12 months, 12 cities, & 12 notes.(Part 1)

Last year, I flew over 75,000 miles, and visited 18 countries.
Well, I have tons of homework, and I have no job offers, but I am ridiculously optimistic, and hopelessly romantic.
at North Pole, November 2015.

At the last minutes of 2015, the moment Taylor Swift came up and successfully distracted me from continuing watching Ball Drop, I quickly made my 2015 New Year Resolution. Apart from losing weight (which, you know, never happened), I want to come, see and conquer more of this muggle world.(and be fully prepared to be admitted to Hogwarts)

Then, I logged onto PenninTouch, and with the company of a hideous song I did not even know the name, I changed all my courses into one day, and started mapping out my great plan of traveling.

As for me, the thing I value most along the way, is neither view nor cheap designer bags, but the people, and the little things this place, or the people bring to me. Some of the places I visited, for example, Hallstatt, the so-called “most beautiful town” in Austria, is indeed breathtaking for me, but it is too much commercialized for me; lacking of cultural specialty and humanity. Therefore, what Hallstatt left me was simply a bragging Instagram footprint, and a point to get my friends envious, wink wink.

<<< Hallstatt in winter, beautiful, ugh? froze my ass off.

I am terrible at traveling notes; I am so causal and always a Yelp person instead of a well planned housewife. The following are only my litrle diaries, recording my feelings and stories with that cities. It’s completely subjective and not well-written. Don’t ask too much of me okay? English is my second language and I am just a kid =)

【January – Seoul, Korea】
Korean people have superpowers.
When I dress like a bear when I was there, they were like Prada Spring/Summer models.
When I flew back to States, I tried to be the copycat, and got rid of my ugly sweater and socks.
Guess what? I caught a bad flu and in bed for two days. Shame on me.Blame on their superpowers.

Bear-like Me Verse Korean Guys (excuse me? ripped jeans in winter?!)

Korean people must have superpowers.
Their drama are so cheesy. For example, there must have a poor but pretty girl called Mary. Instead of doing revenge, she was as kind and pure as impossible. Then there must appear a handsome and rich Peter, who fell in love with Mary as soon as impossible. And, they will be happy for around 10 episodes. When the plot comes to climax, Mary will suffer from Leukemia,(yes, it must be Leukemia, irreplaceable, OK?), and Mary will die in Peter’s arms.
Cynical as I was before, I even shed tears for that.  Shame on me. Blame on their superpowers.

Well, during a short day of 5, I fell in love with Seoul.
Maybe because of their tasty chicken wings at midnight, or because of the moment they tried so hard to use body language to give me directions, or maybe because the cute handicraft and home design. These are reasons, but it is those stylish korean guys that are unforgettable.

Look at those legs. They should list them as national treasures!
Shame on me.

【February – New York, States】
New York? excuse me? 2-hour way of megabus, and you are bragging about it?
Well, in last February, I succeeded in viewing all the major Broadway shows!
Well, #BucketListChecked!

Some shows I saw during 2015.

I simply enjoy the feeling of watching a live show. Everyone know the story plot of Aladdin. Everyone can see the full show of les miserable on YouTube for free. Everyone can access the soundtrack of the latest show immediately on Spotify.

I enjoyed the thrill to pay $25 when I got the lottery for the Book of Mormon; I enjoyed the excitement to pay $250 when I sat in front and saw how the wicked defying gravity; and I enjoyed the $2500 I paid for a weeklong trip to London when I knew the West End was doing a Cats the Musical revival…

If you are not a theater fan, you can never imagine how emotional it could be when I waited an hour backdoor just to see Ruburt Grint after his play; and you can never imagine how delighted it would be to see Andy Mientus grew from off-boardway to the Marius in Les Miserables. But if you have ever been crazy about something, you will get me.

【March – Orlando, States】

As a super fan of Harry Potter, Orlando is a must-go. Though I hate that silly mouse with two ridiculously large ears, I still bought those two ears and looked sillier…
QQ20160126-4I don’t get myself. Maybe some time in the future I will love Taylor Swift…

Fan power can do anything. I hate roller coasters, but I went on just for Harry Potter. I always regard myself as a rational customer, but I completely lost when I was in those shops. I spent $200 to get the whole set of Harry Potter’s wand…As I said before, I don’t get myself. $200 for 9 wood sticks????? If I were my father, I would beat me to death. Haha.
Lord Voldemort’s wand. I tried to kill my friend with that but I failed. Maybe I need more practice.

Boredom can do everything. One downfall of theme parks like this are those long lines. We spent 2 hours just for a ten-minute ride. However, I kind of enjoyed the wait, as long as you are with someone you like. For example, my friend downloaded an online-dating APP and we started judging people (shame on us), and later even saw one of my friends on that… Or we played weird app and even talked to Siri. To be honest, those boring but hilarious moment gave me laugh even more than the actual ride.

