day 200 - a long awaited update!
so, I’ve been keeping a journal on my laptop for the past few weeks, and I guess the best way to upload them without flooding it would be to spread them out over the course of a few days… (or should I just archive them on the day each one corresponds to?… this is a dilemma, i need help!), hopefully you’ll find them interesting. but if anything, a word of caution: they are long. possibly informative, but most likely just rambling… and i hope to have some pictures up for each day/week, but that depends on how productive i am in sorting through pictures…
anyways, here’s today’s update! Shoot! It’s been 200 days already?! Well, my last day in Taiwan was great, and I couldn’t have asked for more…
In the morning, I went to the recording studio (at least I think it is), and had one of the worship leaders from the Bread of Life teach us (my mom, mrs. Chen, and me) piano! It was pretty interesting, though I knew most of the basic info because of music theory. But, I think what I took away was the fact that if I want to improve in piano playing, at least for worship, I need to practice… I have all the theory and knowledge in what and how to play, but I just haven’t spent the time in applying it and trying new stuff. It was so cool watching the teacher play because the fills and the different styles of playing could transform a song so easily! I gotta move my butt closer to the piano… haha. And, I need to move away from the key of C… it’s become too comfortable. Oh, and I’m not sure if the room was a recording studio because while it did have the acoustic foam lining the entire room, the gear itself wasn’t that great… but that’s probably because people bring in better equipment. Anyways, I probably shouldn’t criticize because their live performances and their CDs have had great musical quality :P, and I should focus more on improving my own skills and ears for listening. But, it was a really cool isolated room, and I remember seeing the worship team in their playing together, so it was definitely cool to be able to go in! One last thing, the pianos were very nice: Roland Fantom X8… there were so many buttons!
After the piano lesson, we were invited by pastor chou’s wife to a steamed dumpling place, but it was different from dintaifung because the meat also included dong gua (Winter Melon!), and it was pretty good. Though I couldn’t really taste the difference. We ate with some of the coworkers of the church and another pastor, and we managed to finish all of the plates =).
Heading back to the church, we waited for my mom to do some final planning, i.e. ordering books to bring back, getting photos from the church, booking a van for tomorrow, etc., and then we went to ximending again! This time, it was because Karen was meeting her friends from high school: Cynthia, Emmy, and Iris. So, we decided to go as well since Joseph and Deborah never went, and when we met up with Karen’s friends, we went our separate ways. We bought some stuffed animals, which were reasonably priced, but then we realized it was 20% off, so yeah! I got another mashimaro :D. Then, we found another name label maker because I realized I forgot some names the last time I made it and then we headed over to a small eatery that was famous for its geese meat. It was a delicious snack, as Joseph and I shared a noodle bowl while Tiffany, Deborah, and my mom shared another. We didn’t want to get full because the Chens had made plans to eat with their relatives and we wanted to eat at the Sushi Train with my aunt, Spencer, and Ashley! We did more walking around the area, got more snacks: bubble tea and mister donut (inexplicable joy!), and then we eventually met up with my sister and her friends because it was time for us to go back.
After getting back, Joseph and Deborah left to go eat with their relatives, while we waited for our aunt and cousins to arrive. When they got here, we drove to the Sushi Train in Gongguan, and it was a great meal, I must’ve eaten around 10 plates of sushi at least… I guess I could’ve eaten more if I had not eaten that geese, but it was satisfying and I didn’t overeat :P. After that, we did some shopping at the stationary store, and managed to buy a lot more than we expected… I just got a couple of pens and a donut tape dispenser… and as we went to go find my mom, who decided to shop on her own, we found that she had met up with Brittany and Benson, and their parents because they lived in the area and had some stuff to give my mom! So, it was great to see them, especially Brittany, because we didn’t meet them for lunch that time :P and Spencer quickly made friends with both of them, and started chasing Benson around everywhere… chaos!
