Visiting Taiwan // Pt. 2: Taipei

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Snippets from our time in Taiwan, continued from my previous post. Continue reading

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Visiting Taiwan // Pt. 1: Tainan

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My friend Stephanie is currently across the ocean. Since August, she’s been living in Tainan, Taiwan and taking classes at a university there. A couple months ago, my other friend Isha and I made the snap decision to buy the cheapest round trip plane tickets we could find to Taiwan and back.

Stephanie, Isha, and I have been an inseparable bunch since our senior year of high school; last summer, when Isha started classes, Steph and I paid her a visit at her school across the bridge from us right after she moved in. Since my quarter system school starts later than semester schools, I also adventured up to Portland to visit Steph, where she attends college. This past spring, the two of them stayed with me for a few days down in San Diego. We went from train rides across the Bay Area to flights across the Pacific Ocean, and I couldn’t be more grateful. Here are some snapshots from the first part of the visit, when we stayed in Tainan. Stay tuned for more coming from our time in Taipei. Continue reading

A Conversation with The Marías

The Marias

The Creative Process

Josh: We record everything right in our living room. Booking a studio, paying by the hour… that type of deal can sometimes be stressful and halt creativity.

María: It’s just like a camera– it doesn’t matter as much what type you have, it matters more who’s behind the camera and what’s done with it.  Continue reading

Soup, Sweets, and Phone Lines

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One of my apartment mates walked in today, talking in a mix of English and Cantonese about herbal soup. Her mom was on the other end of the line, directing her towards the freezer and then the sink: “Wait, let me video call you…I defrost the chicken like this? Like, just put it under hot water? Okay, now what else do I add to the pot? How long will it take?” My roommate emerged from our double, joining my apartment mate in the kitchen. “Oh, my mom’s made this before, too. Looks good.”

I continued clicking through my chemistry homework with a smile. Many of my evenings hold similar conversations with my own mom: “How much jeera powder should I use in this? Will my khichdi last another couple days? Do I really need rasam powder to make rasam?” Every time, she laughs at how much I overthink my food. “It’s easy, Arya. Don’t worry, you’ll figure it out.”

Continue reading at Lithium Magazine →

Contemplating the inherent morality of novels

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One of my best friends hates reading.

“It’s not that I don’t appreciate a good analysis of a book,” he said, “I just feel like I don’t get anything out of reading the novels they forced on us in high school English class. Like, it makes me feel like it’s a waste, because just the fact that I had to read it on a certain timeline and do a certain thing with it ruined the book for me. I feel like that sucked out the chance to really get anything out of the book.”

At first, I was appalled.

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On Science Education and Stinky Plants

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I waited in line for twenty minutes. At this point, the long string of people almost wrapped around the corner of the building. When I finally walk into the Conservatory of Flowers in San Francisco, a blast of humid air envelops me, closely followed by a musty, almost foul smell. I feel a grin stretching across my face as I trace the scent through a tropical plant oasis into the large gallery that holds the perpetrator.

A titan arum plant, popularly known as the “corpse flower” for its stench, awaits in its terra cotta planter home. A long, yellow protrusion–the spadix–rises from the center of an open, frilly base. The spathe, I remind myself, studying the maroon and green folds of the leaf structure before I tune in to a staff member talking to a mass of wide-eyed visitors.

Continue reading at Bagicha.com →

Time Travel: thoughts from my East Coast visit

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I stepped out of the airport to a blast of heat, inwardly grumbling at the prospect of quickly becoming drenched in sweat as I lugged my bags toward the car. However, as the week went on, I quickly found myself adjusting to the heavy, humid air as my cousin and I roamed the streets of DC and New York City.

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