Taipei Chaos

This past week has been both a time of extroverted exploration and a time of introverted reflection. 
The first few days were spent perusing, and taking a trip over to the Shilin night market! (as photographed below) This market is the one of the biggest night markets in Taiwan, making it also one of the most densely populated places in the country! 
My close friend Sharon took me to the market on her scooter, and we had so much fun riding around, looking at the clothes and, of course, eating night market snacks!

The market has so many things to offer in one place- an incredible array of delicious food, all of the latest fashions in the world at jaw-droppingly cheap prices, as well as all other odds and ends that you could possibly need or imagine- all in one place!

This makes Shilin night market a haven for some, and a hell for others. I personally enjoy taking trips there every once in a while, but prefer a quieter, less congested atmosphere to spend most of my time in Taipei.

these were taken at the Shilin night market temple. I love that people get food from the market and eat on the steps here.
I really tried hard to restrain myself from buying everything in sight- it wasn’t easy!
I really wanted to take this sweet little French bulldog home with me!
I think I will always feel that there is something so magical about illuminated red lanterns at night!
top: purchased at Jingmei night market (near my apartment!)
leather shorts: H&M
one of the quieter streets right outside of the market
After visiting Shilin night market again for the first time since I had returned, all of the initial excitement of being in Taiwan again suddenly seemed to creep up on me in a flurry of happiness and childlike curiosity about all the new things I could discover. 
This excursion made me feel eager to explore more of Taiwan, but the second half of the week I ended up being cooped up inside- spending my time resting and trying my best to become well after the unfortunate incident of contracting a terrible stomach virus! 
There is something about being sick in a foreign country that just is so terribly unsettling that it made me completely irrational and extremely emotional. During the few days of my illness I experienced a very serious questioning of my decision to return to Taipei, thinking I had made a major mistake that forced me to be stranded somewhere so far from home all because of a “gut feeling” that made me want to come back. I knew that I love the place that I live, I love my job, I love living in Taiwan, and I am so happy to be with old friends again, but still, I wondered.
Now that I am recovered I am glad to be here, though being away is still a challenge, especially since leaving to pursue a life that I wanted would present major challenges to my relationship. Though I am lucky to be with someone who cares about me so much that he supports my decision to move to the other side of the Earth, it is still so difficult to know what to do when you feel that you need to be somewhere far away, when the person can’t come with you- and I wonder still, if I should have stayed.
view of Taipei from Yangmingshan mountain

How do you decide on whether to leave or stay when leaving will hurt your relationship through the distance, and staying will make you resentful that you sacrificed your happiness for the other person? Though I have clearly made my decision already, I still wonder if the choice that is ultimately more selfish is really the “right” choice, but I suppose time will tell. 
If you are reading this fresh post from the U.S. is it morning, but for me it is bedtime! Goodnight!

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