Hello to the lovely readers of JennifHsieh! A really big thank you to Jen for letting me have a chance to blog here while she's away saving the world in New Orleans (Shout out to Circle K International and all they do to make the world a better place; they're truly amazing).
Before I say anything else, I would like to apologize for the atrocious self-portraits that are about to grace this post. In addition to not having a tripod in my apartment, I got these long stares from the little old ladies prancing about the park I went to for the photoshoot, and it made me a bit edgy and eager to finish. I'm new at this, sorry!
My name is Karen, and I blog over at the (very) young Paper Quid. I was born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area, but I am Taiwanese by blood. I now live in Taiwan (an island famous for its ridiculously good food) and I'm currently an undergraduate studying biological sciences at NTU, or Taida, for any Chinese-speaking readers out there :)
In general, I think Taiwanese girls prefer more complicated styles: by that, I mean clothing with bright colours, patterns and lots of layers. In my opinion, their style of dressing makes them appear younger. The brighter, the better, and Taiwanese night markets are famous for the variety of jewelry, trinkets, coloured barrettes, and hair-tie stands, with hundreds of patterns and styles available for your perusal. Street stores and night markets are practically bursting at the seems with colour and (sometimes strangely) cut clothing.
I'm just the complete opposite: keeping it simple is my life-long motto. With that said, I can be rather boring when I dress: I try to stick to soft, solid colours like beige, black, and navy, colours that don't easily go wrong, and if I decide to wear an item that's complicated, it's likely going to be the only patterned item in my entire outfit that day. My favourite place to window-shop is J.Crew; I just love the classicality and simplicity of their designs.
With that being said, I apologise for the mundane outfit. I try hard to keep everything as simple as possible. This shirt is one of the very few items I've purchased in Taiwan; as you can see, even the most basic clothing comes with a big black bow tied around it. I don't particularly enjoy shopping here because the storekeepers constantly hound you and keep on your back about clothes they think would look "cute" on you. Also, the more time you spend in a store, the more you are expected to purchase something. I'm also a lousy haggler because I just feel meek and shy when I'm talking money. As a result, I only venture into clothing stores when my parents fly over here to visit me and offer to take me shopping, because then they do the talking for me! I always took my shopping freedom in California shopping centers for granted until I came here.
Shirt NET (Taiwan-based clothing company)
Jeans American Eagle
Sandals City Classified
I think in Taiwanese society, people still think flip-flops are a subtle sign of sloppiness. In California, for instance, I could walk out wearing flip-flops with a skirt and not think twice about it, but the few times I chose to wear a skirt/flip-flop combination to school, I literally felt people staring at my feet on the bus, then working their eyes up to my skirt. Oops. As a result, I've been wearing sandals, though this pair is currently the only pair I own (I guess closed backs make the big difference) and close-toed shoes more often since I started living here, just so I appear like I put some effort into my shoe choice when I leave the apartment in the morning.
I just finished a marathon of eight final examinations yesterday (Taiwanese semesters are super, super long!) so I slept until almost noon today to recharge. When I finally got up, I forgot that I was planning to shoot my photos today, and sleeping late does wonderful things to my hair; it just had to choose today to be mischievous and stick out in strange places!
Anyone have any exciting plans for the summer? For me, summer is the time for plenty of strawberry lemonade, casual reading, and getting two shades tanner from being out in the sun. For the next few days, I plan to finish the second season of BBC's Sherlock (it's all about Benedict Cumberbatch!), clean my room, and play the piano, which I have been terrible at practising during the semester. As for long-term plans, I really want to get through Anna Karenina this summer, a vow I made during my junior year of high school; after almost three years, I have fulfilled about 250 pages of that promise. So productive.
Happy summer to everyone, and have a good day!