All things Chinese

Let me just take a moment to say thanks for reading my blog, you. I realize that my readers are mostly comprised of friends and family, so I shouldn’t fear judgment or harsh criticism, but nonetheless this project has exposed me in a new way that I am still settling into. Clicking the Publish Post button is basically a 100% terrifying exploit. I may as well be standing naked for the whole world to see, or at least a similar medley of emotions, namely anxiety, rushes over me as I mentally curl up in my closet, suck on my right thumb, and pretend I was five again. But as time goes on, I am noticing that my skin feels thicker and less vulnerable, making the act of publishing a post feel somewhat satisfying. So again, thanks very much for sticking with me.

But Andrea, what about the Chinese medicine posts you promised to deliver? Yes, yes, sigh, sigh – I have drifted off topic, as I so frequently do in life. In this way, my blog is no different than my baking. The pattern is always the same. I have a culinary vision, a culinary epiphany, if you will, and I set out to realize my dream. Recipe in hand, ingredients gathered and I somehow manage, time and time again to botch the procedure, creating barely a faint resemblance of the original vision. Usually it is a conscious decision rooted in a need to add my personal signature to the dish, but the reality is I lack the proper skill set to go rogue. Most of the time I happily end up with a creation that is both tasty and interesting and I can only hope the same is true of my little blog.

The truth of the matter is this – I have rediscovered so much of myself here in Taipei that I let slip away in graduate school.

There I am - pondering life and what not.

Reawakening parts of yours truly while simultaneously taking in new surroundings all at once has left my head spinning. The scooter fumes pumping carbon dioxide straight to my brain, the general chaos of living in one of the most densely packed places on earth (Yonghe, New Taipei City, ahem, Dave, I wanted to move to the country after grad school, remember?), and studying a new language for far too many hours everyday hasn’t helped the situation. But fear not, oxygen levels are normalizing and I am learning to accept the organized chaos that is Taipei. With that, I intend to share a little bit about the world of Chinese medicine somewhat regularly, though I must warn you that my experiences thus far have been quite limited.

Crazy scooter action! (secretly I want one)

When I first arrived here in Taipei, I felt a little bit like this guy. So I immediately set forth to enact step one of my “Doing Stuff Related to Chinese Medicine in Taiwan” plans.

Not to beat a dead horse but graduate school, and come to think of it, life in general, left me feeling tired, achy, and all around deficient. While I wasn’t roaming the streets covered in gauze and silk boxers (yet), I knew my body needed some Chinese medicine more than my brain did. So, to sum it all up my first step here in Taipei in terms of immersing myself in Chinese medicine related enterprises has been to –

1. Become a Patient. Yes! In addition to that being a lovely activity in and of itself, it has allowed my to check off the second step of my plan…

2. Become a Secret Observer.

Most clinics here in Taipei lack the privacy that is often required in the U.S. This really works to my advantage as I am able to watch other patients receive treatments while I receive mine; listen closely to pick up on medical terminology, diagnosis, and formulas prescribed. A lot of information flows through the air though of course, there are many days when I simply travel off into aculand. I have visited a few clinics around town but have settled in to one by my house that I go to around 4 days per week. Treatments here are extremely affordable, as is all healthcare, but I will save that and more for a later post. Eventually, as I learn more and more Chinese I will seek out a legitimate apprenticeship, which can be a difficult task in Taipei. For now, while it may not sound like much, I am learning my medicine in a whole new language!

The majority of my time and energy in Taipei is spent between language class (5 days per week) and language study. If anything, the last 5 months have boiled down to a concept I often struggle with in life – patience. Studying Chinese is humbling, fascinating, and really quite hard. It would be near impossible for me to simultaneously tackle conversational fluency, Chinese medical terminology, and all other Chinese medicine endeavors so I am taking it step by step. Many days, I scratch my head and think – what is this all for, Andrea? You have graduated, you passed your boards, go back to the states and get to work! Fortunately, in those moments, Neil Patrick Harris whispers me a “Wait for it…” and I know that as with many of my choices in life, I picked the long, winding, and scenic route because I have faith that the end destination will be quite fulfilling (and hopefully lake side). So for the time being I am stuffing my gnawing sense of urgency deep into my pocket, pulling out a pencil, and writing some more Chinese characters.

