a little bit on smoothies, hugs, and such

January 5, 2014

Let me just start by saying, I get butterflies if a door is opened for me. Probably one of the sweetest gestures a guy could do. Especially if he is only a friend. The simple consideration is grand. And paying for dinner. So kind. I mean it’d been a bit since I’ve had dinner paid for and I still get quiet and shy even around guys that are just my friends. Through broken English and Chinese conversation we laughed through dinner. It is so wonderful to have a friend. Without any expectations. Only the simple afternoon of hanging out. Well actually reading. In a study room above a convenience store. He is studying law and I read the Book Thief. I couldn’t put it down for three hours. The written talent is incredible. Read it.

And I had to ask for a hug. A cultural difference you know. I’m in a cultural of warm smiles, but not touch. On occasion, I meet a local who hugs, but it’s a rare thing and they usually have traveled and experienced another country as well, or they are mothers. Like the mom I am friends with in yoga and the mom I have my conversation hour, they hug me. You don’t realize how much human connection is embedded in your brain and physical need until you are held up and start to crave it and at a single touch you all you want to do is cling to it. Thus the downfall of being abroad. Away from strong arms, love, and touch. Away from family and friends who hug. Constantly or randomly. I try to hug my co-teachers sometimes as I would in the states if a friend brings me coffee or whenever I see them. It’s a greeting that is strange here and it’s something I’m not used to and sometimes forget. Also bringing awkward moments and sideways-half-hugs.

Some days I’m so envious of the couples who aren’t without touch, they don’t know the emptiness and longing and mad cravings that single people have. Maybe I just need to find someone to bond with, but that takes opening up and exposing intellect and desires and I’m not sure I’m ready to expose myself on that level right now. So I am patient and I wait. One day it will be my turn to have all the hugs from another and if I see a single person’s wishful eyes, I will understand. Then I will reach out and give them a hug. Because longing for touch is real. Not some made up mind-game. I know.

Green Smoothie Update:

Smoothie #4:
Gorilla Punch
1 cup kale
1 cup almond milk
1 banana
1 apple
1 tablespoon cocoa
1 tablespoon peanut butter

Smoothie #5:
Morning Sunshine
1 cup random leafy greens from supermarket
1 cup water
1 banana
1 orange, peeled
1/2 cup pineapple
1 tablespoons chia seeds

*one of my faves! so fresh!

Smoothie #6:
Today I just through a bunch of stuff in the blender…pears, grapes, a few blueberries, a few strawberries, banana, spinach, and a dash of cocoa and a cup of water. It was…interesting. I just hate it when fruit goes bad so I had to use it up!

Smoothie #7:
Repeat Morning Sunshine…add in 1/2 grapefruit

Lovely weekend of FaceTime with both my Grandmas. So wonderful. 🙂

Smoothie #8:
Repeat Quick Pick Me Up…

Smoothie #9: This week the theme is Kid-Smoothies…
Banana C Monster
1 cup spinach
2 oranges (it calls for orange juice, but I don’t like actual orange juice so I added in an extra orange)
1 cup water
1 banana
1/2 cup strawberries

Smoothie #10: I always seem to make more than I can eat…
Repeat Banana C Monster

Smoothie #11:
Dino Monster
1 cup spinach
1 orange
1 cup water
1 banana
1/2 cup pineapple
1/2 cup strawberries

January 9, 2014

Regarding the weather…I’ve been spoiled the past few days. As North America gets blasted with a “polar-vortex,” I’m basking in 70 degree weather and sunshine. But now it’s dropped 20 degrees and it’s raining…in a day…still no sympathy from my North American friends and family…haha.

This past Tuesday I started my Mandarin lessons. Ahh…my teacher says I have good pronunciation. I just need to speak slower. I think I’ve mastered the numbers and how to say the date. At least my USA friends think I sound good…just cautious of how I speak because if I say the right sound, only with different tones it could mean an entirely different think…like the difference between “8 and dad,” or “kiss and ask” or “mother and horse.”

My Tuesday in pictures:

rooftop study session
love Taiwan’s crystal blue sky
running sunset

Something I’ve been wanting to note in my supermarket observations. Taiwan imports a lot of food. A lot. I have become more aware of where my food comes from since I began my travels. And coming from Chile, I realize that Taiwan and Chile share major imports/exports! (Crazy how that works!) Avocados (enormous) available here are the same kind I ate in Chile. Along with blueberries and apples. Apples are also imported from Washington. Pears from another US state. Strawberries from Korea. Oranges from Japan.

Isn’t it interesting how we rely on each other for food…a basic survival necessity…?

Lately I’ve been ocean dreaming (you’re probably thinking when aren’t you ocean dreaming) and had to share the words I think…

The Ocean.
a symbol of
endless possibility
breathtaking beauty
life unknown
life unseen
but it’s there
constant waves
constant currents
constant shimmer

January 10th, 2014
this music.

I blog a lot about going to yoga and I wanted to share some thoughts in regards to this article. Yoga has helped make me a stronger person both physically and mentally. I am challenged…to hold a pose longer, to stretch muscles, relax, and flow…being mentally healthy affects my yoga performance for the day and I can tell when I’m “off,” because my balance is wobbly and I can’t focus. Improved balance and core strength. Headstands, full ballerina poses, planks, and a million warrior poses and chaturangas. I am encouraged, motivated, and refreshed after each class no matter how unfocused I was in the beginning. Yoga has taught me to relax…to focus…(the right way) to push my limits, and to realize my body’s flexibility.

“At the center of it all is happiness. The aim with every class I lead, every book I write, and every blog I post is to help people connect to themselves, where they always find joy and freedom. When people are disconnected, things get tough, tense, and stuck. When you are connected to you, you remember it’s great to be you and you remember everything you need to know is right inside, waiting for you to tap in and enjoy the ride.” from the article by Tara Stiles
Taking yoga in a foreign language is a part of the freedom, enjoyment, and challenge. Yoga “sounds better” spoken in a foreign language and it actually makes it easier to turn my thoughts inward and focus on how my body feels that day. Yoga in another language creates a connectivity to the culture. It is also a space to meet people. Though I can only talk to a handful of people in the class…I feel safe in this environment. Sometimes I don’t understand an instruction or a joke when everyone laughs. But when a pose is challenging…I’m not the only one collapsing into giggles.

Tonight after work I tried a restaurant in my building…black tea, chicken curry and rice…delicious! And the lady who runs it is a delight. She says to me…”I see you go to yoga and now you come here!” So sweet. (The shop is around the corner on my way to the gym…and work…so I walk by like 10 times a day!)

my Canadian co-worker brought these back for me!
and a whole can of coffee too!

Happy 40th Birthday Hello Kitty!

Friday night supper!

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