I forgot to add that I found a Mandarin tutor who comes to my apartment and tutors me one hour a week. He's a great teacher, and is very encouraging! It's fun speaking Mandarin (I studied it briefly last time I was here), but extremely difficult - which goes without saying. The most difficult part is learning the 4 tones. A word can have an entirely different meaning with a different tone! For example, the Mandarin word for "four" can also mean "death" depending on the tone!
I have a new Taiwanese friend/language partner too! Her name is April- she's the daughter of my acupuncturist. April is so sweet - she has studied in the US (in Missouri of all places...no offense if you're from Missouri!). She also studied acupuncture and Chinese medicine in China for five years. She wants to set up a practice in the US, but her dad doesn't want her to leave Taiwan! Aw...he is very old-fashioned and protective. The cool thing about April is that her favorite meal is a burger and a beer! Mine too! ;)
I also have stepped up my visits to the gym. I have a trainer and for THIS month I am working out twice a week with her (doing strength training) and then I do cardio on the boring machines 3-4 times a week. I can RUN now...not just JOG! I sometimes run along a riverwalk near my apartment,just to get away from the boring machines.
I've been doing this "10 Day Detox in a Box" that I picked up in London in Kew at Oliver's Health Food Store and I feel AMAZING! It's a mixture of herbs - the main ones are Blessed Thistle and Cleavers. I know about Blessed Thistle which cleanses the liver, but I've never taken Cleavers before. Cleavers is a "weed" which cleans the lymphatic system. So by working out, detoxing and going to the sauna 3 times a week...WOW. I am a new woman, I swear. My depression is completely gone. It was really bad for awhile, which is why I wasn't blogging, to be honest.
Our friends Chris and Sokoun will be visiting us in December - can't wait! We plan on going to an island/islands in the Philippines.
I found THIS wonderful spot - called Dolphin Island. Sounds heavenly!
So this trip is my workout incentive. Gotta have a goal/something to look forward to!
Now if I could only give up beer I could lose my belly....
Here is a pic of a restaurant on Dolphin Island (the island is completely submerged under water).