Tuesday, 10 July 2012


A funny thing about my new place, is that when I go to sleep, it is impossible to get up in the morning. Now it’s not physically impossible to wake-up, but man is it hard to drag myself out of bed and into the sunshine. The reason is because I’m in the basement with the A/C blasting and absolutely no light. My blanket is this big lumpy quilt, the kind where you just curl up in it and never escape. It doesn't even seem to matter what time I go to bed, late or early, I can never revive from my comatose state.

The solution to my problem can be found in those special lamps, where you set a timer for them to turn on and slowly light up, but I prefer to use my will power. I have tried a couple of different scenarios. First I tried to minutely manage every second of my morning the night before. This way I had to get up or else I would fall behind in my day and get that terrible feeling of wasting time. Sadly that didn't work because it is far too easy to mentally delete items from the list as unimportant.

My next step was to use food as incentive. Every morning I walk five minutes to a little breakfast shop. It is small food like stall but with places to sit inside for especially lazy people like me. What I like most about it is its proximity to my house, of course, and it’s satisfyingly cheap food. I go every day and order the same thing “Wǒ yào shí ge guōtiē “(I would like 10 cabbage dumplings). The ladies serving the food are quite used to me now and help me pronounce that little sentence everyday; my own personal mantra. Once I ordered something different out of curiosity and they were very shocked, I quickly reverted back to my old ways to keep the peace.

Since nothing compares with freshly made dumplings early in the morning, I went to sleep with this delicious incentive in my mind. It didn't work! I procrastinated so much getting out of bed that by the time I got to the shop it was 9:00am. The ladies were as inviting as ever and even packed my breakfast to go. Truly they had no idea they were supplying ammo for my bad habit.

 Finally I have decided on a compromise. I am now sleeping in later then I would normally on weekdays but I do an hour of homework in the morning. I bring my textbooks to the breakfast shop and write characters while they are frying up my food. It’s a nice little setting I've got going.  I get an unobstructed view of the  busy street while watching them create dumplings which is an art in itself. One of these days I will ask them if I can try making my own. Until then, I am happy eating what they serve me and listening to their chatter in the background. I’m positive one of them is talking on and on about her ex-husband, or how badly behaved her kids are, but to me it is all very interesting. When I pick up on words they say it is like little nuggets of wisdom I store away for a later date. One day I will be able to understand them but until then, I just let the words wash over me while I eat my food bright and early in the morning.         

As a side note, dumplings are a more Northern Chinese dish but they are served everywhere in Taiwan. I love having them first thing in the morning so it is a good thing I am going to Beijing after this tripJ

1 comment:

  1. Wish I could taste some of those dumplings- I think that would be motivation for me to get up too!