Dahu Park

Visit Dahu Park in Taipei! It's a great place to ...

... see some very attractive person!


... see some squirrel!.
I mean, it's probably a squirrel, butt I can't see the head,so.

... see some cranes!
~Very Asian.~

... see some little girl trying to hunt a duck!!!
Little girls and animals. A must-see.

... see some people hunt fish!
Ha! Get them fish before they get you.

... see some lady take pictures of her dog like it's a person!!
Spoiler alert, lady: puppies turn into dogs who get old and die.

... see nerd(s) LARPing!
Spoiler alert: your dreams will take you as high as that broom, kid.

... feel like you're at a classy park!!
Duck (goose?), crane in tree, people. *nice*

... butt last, butt not least, see this cool bridge!
The Moon Bridge is very cool. Very must-see. Very must-stand-on.

As you can see, we all need to go to Dahu Park. It makes you feel super classy and it's v v cool. #Taipei #ShareThisPost


Elephant Mountain

You’ve heard of elephants, you’ve heard of mountains, but have you heard of Elephant Mountain? Elephant Mountain is a mountain in Taipei (A mountain in a city! What is this, Lord of the Rings?). But before I tell you what it’s like to visit, let me give you a little history.

Taipei is also known as “Elephant City” because of the elephants that rule there. It all goes back to when Babar the first elephant king came to Taiwan.  People and elephants used to live in peace. They co-owned businesses and threw parties and stuff. It was pretty cool.

Anyway, Babar crossed over from (wherever elephants are from) and was like, “We can do so much better.” So he started a war with the humans. Since elephants are so much bigger than ordinary people, the elephants won and they continue to rule Taipei and most of Taiwan (but mostly just Taipei) to this day.

It’s not a big deal. They just get to cut in lines and have preference in elections (1 elephant vote = 1,000 people votes and there are only, like, 4,000 people in Taiwan anyway so) and offer human sacrifices sometimes. But it’s mainly whatever.

Anyway, so hiking Elephant Mountain is a real snap. There’s a set of old stairs that take you to the top of the mountain in about 20 minutes. It’s a fast hike, but it’s very steep and it’s (of course humid), and (depending on when you hike it) can be pretty hot. All this translates to SWEAT SWEAT SWEAT.

I mean, it's just a bunch of stairs going straight up.

So, to be prepared, the most important thing to have is water and sugar water. I’d say have a half or a whole liter of normal water. Sugar water is water with electrolytes and junk added to it. Usually, I don’t approve of non-water drinks, but you’re gonna sweat so much that you’ll feel pretty terrible (I got an annoying headache) if you’re not replacing all the stuff your body’s sweating out. So, bring a bottle of sugar water (I recommend dolphin water – it tastes like a very mild Sprite without the carbonation).

What you wear doesn’t really matter. It’s not a real hike because it’s so short and it’s paved the whole way, so just wear something breathable and comfy (or maybe something you can run in if the elephants get in a sacrificey mood).

The selling point of the hike is the view you get of Taipei 101. It's almost impossible to get a bad picture of it from on top.

I hiked it with my friend Spirit Sword (middle) and my new friend Xin Yi.


The hike up is real pretty too.
So it's a draining hike, but the views very very pretty. There are plenty of trails to explore on the way up and on top of the mountain too, so plan to look around for a bit.

And watch out for dem elephants.

Here's a sweet vid of the hike:


If lost, return to

So you know how when you’re a little kid, your mom makes you memorize your phone number just in case you get lost? (I had my childhood phone number memorized for fifteen years until I was talking about it with my sister a couple years ago and she was like, “That wasn’t our phone number at all. Mom must have told you the wrong number cuz she hates you.” So either my mom hates me or my older sister’s a jerk AND I’M NOT PREPARED TO BELIEVE EITHER OF THOSE THINGS.)

Or, for a different example, you know how you put collars on dogs with your address and phone number just in case they get lost?

Or, like, when your mom sews your name into your underwear, etc., etc. ????

Well, I’m not a child or dog OR UNDERWEAR, but this kinda applies to me.

I work at four different schools, so I need to take the bus to get from one to the other. Unfortunately, a lot of the buses here only have their schedules and names written in Chinese characters, so I can’t read them. So, the first time I got on one, one of my bosses gave me a note in Chinese explaining who I was and where I was going, walked me to the bus stop, showed me which bus to get on, and told the driver to tell me when my stop came.

