: No. 72, Zhongshan Road, Central District, Taichung City, 400

Love,

Caye

Recalling MICA Building

Singapore has a lot of wonderful and awestrucking architecture. One of the most magnificent buildings in the city is MICA Building. The color-coded windows were so beautifully installed. The building is a mixture of vintage and modern days. I was just so disappointed that I wasn’t able to go inside the building. My sister and I were just so happy at the exterior of the building that we forgot we could go inside. haha facepalm!

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Location: 140 Hill St, Singapore 179369

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Don’t forget to drop by Song Fa Bak Kut Teh! They have the most delicious bak kut teh (Pork Ribs Soup) I’ve ever tasted! But be sure to go there earlier so you don’t have to queue.

Will definitely go back to Clarke Quay for this!

 

Love,

Caye

Expat Life Lessons

Today I wanted to share with you 5 important life lessons of living the expat life. But first, I have to tell you my background story for you to understand my situation.

On the year 2014, my friend/achi Christine told me she studied college in a university in Taiwan. She told me that the school was nice and they offer scholarship and a monthly allowance to foreigners and the school wouldn’t require you to work for them afterward (she was trying her best to convince me to go). So, I took the bait and told my parents about it and they said it would be a great opportunity for me thus I should go for it. I have processed my papers and documents which are the hardest and most troublesome part of this application. So, I immediately applied for my grad school without even knowing if I am going to graduate college haha! The day I got accepted was the day before my college graduation ceremony, imagine the timing! The happiness I felt at that time was indescribable! But I am also sad because I only have 3 months left to spend time with my loved ones. Then September came, the fall semester starts. This is the start of my expat life!

Now that it’s 2017 and I am here living the expat life in Taiwan for almost 2 years, I have learned a lot about life. Let me share with you 5 important life lessons I have learned:

  1. You have to know how to handle your expenses. Even though I have my monthly allowance provided by the school, I still find myself going short on some weeks. When you become short, you don’t have so many people to rely on. Of course, your family is only a call away but what if you need it immediately? This is why you have to know how to save for a rainy day.
  2. Google Maps is your new best friend. If you’re going somewhere and you’re lost, the best way to know which direction you should go to is Google Maps. When you’re living in a foreign country, it makes it harder for you to communicate. Even though you can try to communicate but most of the times, they won’t understand you. I am not saying you should not try to learn the language but if you don’t have any choice, it would be best to consult Google himself!
  3. Take care of thyself! When you’re alone in a foreign country, the last thing you would want to happen to you is to get sick. In my two years of stay in Taiwan, I can honestly say I got sick only once excluding dysmenorrhea of course! But dysmenorrhea is hard as hell! Every time I feel discomfort, I wish my mom was there which leads me to my next point.
  4. You will miss your loved ones so much. The first time I moved to Taiwan, I cried a lot. I cried when my dad came to visit me. I cried when I need to go back to Taiwan after my winter break. You will be crying a lot and you’re going to miss your family so much because of the loneliness that creeps in at the most random times of the day. But this would only be hard at first, it’s only a phase! Yay! As time goes by, you would eventually get used to it. So, for all of you who are still living with your family, you have to cherish them, love them and show them that you care.
  5. PRAY, PRAY, PRAY. Even though you feel alone, you know your Father in Heaven is always by your side. He will be your Great Shepherd in times of need! I have been so grateful for Him for just guiding me throughout the tough times. His words are ever so comforting. I always feel blessed to have known Him as my Lord and Savior. 🙂

 

Love,

Caye

 

I Love Sipahh!!

This is one of my favorite things lately!

I found this one at Costco about a month ago. They were having it as a free taste. At first, I was just a normal shopper where I just line up in every free taste section (I know we all do that! haha) But I happen to line up in this small booth and I tried the choc mint flavor. After that, I immediately got so attached to it! I have never stopped buying ever since. haha!

What is Sipahh?

Sipahh is a straw that has what they call pearls inside. Those pearls have different flavors depending on what the package states. The company recommends you to use the straw while drinking your milk.

I bought my second box which is the one you are seeing at the pictures below! It’s the Cafe Multipack Limited Edition. Only Iced Latte and Chocolate Straws are the flavors inside this box. They are now also available at Carrefour (Thank You, Lord!) Now, I don’t have to go all the way to Costco just to buy this. Not that I’m being biased but you know Carrefour is more accessible and convenient since it has a lot of branches here in Taiwan.

Here are some photos of my super favorite Sipahh!

 

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Some of the flavors you can try out when you purchase the box! They have so many flavors available for you all, those were just the flavors that I haven’t consumed yet ( because they were really that good!)

My personal favorites are:

COCO-BEAN CHOCOLATE, LUSCIOUS STRAWBERRY, CHILLED-OUT CHOC MINT and ICE COOL HIPSTER LATTE! ❤

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If you guys are wondering what the pink bird and dolphin are, they’re PEN RESTS!! I bought them at Yingge Old Ceramics Street! They have a wide array of products for you to choose from! Plus, they’re just cheap! around 30NTD for one.

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You have to drink it with your milk because that is the main instructions on how to use this straw. Although I sometimes drink it with water just to consume all of the pearls!

Now you can turn your plain boring milk into a flavorful one! I honestly get excited on what flavors I should try when it’s time for me to drink my milk!

Here are some of the simple joys I look forward to every day in life! You know how they say it’s very important to appreciate the simple things. Well, this is one of the things that make me smile every day! Hope you all appreciate all the simple things in your life as well (You don’t want your life to be as mundane as mine)!

Love,

Caye

Unsettling thought

Hi!

Good evening everyone or good morning rather since it’s already 12.05AM!

Around 9 PM yesterday, I am on my way back to the dorm. As I rode the bus, an unsettling thought occurred in my head. It is a question that would seem easy to somebody but it is not for me. That question could also be evident to someone but it is not to me. This question kept bothering me until I reached my dorm. I have talked about it with my best friend, Vina. And it seems that she was thinking about the same thing. So, I think all of you are itching to know what this question is. The question is…

What am I going to do with my future?

What am I going to do with my future? This question is a very important question as it determines the course of your life and it affects most of the primary decisions you are going to make. To some people, most of their future are all laid out upon them. To some people, the future is easy to them because job offers actually come to them and they don’t have to search for a job and go through interviews. But to me, a normal citizen of the Philippines and currently residing in Taiwan, my future is a blank page.

On a side note: Let me be frank with y’all. The reason I am writing this now is so I can have an outlet for my emotions. My thoughts needed a place to reside ( I don’t know if that really made sense but you know what I mean 😉 ).

Going back to what I was saying, my future felt so foreign to me. I don’t know if I was the one resisting the change that was already happening. I felt like I was not yet ready for the “adulting” life. But then again I started to revel in these thoughts and I realized something.

I realized that everyone goes through this stage and it is perfectly normal to feel this way. Everyone feels uncertain about their future. Everyone is struggling on what they should do with their life. Everyone starts with baby steps in navigating through their future. In doing so, this makes them discover what they want along the way. The beauty of starting off with a blank page is that anything is possible and any road leads you to where you wanna be!

Please pardon my writing skills as I am new to this. This is Caye and welcome to the Mundane Life of an Expat!

Love,

Caye