We headed back to the church, and found that Katherine and Elizabeth had come over to visit one last time, and so there were three toddlers running around in our rooms: Ashley, Sharon, and Elizabeth. They were a funny and entertaining trio… while Spencer was busy playing DS. And, we just talked with one another until it was getting late for the kids. I also decided to make another 7-11 run, buying TONS of hi-chew because it’s SO much cheaper to buy it here than in the US. I just wish I could’ve found a wholesale place, but it’s alright, a 30cent pack is still much cheaper than any price found back at home. Then, my family spent the rest of the night packing and reorganizing, and we should be pretty much ready to go at 7am! We have packed to our limit of 8 check-in bags, and like 6 carry-ons, including my guitar… crazy. They must think we’re trying to export stuff, haha. And… I guess I’m gonna pull another all nighter because I just finished my green tea at 330AM, and I realized I should probably start organizing the photos for a church slideshow and whatnot.
A great day indeed, but it’s sad that the trip has gone by so quick… I guess that’s what happens when you’re busy making memories, and for the most part, they’ve been great! But, I know when I get back, I still got lots of stuff to do: applications, Shaw, other summer stuff… part of me just wants to reflect on the past few weeks because I don’t want to deal with what’s up ahead, but it’s coming whether I like it or not, so I better get ready!
classes went smoothly today. they were all laid back, mainly because so many students already left for spring break. of course, we learned new material, but it just wasn’t as stressful. and physics were interesting, with the demonstration of a superconductor. well, that was sort of interesting….i really wanted to see more of liquid nitrogen. now THAT looks fun. he put a flower and a rubber band in it, and they came out brittle. but the funny thing is, when they were inside the liquid nitrogen, it seemed as if they were cooking. so strange and alluring. i would love to play with liquid nitrogen. sort of like “will it blend?” but more of “will it freeze and smash into pieces?” FUN.
played a short game of starcraft with dave kim. so impulsive and exciting. actually, figuring out that we could see each other LAN was more satisfying than the game… since one of the computers didn’t do anything. oh well…this just means we have to play AGAIN. and hopefully VEERRRRRY Soon. maybe that sunday when we get back.
and as i left for home, i went with dave and esther lee since they had to take the T to South Station. its so much more interesting when you have people to talk to. like it was fun talking to nick last week since he had to go to MIT to visit his brother/cousins. and these conversations are always interesting. like today, we shared wallets on the T to see how they describe one another. hmmm. i need to find cooler things. and i need pictures of other people… or else people might think i just like looking at myself. (can’t say i disagree… = i agree?) so vain. hah! and conversations also keep me awake. a couple times i’ve fallen asleep on the T only to have the conductor wake me up because the T was going out of service. but thankfully, it always stops at Govt. Center, and I need to wait for another T to take me further into north station. but, it’s always disorienting to wake up to someone screaming at you to get off…
i passed out on the train. so exhausting. but an hour nap sitting up wasn’t too comfortable, and when i got picked up, i fell asleep again…
woke up at church. ate mcdonalds. and practiced for worship. i’m kind of bummed that i won’t get to see the famous josie chu play! she is SO talented, as she used to perform pieces on piano, and now she leads worship. i believe she’s a worship leader and a pastor. very interesting. anyways, she always leads on keys, with one responsible for bass/drum beats, and another for piano sounds. it’s so cool to see how she does it, because once it all gets going, it’s kind of hard to tell that she’s using a drum machine since it flows so well. but, she’s also AMAZING at drums. so crazy. i’m not sure if she’s better on that than piano because i dont know enough to judge drum skills. but her style seemed to convey a sense of professionalism. i heard a lot of ornamentalism, like there was just something more added to the usual snare, and bass, making it sound exciting and new.
and now, i’m back at home. i’ve finished laundry, packing, and getting various things done. i think i’ll be getting a hair cut tomorrow morning, and then i’m off to the airport and to NAWLINS!
pray for me! and i’ll be keeping a hand written journal for the days there, since i wont have any access to a computer. and hopefully, i can transfer them to here.