I appreciated the help, but at the same time I was rolling my eyes thinking, “These people don’t know who I am. I’ve been to EUROPE and back on my own. I am NOT a little kid/dog/underwear. I’m a BIG BOY.”

Anyway, yesterday, I had an hour to get from one school to the other, so I ran to my bus stop, found my bus, and jumped on it. I was just a little bit jet lagged, so I thought I’d take a power nap before my stop. I knew roughly how long it would take to get there, so I figured I’d time it in my head and wake up before I got there.

(You know this isn’t going to go well.)

When I opened my eyes, I didn’t recognize anything outside. I’d never seen any of the buildings or streets before. I knew I hadn’t had my eyes closed long enough to miss my stop, so I figured I just hadn’t learned this route yet. I sat and waited for something I recognized to show up outside my window, but nothing ever did.

So then I knew I was lost. I ran through all my possible options. I still don’t have a SIM card (another story) and I didn’t have wifi, so googling anything wasn’t possible. I don’t speak Chinese, so explaining my situation to anyone was out of the question. So I had no options. I knew the bus would eventually come to the end of the line and that if I didn’t recognize any of my surroundings, I’d be in the middle of nowhere without a way to contact anyone.

Anyway, so I was sitting on the back of the bus, silently hugging my backpack tighter and tighter (INVOLUNTARILY). I noticed that the bus driver kept glancing at me in his rearview mirror, so I tried to act natural like, “I just really like this backpack.”

We got to the end of the line and the bus driver told everyone to get off. I started to get off, but he must have noticed the worry in my big, gorgeous brown eyes and asked (in English) where I was trying to go.

I was grateful he spoke English, but I didn’t know how to explain which stop I was supposed to get off at, so I showed him the paper my boss had written for me. He told me I’d gotten on the wrong bus, kindly drove me to the correct bus stop, and told the driver where to take me.

The sign says: “I’m a sad American. Please help me get to the right stop. Don’t rob me. Peace!!”

I arrived to my class a half hour late. Thankfully, another teacher covered for me and I was able to jump right into the lesson as soon as I arrived (“Who here has read Harry Potter?”).

So, I guess I’m not as internationally adept as we all thought.

And, when you get down to the deets, I never would have made it to so many places in the world if people hadn’t helped me. I’d have been lost a million times, stuck without transportation or money more than once, and had to sleep on the street if friends and strangers hadn’t helped me. So thank you, world, for treating me like a lost puppy.

But, of course, I AM an adult, and I PROVED it to myself when I got home by eating ice cream on the toilet. #adulting #winning


Fancy in Taiwan

Life here in Taiwan is just like life back there in America.

I have a Taiwan Mom and a Taiwan Dad and they feed me and take me places and tell me I’m the most handsome. We live in our Taiwan House, which is really a two-story apartment on the top floor of a really tall apartment building, just the three of us. We just need a Taiwan Dog and Taiwan 4 Cats and everything will be perfect.

Me and Taiwan Mom and Dad (I'm in the blue).

I got here Saturday and things have been going 100%  smoothie … smoothly. Taiwan Mom and Dad’s kids are all grown, so it’s just us in the apartment. “Mom” is the lady who had me and some other white kids come in July to teach English for a couple weeks. She’s hecka nice and so is her husband and they’re legit like my real parents (Taiwan Dad gave me dating advice the first day I got here).

Taiwan Church is nift. It’s all in Chinese, so I don’t understand 100% of it, but I do understand the words wo men (we) and nu-guh (um), which they say A LOT, so I’m getting there.

One of the elders let me borrow his pinyin hymnbook so I could sing in Mandarin.

Today I found out what my job is. I’ll be teaching six classes of kids aged kindergarten to high school how to read, write, listen to, and speak English. The teachers have given me my textbooks and lesson plans, but they’re basically like, “You’re gonna mess up a lot, so just send the kids to us when they annoy you.”

They're going to learn the best, most useful English from me.

So I’m nervous butt excited to start my new life. It’s raining a lot, I'm exploring a lot, and I think my hair looks great. So things are pretty normal.

