I have a way about me. I like a thing done well and done consistently that way. I like principle and those that adhere to it. This is the case in my private and professional lives. I say grace and I say it with meaning. I say I will be at the meeting on foreign revenues at 6:30 a.m. and I'm never late. I like a plan. I like to stick to it.
What is the place that you call home? If you think of home as the place where you currently live then my home is in Japan. I think of home in a different way: it is the place I see when I close my eyes and when I think of that very word ... I see Taiwan.
It's 6 p.m. on a school day. I shut down my laptop, lace up my running shoes, grab my iPod and take off.
Fascinated with Chinese culture and history, American Shayla Sturgess is learning Chinese at the Mandarin Training Center in the National Taiwan Normal University, and plans to utilize her language skills in a government or research related position in the future.
It's Tuesday night, and I'm sitting cross legged, meditating at a Zen center in a little corner of the bustling Taipei City. I'm supposed to be counting my out breath: one, two, three ... but my mind wanders off.
At times in life I feel as if I am the prey of buzzards. The boss, the bills, the politicians, the structures of society, each perched as an eagle on a cliff staring into the valley below. Myself, and those like me, huddled in shrubs rushing hither for an evening's scrap and hoping never to see a winged and quickly expanding shadow cross over the near ground.
Before I arrived in Taipei, I took a short visit to Hong Kong. Sitting at the magnificent Victoria Harbour, I can easily touch the spirit of this famous metropolis -- countless skyscrapers, crowded tourism and fast-paced work. As we can see, it is totally a busy world. In fact, I had regarded Taipei as a major city like Hong Kong.
My buddy Sylvester Chen offered me dip (tobacco). I told him again I was a teetotaler. He smiled and left, then returned. Sylvester's a fun and odd sort. He has a penchant for pyrotechnics, the sort of joy that makes Taiwan's many new years a time of searing delight for the man. I imagine him on the street running from explosion to explosion, a toothy grin and a look of hunger in his eyes.
It had been months since I'd seen the sun. My apartment in the city consisted of four walls and no windows, which turned my time inside into a strain on my electric bill.
When I research something, I really like to get down and dirty in it. I feel like if I live it, breathe it, and think it, that I am able to learn and experience it more. When I was given the topic of anti-consumerism by my teacher, I hadn't the faintest clue with what to do with it.