The End. Until next time. More Chinese medicine stuff to come! 謝謝!

Unrelated picture but I just really love millet

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6 thoughts on “All things Chinese

  1. Andrea, you write so beautifully and from your heart. It is always deep pleasure to hear what you have to share with all of us.I have been waiting to hear about Chinese medicine, but realize that really I am happy to read whatever you have to tell us as you share your journey down the long and winding road. David, thank you for the beautiful pictures that illustrate the journey. Push that publish button Andrea, the world needs to hear your voice.

  2. Andrea, I have finally had time to catch up on your blog! I love it. You are such a fun writer! And the pictures make me sooooo excited to come and visit with Jeff. He was just reminding me the other day that we have to use our tickets before November, so we’ve got to get to planning! In the meantime, I look forward to your next post….

  3. I like taking this journey with you, and really appreciate you taking time to write your blogs. With each passing week, I bet you understand more and more about what is being said around you as you lie on your acu bed and walk the streets. I remember that feeling well when I was in Belgium. You begin to feel at home as you become immersed in a language and a culture. I was homesick when I came home after living 16 mos. in Belgium. Imagine how you’ll feel if and when you and David decide to come permanently back here. 🙂 Look forward to seeing you in July!! I think I should go and get an acu treatment today. 🙂

  4. Dear Andrea Peruzzi (Aromatic to Transform ~ Escapades in Asia)

    As the Foreign Operations Planner for a new bilingual Taiwan Travel Information & Planning website called Eatgo. I came across your blog “Aromatic to Transform ~ Escapades in Asia” recently and liked it a lot, it’s interesting to see your view of Taiwan from a foreigners perspective and the places you visit. I would like to invite you to be a contributor of our new website set to launch in early December 2012

    To start off I would like to give you a brief introduction as to what our website is all about, the main objective is to provide quality travel information on tourist sites, cycling paths, hiking trails, transportation and to show people the “real” Taiwan that aren’t available in foreign travel books. The website will be bilingual both in Chinese and English, it is designed to cater for Taiwanese and foreign travelers. Travelers can search and plan their entire travel itinerary on our website or via a free app, there is no charge for using our site or the app, we do not sell any products or services. The sites purpose is to promote Taiwans culture and beauty to the world.

    Now the purpose of this letter to you is because there will be a “blogging” section, this area is to allow travelers to share their experiences with other travelers. As we are a brand new site, it is difficult to attract new users with quality bloggers such as yourself on startup. We would like your help to be part of the team in supporting the Eatgo website from day one.

    We would like to invite you to take part in the release of our website by sharing your trip experiences with our audience of Taiwanese and international travelers. For your contribution we can help you to increase your exposure and recognition. If you signup you could receive free vouchers and if your blog is among the best you will be invited to our press conference on launch.

    After opening we will be holding forum nights with other bloggers to help likeminded people to increase connections, at our new “travel” theme Café in Taipei where bloggers from Taiwan can come to interact with other travel writers, we’ll also regularly invite guest bloggers to share their experiences in this exciting and growing field.

    To take part we will require the use of your blog to be posted on the Eatgo website before the websites launch, in order for this to take effect we will need your permission to save your blog (the blog entry/article you wish to contribute is up to you). We will initially register a profile on our website for you and post the blog on your behalf (before website launch), after the website launches (early December 2012) you will be able to modify the profile and blog as you wish (the details about registration can be discussed later). Your name and website will also be referenced.

    Thank you for taking the time to read through this email, if you would like to take part in the promotion of our website or have any questions please do not hesitate to contact me by email danny.lee@eatgo.com

    Come join us in sharing the best Taiwan travel tips on the web!

    Yours Sincerely

    Danny Lee
    Foreign Operations Planner
    Eatgo Limited Company 異客股份有限公司
    danny.lee@eatgo.com

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