Blog 25 | End of 2013

This year has gone by in a blink of an eye again! I feel like I was in New York just recently but at the same time it feel like it's been a long time. Lots of things have happened, and somehow I ended up in Hong Kong. I've met a lot of amazing people along the way, and tried many new things. I've been really happy and really depressed (but I still got through things). And now I'm here, yet another New Years Eve countdown to attend, and New Year to look forward to. But before that I just want to take a look back at 2013 and remember all the amazing things that happened.

|  January |

Even though there's lots going on in New York City, it can still be lonely sometimes living alone. And it's always nice to have someone looking forward to you coming home. I got my first pet hamster "Mochi". She loves to stuff her cheeks full of food, and always climbs to the top of her cage to greet me when I come home. I always wished I was hamster size so I could cuddle up with her. She's so fluffy!

January was also the time of year where people don't shop a lot, so the store didn't have many customers. I only worked 3 days a week or less, so I had more time. I often made Taiwanese style Chicken & Mushroom soup! Reminds me of my mom's cooking, but not quite as good. It's nice to have a little taste of home.

|  February |

It snowed a lot in February around Valentines day. Central Park was all frozen and covered in snow. It's the most amazing view I've ever seen of the city. Central Park seems like the best spot in the city where you can actually enjoy peace and quietness. A stroll around the park in the snow was very refreshing.

I also became obsessed with desserts because I found a new favorite place. It's called "The Spot". There's one in Korea Town and one in the NYU area. They make amazing Green Tea Lava Cake and Banoffee. I was going there almost every week!

|  March |

March was always very sunny. But don't be fooled by the sunniness. It was still freezing cold. Not much happened in March. Stores were still empty and mostly I just stayed at home and continued my job search in the US. Didn't get much luck though, even though I visited a good handful of job agencies. They probably think I look 16 and I'm faking my ID.

[ Lower Manhattan view from Chelsea]

|  April  |

[Roosevelt Island Tram]

In April, my cousin from France visited me in New York! I took her all around the city from the cheesy tourist spots like Times Square and Rockefeller Center to Second Hand clothing stores near NYU area.. we had a really fun time. Even though the city is hectic, I never get tired of the amazing view. The funniest moment is when we were eating at a Japanese restaurant and we were ordering some plum wine. The waiter asked for our IDs, and she pulled out a French Passport (she looks 100% Taiwanese by the way), the waiter was definitely confused. 

[ Rockefeller Center ]

[ Empire State Building ]

[ Chrysler Building ]

| May |

At last summer is creeping in! I became really into house music and dj-ing after moving to New York. So I had to go to my first outdoor EDM concert - Electric Daisy Carnival. A lot of people wear rave bras, so I decided to make one myself. I found some really good quality plastic daisies from a shop around 28th street. Got some adhesive glue, a white bra, and made it in about half a day. (The thing is that, it also got destroyed in about half a day). EDC was amazing though. I could listen to house music all day long!

[ 2013 EDC NYC ]

I also go to a symphony at least once a year. This was my first time in Carnegie hall! The music was absolutely amazing. I don't have words to describe live classical music. I grew up with instruments, like the Piano, Flute, and Violin, so symphonies will always have a special place in my heart. 

The store also picked up more pace in May as we started to get more collaborations with various brands and designers. My favorite one was the Laudrée collaboration. Macaroons just make me happy!

| June |

June was some of my last days in New York City. I couldn't stay any longer because I didn't successfully transfer my temporary visa to a more permanent working visa. I had so much fun working with everyone! It's like a big happy family! Thank you Leah, for being my dancing and gossip buddy! Without you I wouldn't know who to share my worries with! Thanks Steven for watching my back at work and entertaining me with your perfect Cantonese accent! Chris Chris Chris Chris Chris, I miss your extra high highfives. Tima I miss your big lovely smiles. Omar, Tiff, and Jeremy you guys are the most amazing bosses ever. Abdur, sorry for getting your name wrong at the beginning, I will never get it wrong again I promise! Isaiah, you still can't fire me! Robin, keep growing that amazing hair. And to everyone else, sorry if I didn't mention your name specifically, but I still love you all! Big hugs and best wishes to everyone. "I hope to see you soon :) "

[ I will be back ]

|  July |

Finally I got to visit Taiwan. I haven't been back in over a year. I miss all my friends and family, and the delicious food. I was traveling all around on my motorcycle, and visiting everyone around the island. Thanks to the High Speed Rail it's possible to do this in a short amount of time. It feels great to be home. I had a reunion dinner with my elementary school classmates. Some I haven't seen since! It's crazy how the paths of our lives have changed so much. But when we sat down after 11 years, it felt as if nothing has changed.