My dope shoes! That night I was so drunk that I worn my minions’ slippers on the street and got compliments all night long……

Another funny story. I went Orlando with one of my best friends. We even matched our outfits to build up our sisterhood. During our trip of 5 days, we are always treated as lesbians. When I ordered room service, the receptionist always asked “Another one for your girlfriend, madam?” When we asked others to take a photo of us, they would always compliment us as “a lovely couple”.

Why? Maybe there exists differences in the definition of sisterhood in various cultures. When I was a little kid, my classmates always held hands to go to toilets together…

【April – Vancouver, Canada 】

I hate you Vancouver.

Why there’s so many goodies to eat???????
Immigrants there made food there soooo diverse and authentic.
QQ20160126-8My days and nights. Maybe 5000 calories a day. Totally got my weight back.
Oh, Philadelphia. Go f*** with your cheeseburgers.

UBC, which locates near downtown area of Vancouver, is a study paradise!They have a beach in campus!!!
And guess what?
It’s a naked beach.
Oh, Penn. I really want a transfer.

And the weather. God. That’s perfect.
You could be in shirts in the morning, and after two hours’ drive, you could ski at the top of the Whistler mountain at the end of April.

I just could not bear this any more.
It’s a Utopia.

【May – Taibei, China】
At the end of May, before I came home, I visited Taiwan.
During my study board, the most curious topic others ask me is the issue of Taiwan.

Some ignorant Taiwanese hurt mainland citizens’ feelings by spreading nonsense.
For example, they said only rich people in mainland China can afford to eat eggs.
For example, they said they selected their president by millions of votes, and China selected President Xi by only hundreds.
As a mainland China citizen, I always get pissed off by those.
People always underestimate how developed mainland China is.
Sorry, I do not think Taibei is that glamorous.

As for the election and number of votes, oh come on, Obama got selected by 365 votes. Please consider the differences in election systems, OK?

Politics matter, but what matters most is the people. Once I simply regard politics as something far away from ordinary lives, until now I feel I am too young and naive. I just could not bare the fact that Taiwanese will refuse to give you directions when you speak in Chinese. Instead, when I ordered the reservation in English they would accept me gladly.

I accept the differences in belief systems and political values, but I simply do not understand the indifference towards mainland Chinese from that society, from the perspectives of humanity, instead of politics. I finally understand how terrible political brainwashing is, and how it could torn a person, and a society’s soul.

All in all, you also speak Chinese, and write Chinese characters.

Republic of China Passports do not need visas to visit countries such as UK and US. And Taiwan people even say “please emphasize you are from Taiwan instead of China when I are crossing the boarder” in tripadvisor.

As for me, though a People’s Republic of China passport may cost me thousands to travel around the world, I will be proud of it forever and always.

Stubborn and ignorant as I am, though Taiwan has beautiful scenery and tasty snakes, I will never go to Taiwan again.
QQ20160126-13Sunset at the top of Yangming Mountain. Lost interest anyway.

【Jun – Shanghai, China】
The moment I stepped out and breath the polluted air, I knew I was home.
Born and raised in downtown Shanghai, I don’t think any city could compare to my lovely Shanghai.I have so much to share about my hometown that I do not know how to start.People, food, convenience, anything…just perfect.

Except the weather.
It’s insanely hot.
Hot enough to make it an excuse not to do my internships.

After being a coach potato for a whole week, I could not stand it anymore. I decided to do a little research myself.
Sharing economy is a hit, and uber is one of the top. However, Uber in Shanghai does not have the competitive edge of price. For example, from old town to university city, it costs you half the price if you take Uber. On the contrary, taxis will be half the price of Uber. I was curious way people will still take Uber.
Therefore, I drove out my tiny little cooper and started my way as a uber driver.

Well, since it’s a cooper, it is listed under “economy”. My uber career went well honestly. I got to know more about my beloved Shanghai, drove to districts I never been to and made money. All my customers are talkative and patient. I found most of the customers choose Uber simply because it is harder to get a taxi during rush hours. Sounds reasonable, I suppose.

Until one day, my car had some engine problems, and I sneaked my father’s Jaguar out just for two days. (My father was furious later after he found out the juice spots left by someone on the seat…haha)
That two days, my business plummeted.
First, I was listed as “luxury” Uber. I understood the higher price caused my customer loss. The strange thing was, my rate of being “cancelled” was much higher. Then I asked my friend about it (She also drives Uber), and she bursted into laugher and explained,”You know what? They cancelled because you are a female! Many girls asked for luxury Uber to spot on rich and single Mr.Right!!It’s an investment, you know?”

Shanghai girls are too material and cute, haha.

Half of my 2015 was covered. Could not belief this kind of writing can get full score in TOEFL writing. ESL really needs improvements.

If you want to know why I got two British visas in one day, if you are curious about how I chase the insanely beautiful aurora, if you want to see my PEDI diving license,  just stay tuned. 


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