Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Sometimes life makes sense at Subway.

I began today with a list of things to do.  (I have turned into quite the procrastinator in my twenties... I usually deny it when my mother points it out, but today I'm feeling honest.)  I decided that my diet needed a taste of familiarity aside from the Ritz Crackers and Special K cereal kept in my apartment, so on the way to my first step towards productivity I stopped at a Subway to grab a sandwich.  As I played meat and vegetable charades with the Subway employee attempting to build my sandwich, my ears perked and my head jolted towards the dining room... English?  Do I hear English being spoken by a native tongue?  As I turned the corner revealing the dining room, I realized the entire room was filled with western faces.  (I usually see a white person once every four or five days, so to see the entire room filled was slightly overwhelming... but when you're living in Taiwan and you have the chance to engage in a fluid conversation in English--you take it.)  The adorable thirty-something couple explained to me that they decided to take a family vacation to Taiwan.  They packed up their four children, a set of grandparents, and a sister-in-law to explore Taiwan for two and a half weeks.  As I watched the lovely couple chase their four children around the Subway, battling issues such as "how many more bites" they have to take of the one meal they'll readily eat that day, my mind couldn't help but wonder what their day had entailed thus far... it was only noon and they looked completely exhausted.  The entire encounter was a huge reminder of why I'm using my twenties to selfishly explore the world.  God bless them for attempting to expose their children to another culture at a young age, but the entire ordeal looked like so much work!  As their platoon moved out the woman gave me a 'I wish I could trade places with you' eye roll and said, "Get it out of your system now.  It isn't the same when you have a family."  I watched them erratically walk, skip, hop and hobble away (depending on the member of the family) and again realized that I am in the right place.  I don't think the internationally curious and adventurous spirit that brought me to Taiwan will ever completely disappear... but cultivating it in my early(ish) twenties will make taking an eventual eighteen year hiatus less shocking.

My small interaction with my fellow countrymen inspired a full day of all things American.  From Subway I stopped for a cup of Baskin Robbins ice cream...

...that I took with me to a movie in it's original Hollywood made and produced format with added Chinese subtitles.  This is such a treat... in Western Europe, American made movies are released, but are voiced over in the country's native language.  In Taiwan, no such case.  I'm not sure why... not many people in Taiwan speak fluent English, but it's awesome for foreigners.  

Followed by an hour spent wandering around the new, and very trendy spot to shop in Taiwan...

So as I wrap up my day with a flighty conversation with my boyfriend via Skype and a glass of wine, I realize that I didn't accomplish anything on my lengthy 'To Do' list.  I may not have been able to gain the incredible satisfaction that I receive from crossing an item off my list, but I did have a day that reminded me to appreciate my current stage in life.  Just as valuable.  Being young, single, and fabulous is something to be appreciated.  It's a time that's short lived... which means it shouldn't be taken for granted.  I'm not scared of the future... I'll welcome the lifestyle of the cute couple in Subway with open arms when the time is right, but until then... cheers.


  1. couldn't have said it better myself Katrina! so glad you are out exploring the world - I'm trying to decide what my next adventure should be as well :)

  2. I agree that when your young and single is the time to make the curious trek around the globe, not to mention a fully paid trek around globe. I cannot imagine trying to cart around a family of 6 or 7 in an unfamiliar country, much less one without the western alphabet! Have a few dumplings for me and keep up with the blog!