Thursday, December 17, 2015

Just a Week in Taiwan

I'm back in Houston now. Kailin picked me up, then made me pick her up. The TSA was annoyed by this and hollered at us until we left. I tried driving and made it 5 minutes before I nearly drove us off a bridge. Leaning in a car doesn't help you turn. A day later and I've remembered how to drive.

Taipei was relaxing. Rather than act the part as a tourist, I revisited my favorite locations. This mostly involved eating like a glutton. In Vietnam I was already making people question whether I might actually have a disorder. In Taiwan I took it to the next level. Weirdly enough, I hit the gym today and found out that over the course of the trip, I'd lost 2 pounds. Probably muscle mass.

Met a great guy from New Zealand my second to last day, Sam. He and I clicked instantly, leaving me to have the perfect conversations to cap my trip off. We discussed plans for the future, feelings towards loved ones back home, entrepreneurship, and so on. A shame he wasn't spending longer in Taipei, but he had some magnetic attraction to getting drowned by a hurricane in the Philippines. Don't die, Sam!

We climbed elephant mountain twice, and I went on a run for the first time in a month. There's lifting equipment on top of the mountain. I was tired on the plane. Never did manage to get a foot massage in, ran out of time.

Saw Skrillex on a Sunday. It was dope. Nobody really was going as hard as me, a lot of people were upset, but eventually they just gave me space.

My last day in Taiwan, I got notification that NTNU and TKU have both accepted me for their computer science masters programs. I haven't decided if I'd like to go yet. Sam raised a point I'd considered a while - why bother spending 3 years getting a degree when I could likely teach myself the material in a year or less, for free, at my own pace? There's various practical arguments, of course - job prospects are greater when you have a piece of paper guaranteeing your ability, for example. On the other hand, 3 years is a long time to be making 20/hrs a week worth of money. Kailin wants to do the same thing, self-study data science. I told her we should start a learner's colony on top of a mountain somewhere in Asia. She's game.

Came home and cleaned out the closet, which felt good. Still a lot more to go. None of my clothes fit anymore, and I want to buy a motorcycle. Let me buy your motorcycles.

I knew as soon as I had a conversation with a Houstonian on the plane that I can't stay here. I like being near my friends and family, but being in Houston is too stagnant. Living abroad is a challenge on so many fronts. I've learned I get bored easily. So what if I have to create an artificial challenge to keep myself entertained?

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