[ BBQ, Hotp pot, and Sashimi ]

This is our family's cute fluffy little hamster. He is the most adorable little thing! He's so sweet, he'll let you hold him and won't try to run away or bite you. He'll just look at you with his big round eyes and fall asleep. Unfortunately he left us in around October. But he'll always be an important part of our family. People often say that hamsters or guinea pigs or other small animals aren't as good as dogs or cats. To be honest though, these little cute fur balls have the biggest personalities, way more than you can imagine. Everyone of them are different. Some are shy, some are bold, some are energetic, and some might be a little mischievous. I would never trade my guinea pigs or hamsters for a cat or a dog.

| August |

August time was family time. Our family usually travels around August when my brother has summer vacation and my mom has off at work (she's a Uni professor). This year we went to Hokkaido! I love Japan so much, ever aspect of it. The culture, the people, the food, and the scenery! It's also really fun just to chill with my family and spend time together with them. Usually my parents are very stressed and serious at home, but it's really nice to see them really smile and enjoy on vacation. And I wish my brother would smile and talk more, but he's still going through that teenage time of life. But I know my little bro loves me as much as I love him :)

|  September |

[ Hello, Hong Kong ]

In September I made yet another big decision in my life. I feel like I'm just attracted to moving across the world for fun. First it was Taiwan -> Seattle for college, then Seattle -> New York for job search, then New York -> Hong Kong for job search again. But I believe that if you want something, you have to go find it yourself. I want to work in a very big and international city. It's easier to be physically in the place you want to work at. After a few months or searching, I was very lucky to find a job at a very well-establish company. I wrote a detailed update about how I ended up where I am now. I'll link it right below:

I also met some amazing friends in Hong Kong! Everyone is loads of fun and has great personalities. I've had so much fun after arriving at Hong Kong. The very drunk wine tastings with a million jello shots, outrageous beer games with ping pong balls flying everywhere, warm Thanksgiving & Christmas parties.  Alison, Thanks for being an amazing host for the Thanksgiving party! Carmen and Chloe we need to go get jello shots in Singapore sometime. Ross, be careful the haunted reindeer will find you in Singapore. Ewan, keep your beer cup and ping pong ball. PK thanks for introducing that beer game, it's awesome. Janet we need to go shopping sometime! Jess, where have you goneeeeeeee? Minsi, next time you fall asleep I'll make sure you get home. Richard, I want to hear more stories about Taiwan ;) And to everyone all together, when are we gonna play that game again?? I will continue to do my best to be the full-time photographer (According to Alan) And of course, thanks Graeme for being amazing and making me laugh all the time!

| October |

[ GTA Madness]

I actually played it the second time and ended up with 27m each.

[ Khaleesi for Halloween ]

Besides tons of video games and dressing up, I also visited Macau for the first time! It was actually very interesting. It looks like Vegas in some ways, but it's a lot more Chinese than I thought. The casinos were always packed full even at late night times. That's perfect for me since I wanted to see everything except for casinos. 

|  November |

In November I was confirmed with my first full-time job offer! And I went out with a nice drink with the team that I'll be working with very soon. It's awesome that I'll be working with all girls! I heard there's only 1 guy on this team.

Hong Kong also couldn't wait for Christmas to come. Since people don't celebrate Thanksgiving here, after Halloween it jumps right into Christmas. The decorations in Hong Kong are spectacular. The buildings facing Victoria Harbour are filled with Christmas lights in patterns visible from across the harbor. There are 5 story tall trees, Rirakkuma trees, Disney trees, and Hello Kitty Trees. I spent a whole day running around looking for Hong Kong Christmas decorations. Took me longer than I thought!

|  December |

December was a very sandy Christmas. I was in Phuket, Thailand for the holidays. It was amazing! At first I was thinking, Christmas should be in the snow!! But Christmas in the sand is really relaxing. Hong Kong was getting pretty cold, so a nice warm break in Phuket was perfect. The sand was so soft like flour, and water was so clear you could see the bottom of the ocean while fishes swam around you. I got to do many things I've never done before, like snorkeling, jet skiing, playing with tigers, and parasailing. It's definitely the best way to spend the holidays. 

[ Playful tiger ]

[ Parasailing ]

Links to youtube Vlogs of my trip

Even though it has been really tough at times. Especially when I was pressured with my visa expiring in the US and not being able to find a job. But I got through all the tough parts. The good times were more amazing than I every expected. I'm so fortunate to live such an interesting life full of adventures and challenges. 2013 was amazing, and 2014 will be even better.

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