Took a Break from Posting on the blog

I haven’t made a post on this blog for almost four months now, and I’m trying to figure out why.

It’s not like anything big has happened since January that is taking up my time. My laptop and iPhone are still working fine.

I just haven’t thought of anything to write about because Taiwan is starting to become “home”. It will never be home because home is where my family is, but I have become so accustomed to living here that every day is a non-event. I now wake up and am not surprised that I’m in a tiny room filled with the sound of traffic. I don’t long for a home-made veggie-packed omelette in the morning because I know I can now get a triangle sandwich and soy milk at the 7-Elevens that are on every street corner.

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I also feel physically different than I was before I came to Taiwan. I have the small beginnings of a paunch. The muscles that I worked on so hard last summer on have slowly disappeared, especially in my arms. My hair has grown longer because I’m trying to be Taiwanese-style trendy. My back is stiff from sitting in class for so long. There are other health changes that I’ll get into in later posts (nothing serious at all, don’t worry).

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So I’ve become accustomed to almost everything in my day to day life. That’s why it’s been hard for me the last four months to post anything on this blog. I hope to start up again starting now, since my time in Taiwan is nearing its end.

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I Crave Traditional Breakfasts in Taiwan

There are two types of breakfast in Taiwan: Western and Chinese. Western breakfast is popular among young people and are sold on main streets while Chinese breakfast is more popular with older people and is sold in side streets and alleys.

Western breakfast: Sandwiches, always cut triangularly, very white bread, no crust. It is often three slices of bread. Ingredients often include this like ham, fried chicken, egg, and 肉鬆 (the best I can describe it is meat powder). Very few sammiches have vegetables.

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Here was a not very tasty western breakfast that cost NT$70. I’d ordered the same thing as my classmate. That is my Lactaid pill.

Chinese breakfast: Soymilk, stuffed buns, 饅頭 (buns without stuffing), dumplings, 蛋餅 (translates to egg wrap, basically egg and your choice of meat filling (often tuna) wrapped in an crepe-like pancake). I like Chinese breakfasts because it is warm (sandwiches aren’t) and I can drink soy milk (I am lactose intolerant).

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Pan fried dumplings with soy sauce and hot sauce, plus soy milk in the background.

One cool thing that I slowly realized eating breakfast here is that the soy sauce is almost always soy sauce paste. It is thicker and easier to dip into because it sticks better than watery soy sauce.

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Egg wrap with soy sauce paste inside a typical breakfast carry-out container.

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Breakfast is cheap here. I can get one egg wrap and a medium soy milk for NT$40 which is less than $2 USD. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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A fancy breakfast with dumplings, white carrot cake, and egg with basil. And soy sauce paste of course.

I drink soy milk every morning instead of milk or coffee because I am lactose intolerant, as I mentioned before. Soy milk at a breakfast shop always comes in a paper cup with a plastic covering like the ones on bubble tea. People here don’t usually drink cold soy milk, and I get mine warm.

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The jokes on all the soy milk cups in this shop were really bad. This one says: Q: What color is spiderman? Red? Wrong! A: He’s white! Spider man (is a Caucasian). 

Intro to Lactaid

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Since the second semester of my senior year of high school, I have been lactose intolerant. I might’ve been lactose intolerant a bit earlier than that, but I was “diagnosed” earlier this year after I went to my local hospital for a test. I’d been getting an upset stomach nearly every day.

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The test was very painful. I had to fast for 8-12 hours before the test, then the actual test was 4 hours, during which I drank a cup of pure lactose (with orange flavor…ew!) and then blew into a tube every 15 minutes. I wasn’t allowed to eat anything during this test. I’d planned on doing homework during the exam, but I was so hungry that all I could do was find iPhone games, play them for a few minutes, then delete them because I couldn’t find them entertaining.

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Now, whenever I want to eat something that has milk in it, I have to take a Lactaid pill along with the first bite of my dairy-food, and if I eat the dairy-food for more than 30 minutes, I should take another pill. Sometimes I just take two at once if I feel like the product contains a lot of milk:

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I carry at least 3-4 Lactaid pills in my wallet at all times, and my school backpack has 40-50 pills. They are individually wrapped, and I try to take a photo of the pill stuck inside my food.

The pills are chewable and taste like nothing.

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I use Lactaid pills only when I’m eating a dessert. I’ve never used a pill for drinking milk because I can drink soy milk instead, and I’m not sure one or two pills would be enough for a glass of pure milk.

I’ll keep ya’ll updated on the Lactaid pills as I get more photos.