There are three things to know about Chicago’s transportation, especially for college students like myself. One, it is a pain in the neck to drive to downtown Chicago, called the Loop, during rush hour. This should be a no-brainer. Two, the El, a nickname for Chicago’s public transit, has a bad reputation for being unreliable and slow, and thus many college students would rather take Uber or other rideshare services to get to places. Third, there is such thing called the Purple Line Express, which runs during weekday rush hours and skips many stops to make the route twice as fast, and it seems like many college students don’t take enough advantage of it.
Wow I realized I haven’t written a travel post in so long. The last one was actually… last spring break :p In between, I have traveled to New York, Boston, Bangkok, Las Vegas and Tokyo. I probably won’t have time to write about all of them, but who knows, one day a way overdue draft might re-surface.
This year, my friends Cat and Christina and I decided to spend our last spring break in Costa Rica. As usual with my other travel posts, this one is going to be 50% a photo dump, and 50% my attempt to do justice to my experience with words.
“Pura vida!” is one of Costa Rican locals’ favorite sayings, which means “a simple, pure life.” It has quickly become the catchphrase of our trip, as we learned from the locals that pura vida is not just a slogan, but also a way of life. It was pretty obvious from the start that Costa Ricans live in symbiosis with nature, and truly appreciate and respect the complex and beautiful wildlife around them.
“This Kid I Know” is a series of birthday posts on Never Stationary, my friend Catherine Zhang’s blog, where she dedicates a blog post to a friend on his or her birthday. I’m not starting the same thing on my blog, but instead dedicating this one post to her because she’s turning 21!
Sup, Cat! I’ve always wondered if you’ve ever wondered if someone is going to write you a “This Kid I Know.” Now that you’re hitting the big 21, I figured it should be your turn to shine, just like many others who had the honor to be mentioned on your blog.
I had been thinking about trying out a vegan diet for a while. Not because it is “trendy” or “healthier” than regular diets if that is what you are thinking. (Whether going vegan is trendy and healthy or not is debatable itself.) But with the rising environmental and ethical concerns with consuming meat and animal products, I have become more and more aware of these issues through social media and the internet.
But first of all, what is veganism? According to the Vegan Society, a vegan diet is a plant-based diet avoiding all animal foods such as meat (including fish, shellfish and insects), dairy, eggs and honey. If you choose to venture onto a full-on vegan lifestyle, you also avoid using leather and animal-tested products such as makeup and personal care ones.
Specifically, here are some explanations of the reasons why I decided to try being a vegan:
It’s almost 11pm now in Paris and I’m sitting in my room at my host mom’s house, watching a “Follow Me Around Hong Kong” video on YouTube. It’s one of the many travelogues I occasionally watch. The YouTuber is filming herself getting one of her favorite Hong Kong food: glutinous rice rolls (腸粉). She drizzled on some sweet sauce, pooled on some peanut sauce, and finished up with a sprinkle of sesame. It is a traditional and iconic snack in Hong Kong, beloved for its cheap price and versatility as breakfast, street food, and dim sum.
Occasionally I watch different, random YouTube travelogues about Hong Kong. It amuses me to see foreigners/tourists/American-born-Chinese describe and navigate around the city I was born and raised in, eating all the food I grew up with and exclaiming how much they love them.
It’s 1AM and I don’t know why I’m talking about beets.
I guess it all started when I tried to make a beet salad last night to bring to school for my lunch today. Eating out in Paris is expensive, so I’ve been meaning to cook for myself and be a real adult. I went to this farmers’ market, Marché des Enfants Rouges, saw these fresh looking salad vegetables, and impulsively bought a handful of them along with a beet. I’m going to make myself a beet salad! I said to myself.
When I was a little kid, the most exciting day of the week was the day my parents decided they had enough time to take my sister and me to buy groceries. Growing up in the suburbs of Atlanta, grocery shopping meant either a nonchalant trip to Kroger or Publix, or a serious time investment of at least two hours at Costco.
Buying food was not only a way for me to spend more time with my parents, it also brought my sister and I closer together, because we made grocery shopping a goddamn occasion.