The rooftop of an abandoned building I found on my morning run. Did *not* get locked up here.


Airport chillaxin'

Well, yeah, waiting in LAX all day wasn’t super cool, but it was okay/nift. I was FINALLY able to check in at 8 pm (after being there since noon), then I flew out at midnight.

Flying at night to Asia is the way to go. I got a full night’s sleep and a nap, so jet lag hasn’t been as fierce as usual. Here's how:

I watched the first half of Tomorrowland and ate dinner, slept for 7 hours, finished Tomorrowland (that movie deserves more love because I love Brad Bird), took another two hour nap, woke up, had breakfast, watched Benjamin Button (basically, Brad Pitt has sex at every stage of life, starting by having sex with a young prostitute while he’s old, ending by having sex with an old lady when he’s a teenager, so you never really feel comfortable with it regardless of your opinion on premarital sex), then we landed at 5 am on Saturday Korea time. (BTW, the airplane was SO quiet: it landed as soft and gentle as Jennifer Lawrence’s lips on mine someday maybe.)

The Incheon Airport was SO nice (it's the #2 top-ranked airport in the WORLD). It was big and clean, there were lots of nice restaurants and stores, but the real highlight was the rest area.

When you’re travelling, it can be hard and uncomfortable to be stuck in an airport for hours. Even if there’s good shopping and food, mostly you just want a nice place to sit down and rest. In this airport, it’s easy to find a quiet place to rest from travelling – there’s an entire floor dedicated to it.

On a level separated from all the hustle and bustle, there’s a spa, showers, massage chairs, a hotel, cultural displays, a cool play area (FOR KIDS?!!), and lots of soft, cushy chairs and benches where you can take naps. I think the spa and hotel cost money, but the rest of it was F R E E. It was so nice to hop in the shower and change into some fresh clothes I’d brought in my carry on. It was like getting a whole new start! (Actually, I just sat and looked at my phone after I explored for a couple hours, but I really thought about freshening up. Maybe next time.)


Really *fancy* bathroom.

I kno it's a bad pic butt this guy was full-on awake, so I couldn't take very good pics of everyone else sleeping.

Butt I did get good pics of these people sleeping.

Sleep away.

I think this was the cult part of it.

This was part of the cultural display lol 

Korea airplane, you so quiet. Be my J-Law.

Should I join? #KoreaFamous

Unfortunately, I didn’t find the movie theater. There’s also supposedly an ice rink and junk, but I didn’t see those either. Internet’s lying to me, man.

After five hours, I jumped on a plane to Taiwan. I watched a Chinese action flick (not Mulan), ate some tofu (not good), then watched the first part of Age of Adaline (not gonna finish it).

no no no

Now I’m in Taiwan. And I’m still not 100% about what exactly I’m getting paid for, but whatevs.



Please don’t panic, but I've been at the airport for over FIVE HOURS with a really sketchy Wi-Fi connection. ALSO, I gave my mom my old SIM card and phone yesterday (I got a ~new~ phone), so I don’t have data right now either.Needless to say, staying connected to the Internet right now is a STRUGG.

(I’ll pause to let you catch your breath.)

On top of that, I’ll be in this airport for another seven hours and I DOUBT THE INTERNET SITUATION WILL IMPROVE MUCH.

(Another significant pause.)

Also, even if I’m able to get a steady connection, I forgot my headphones at my parents’ house, so I wouldn’t be able to watch and enjoy Internet in its entirety anyway.

(One last pause to let your mind drift into the abyss that is life without the Internet.)

Now, I know things sound really bleak right now, but don’t cry for me, Argentina. We WILL make it to Taiwan and when we get there, we’ll hook up to Wi-Fi as ASAP as possible AND we’re going to buy more data for my Taiwan SIM card. It’s just a couple hours. Or days. I’m not sure, really.

Pretty fly for a Wi-Fi.

I left the Sacramento Airport this morning at 10 am, my plane from LA leaves at midnight, I’ll land in Korea fourteen hours later, have a six-hour layover, then land in Taiwan an hour and a half after that. It’ll be noon on Saturday in Taiwan and 9 pm Friday in the States. Whew!

But being stuck in LAX isn't so bad. Aside from the fact that I can’t check in for my next flight until 7-ish (probably) and that I have to drag around 100+ lbs. of crap in four different bags until then (like, I have to bring it all with me to get food or go to the bathroom or move or anything), I like LAX.

