Saturday around lunch time, I biked into the city to get Cheap Thai and do some reading. Cheap Thai was jamming, so I ended up just ordering my Pad Thai to go. No problem, there is a large park nearby, so I took my food there, found a bench in the shade (it was a hot day!), and took out my book. For my birthday I was given Anna Badkhen's Peace Meals. Written by an overseas war correspondent who grew up in Russia, it's a compilation of experiences she while reporting in war zones surrounding food and the human element of these countries. Each chapter then ends with a recipe related to what she talked about in the chapter - food she ate while she was there. The particular chapter I was on was about how traveling can make you appreciate little things. The author talked about "dreaming about lettuce" because fresh vegetables were hard to come by in a dry, dusty, war torn Afghanistan. She said that later on when she would be trying to coax her young son into eating his veggies she'd think to herself, "I dare him to try to find something more exciting than lettuce." As someone who likes to travel, I can appreciate what the author was saying about being thankful for what you have. It made me think of my trip to India. While there often times hot water didn't come out of a tap, so if you wanted a hot shower, you had to boil the water and then shower out a bucket. Running, hot water out of a tap is certainly a little thing, but it can make a big difference when it's what you're used to. I was just thankful to be able to be clean. I also remembered being in Peru. A friend and I had joined a four day trek to Machu Picchu. The views were stunning! When we finally arrived and there were actual toilets though, everyone laughed and joked, because every person in our group spent at least 15 minutes just sitting in the bathroom enjoying the fact that the could do just that. The world is full of so many amazing things to see, do, and experience! No matter where we are it's important to be thankful for the little things.
After reading a bit in the park, I hopped back on my bike and started the ride home. I decided to go the back way, past the driving range. You can tell there's a driving range because of the huge green nets that jet up into the sky making a limp box around a square area. Taiwan doesn't have a lot of free space, so I imagine the nets are used to keep the balls from crashing into the surrounding buildings or getting lost in the nearby rice paddies. I love how green the rice paddies are right now, it's a bright, vibrant green with hints of yellow that's full of life. I love measuring time in Taiwan by the rice paddies. It took around 45 minutes to bike from the park to my place. I was one sweaty mess when I reached my destination. After cleaning up, I spent the afternoon watching Doctor Who and sketching. I've never been much of an artist; I just like to doodle.
Saturday was a peaceful, relaxing, productive day. Those words could probably sum up my whole weekend. After having several hectic weeks and knowing that I have two full weekends ahead of me, it was a nice respite.
"It seems to me there's so much more to the world than the average eye is allowed to see. I believe, if you look hard, there are more wonders in this universe than you could ever have dreamt of." Vincent Van Gogh from Vincent and the Doctor