Better than Coffee


Now that Thanksgiving is over and we are nearing Christmas, I realize how deeply I associate the holiday season with the weather. I was prepared for an onslaught of loneliness, after hearing from others who have lived abroad explain how hard November and December can be. Yet, I’m here now, and I don’t really feel anything–mainly because it still feels like early fall in Kinmen. Without crisp air or snow on the ground, the weather here tricked my brain into thinking Christmas season is nowhere in sight. But just because it’s beginning to feel a lot like October does not mean winter isn’t coming. This week, I finalized travel plans that had been up in the air for months. My bank account is hurting, but my newfound peace of mind and excitement for two trips to see friends in Taipei is worth it. Here are a few things that were better than coffee this week.

Game of Thrones, specifically season 6. I convinced my roommates and neighbors to start (re)watching Game of Thrones this week. We’ve plowed through five episodes, as of this posting. Revisiting the early episodes has refreshed my memory and helped me make connections I missed the first time around (apparently we knew from the beginning that Jorah was a spy and that Varys was #TeamTargaryen). But the main reason I like this second round through the series is how it helps me appreciate how much the show has grown. The portrayal of women in season 1 is downright distasteful. Ladies whine and complain, make trouble, strip. Contrasting the women of season 1 to those of season 6 show not only how much Cersei, Daeny, Arya, and Sansa have strenghten–they also reveal how much the writers have too.

Taobao. Look, I love Kinmen, but my love does nothing about the bleak fashion situation here. Cute and affordable clothing stores are few and far between on this little island, so after hearing my co-teacher rave about it, I made my first Taobao (think Chinese eBay but with the popularity of Amazon) purchase. I bought an oversized blazer I’ve been dreaming about for months now. I will wear it over a dress to keep me warm at the upcoming Fulbright Cross-Strait Midyear Conference.

Free leggings. Girlfriend Collective, a new ethical leggings line, is launching its leggings for freezies. All you have to pay is shipping and handling. Unfortunately, Girlfriend doesn’t ship to Taiwan, so my pair are enroute to my mom’s house in the U.S. Nonetheless, responsibly-made, brand-spanking new leggings will be a sweet surprise when I come home.


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