It looks like I'm barricading myself for a zombie apocalypse, butt really I'm just pooping.

Of course, LAX has really grumpy employees and LA itself isn’t that cool of a city anyway, but it’s still the heart of international travel for so many people. There are so many different languages and clothing styles and cultures represented here. It’s interesting to look at people and guess who’s coming to America for the first time, who’s trying to move here with their families, and who’s flying back home. SO MANY HOPES AND DREAMS AND IT’S A SMALL WORLD AFTER ALL. It’s cool w/e.

The airport in Korea is gonna be really cool too. The Incheon International Airport  is supposed  to be the second-best in the world (after Singapore). There’s a movie theater, concerts, really *nice* restaurants, free storage lockers for your things, and a child’s play area. I’ll be sure to take pics for y’all.

And being on long flights is the best. Two meals and so many movies. Hours and hours and hours of movies. And if you don’t want to watch a movie, take a nap. And if you don’t want to take a nap, watch a movie. It’s such a pleasure.

My first flight to Taiwan. Look how chipper!

My main thing when I travel is just to relax. For example, this morning I was running late getting to the airport. I was stressed about it, but then I thought, "Do I want to feel stressed right now? No." So I stopped. All through Europe, I never had a concrete plan for each day except to have A BLAST. Did I know where I'd sleep each night or what I'd eat next or how I was getting to the airport the next day? No, but it all worked out and I had A BLAST.

Travel is fun and the world is your playground. ~So dang.~



When I found out I was leaving Provo, I knew there were a couple friends I needed to say goodbye to (and by “friends,” I mean “foods,” and by “say goodbye to,” I mean “eat.”)

So here it is: the very last Provo Food Blog featuring the very best food in Provo (in no order):

Thin, crispy crust and a versatile assortment of sauces and toppings to make your pizza taste like anything from pulled pork to tacos. Even though it’s pricey ($4-7/slab), the slabs (pieces) are HUGE and delicious. (You can read my original review of Slab here.)

Chile Verde (top, my fave) and the Veg (bottom)

Cheap, fast, and tasty,  I once argued that this was the best/most authentic Mexican restaurant in Provo. Since, I’ve found a few places that make good Mexican food, but Rancherito’s is STILL the fastest and cheapest. AND it’s open 24/7. Thanks for always being there when I needed you, amigo. (You can read my original review of Rancherito's here.)

Even though I've been food blogging for years, I'm still not very good at food photography.

Café Rio:
I actually never blogged about this uniquely-Utah Mexican restaurant, but I have to be honest: I don’t love it. The food’s too American in my taste. BUTT their Grilled Steak Salad is something I can’t get off my mind: crunchy, leafy Romaine lettuce, little chip strips on top, a creamy tomatillo dressing with a tinge of heat (you have to pour ALL the dressing on top of the salad for maximum effect), tender, tasty steak in the bottom, all in a delicious chewy tortilla that you can use to wipe up the extra dressing (DON’T waste the tortilla or I’ll SLAP you and when people ask why you have a slap mark on your face you’ll have to say, “Because Gordy thinks I’m an IDIOT.”). P.S. I’m typically against ordering salad EVER (if you’re gonna eat a salad, STAY HOME), but this is the one place it’s worth it.

The one thing at Cafe Rio that doesn't suck. C O N T R O V E R S I A L.

The all-you-can eat French toast here is de-lite-ful. I’m crying just thinking about it. Chewy, sweet, cinnamony bread topped with strawberries and whipped cream, then DRENCHED in THICK  C A R A M E L syrup that’s as golden as the Plates of Nephi. CRYING. C R Y I N G.

TBH: A recycled pic from this blog post. 

So, these are the best places to eat in Provo in my opinion. Thank you, friends, for all you’ve given me (mainly gas and (?) green poo. #WorthIt)

SIDE NOTE: I know some of you may be surprised to not see Guru's on this list. Well, I went to Guru's and ordered my fave/usual (the Southwest Chipotle Wrap) and, honestly, it wasn't as good as I remembered. Either I've grown out of it, or it's grown out of me. Still, Guru's will always have a place in my heart. (Here's my review of Guru's.)