Raohe Night Market, Taipei

Written in the Stars? [Year in Taiwan, Ed. 7]

Cheesin’ at my favorite night market in Taiwan, Raohe.

As the idiom goes—or as Tinie Tempah rapped about in 2010, are things in our lives written in the stars? What exactly is under our control, and what isn’t?

Perhaps it tends to be easier to relegate extreme events to fate, and everything else to our choices, or lack thereof.

This past week, as soon as I returned from Kaohsiung, I was in such a funk, headaches included. Classes were a blur; social interactions kept to the bare minimum. It was one of those not-infrequent periods in which an opaque cloud of sadness so strongly enveloped me that genuine smiles felt impossible to muster. For as long as I can remember, this intermittent cloud (never before with headaches, however) would creep up and stifle my ability to share my feelings to any concerned witness, instead rendering me paralyzed and further marinating in a toxic concoction of negative thoughts and confusion. (I shudder to think that this sounds Alzheimers-like.)

It wasn’t until my sister later told me of similar low moods that I wondered if (don’t jest) our astrological signs being the same could help explain it all. Either that or that time of the month about to come. And not knowing exactly why, as you know, can be incredibly frustrating in itself. So it has reached the point where I hope I do get my period soon, to have at least the satisfaction that all this moodiness was perhaps not for naught. #womanproblems

Speaking of, what is going on with America? In light of what has been flooding my social media feeds, I will be preparing my next Chinese presentation precisely about sexual assault in the U.S. To me, it has increasingly been a sensitive topic, because as a woman, I am inclined to believe and support Dr. Ford. So when my boyfriend upon being informed of such news for the first time, asked—although wisely and innocently— questions (e.g., “Why now?”) that I couldn’t help but see as doubt from a male’s perspective, I fumed. And fumed even more when accused of being partial, having “already taken a side.” While true, it felt and still feels wrong to not support Dr. Ford. We can try to be as unbiased as we want, but in this case, the bottom line is that Kavanaugh is not fit to serve in the law’s highest position and subsequently determine the fates of others, let alone women. So as if an already moody week needed this line of borderline-unreasonable and frustrating questioning, it clearly has been a rough week.

The lows aside, these days haven’t been all bad, having done tons of walking throughout the rainy but pleasantly cool streets of Taipei and enjoying life during what still is an incredible period to be alive.

This little guy was so calm at a yummy smoothie bowl place I discovered this week.