Notes from Taipei, Taiwan

Monday, October 1, 2018 Taipei, Taiwan

Over the summer, I found myself flying to Taipei from China for a short four day trip since one of my closest college friends, Karen, was also visiting to Taiwan around the same time. It was a chance to catch up and explore another city together since a lot of our adventures revolve around food so it was only natural that our Taipei trip centered on food.

Inside of Taipei 101

Get in my belly: 

Xiao Long Bao at Ding Tai Fung
I once walked through a blizzard in the dead of January winter with Karen to get some xiao long bao (soup dumplings) so my dedication to XLB is real. I went to the well-known Ding Tai Fung in Taipei to get some xiao long bao. Although there are Ding Tai Fung branches in the US, I've heard that the Taipei one is still the best.  The folds in Ding Tai Fun xiao long bad are intricate and the soup was so fresh tasting. I miss them. 

Books about Medicine for the Everyday Reader

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Last year, I started to read medical fiction/nonfiction literature novels. My two worlds, literary and medicine, started to collide when I read When Breath Becomes Air and I decided to continue reading more.

It’s still new and strange to me that I’m now a part of the world that I read about months earlier and I still feel that excitement and eagerness I felt when I read these books. The days can seem long from the classes and intense studying so it can be easy to lose sight of the reason why there’s an interest in medicine in the first place but re-reading these books reminds me of why I’m here and centers me. (Physician burnout is real and this STAT article has a lot of good points about physician burnout.)

Life Lately: Transitions

Tuesday, September 4, 2018

Hey, guys. I’m alive. I feel like I need to say that because I’ve dropped off the face of the internet in the past half year, which usually spells imminent death (of blogs, anyway*).

It was an unintentional dropping off because I had plans to blog more than I had in the previous four years because for once in my life I wasn’t in school (but a year later, here I am again back at school). I sometimes wondered how I managed to blog back in 2012 because I don’t feel like the amount of free time I have is different than I had then yet I blog way less. I have drafts that are currently sitting on Drive waiting to be edited and published.

But of course in times of high stress and expectations, I turn to blogging because I find it stress-relieving. I told someone recently that I’m restless. I like doing things, especially things that require different skills and parts of my brain. It’s the reason why I write and the reason why I continue to write in spite of medical school.
Stethoscopes through the ages at the Dittrick Museum of Medical History in Cleveland, Ohio 

I Dream of New York-New York Trip No. 106 (or so)

Thursday, April 12, 2018

I find New York City comforting. It comes with the territory I suppose, as I’ve spent a lot of my formative years making day trips to the city. For a long time, I never wanted to live in the city but recently, I’ve come to appreciate the familiar feelings of recollection and comfort as I venture around New York.

As I get older, I appreciate the spontaneity in the trips that I make, a departure from the checklist trips that I plan obsessively. I’ve started to realize that as time becomes more precious and valuable, there’s something about letting loose and living, getting caught up in the memories that are made from the things that may not happen as planned. I want to feel the city, breath in the smells and live it, instead of seeing it as an obstacle to be conquered.

I was in the city with my newly-minted New Yorker friend, Jenny, who I’ve known for nearly thirteen years, and we explored Brooklyn, Nolita and a bit of East Village.

Here are some snippets of our adventures:

Go to a brewery even though I’m not a beer person.

The Fortunes + American Panda: Stories of Belonging

Monday, March 12, 2018

Recently I read two really great books that explore what belonging as an immigrant in American society. One book deals with belonging as a Chinese-American throughout major points in history and the other deals with belonging as a Taiwanese-American teen. 

Behind Every Woman, There Are Other Women: Happy International Women's Day

Thursday, March 8, 2018

It’s International Women’s Day today and I wanted to give a shout out to the women who inspire me, both online and offline. Let's support and uplift women.

On Representation

Monday, March 5, 2018

Hi, hello. I haven’t blogged as much as I’d like since “returning” to blogging but I am spending time pitching and writing articles to publications (hopefully they’ll see the light of the internet eventually).

Something that did make it to the internet recently is this short piece I did for Mochi, about the importance of accurate representation in TV, especially network TV. Fresh Off the Boat had their Lunar New Year episode a couple weeks ago and they used 50% Mandarin dialogue, which is so exciting.

“What I love about the show is that it reflected some of the experiences I had growing up, such as the scene in the pilot episode where Eddie wants to fit in with his classmates and bring Lunchables to school, because they mocked his homemade noodles. Before that, I hadn’t really seen accurate portrayals of my own experiences on network TV, beyond stereotyped caricatures… It’s not an overly dramatic or exoticized portrayal, which is exactly what we need. For too long, Asian Americans have been shown in the media as “other,” but “Ride the Tiger” instead shows how relatable these characters’ lives are, despite knowing a second language.”

Representation in the media is a finicky beast. For every positive representation, there seems to be two steps backward. Within publishing, there are whispers of publishers and agents seeing the diverse books movement as a trend. I want to shout from the rooftops, “Goddamnit, my life, my experiences and my identity are not trends or marketing strategies.

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