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Daily Thoughts

reasons why I love being here in Taiwan

How grateful I am to be here in Taiwan. These days the pandemic has definitely not over yet, but the condition is getting better and better each day.

As you can see, the graphic is drastically flatten to almost under 10 new cases per day. That is a relieving fact to hear in these bizzare time.

Per 18th July, there are still 1,095 active cases in this country. However, this number is counted as fairly low and controllable. For the last one week the government has eased the strict control for some restrictions, such as reopening some public facilities and allowing small number of social gathering.

This morning I just read the news that Malaysia defense minister, Ismail Sabri, praised Taiwan as he said, “Taiwan has not introduced any nationwide or local lockdowns, yet it still has one of the lowest number of COVID-19 cases in the world. The key to Taiwan’s successful pandemic response was self-discipline on the part of the population.” – Taiwan News

Couldn’t agree more with his statement. Witnessing by myself how Taiwanese deal with the pandemic, make me believe that everything is possible as long as we ourselves have awareness and discipline.

I love this country for the people’s attitude and the government’s prompt and clear policy. However, I admit that I often think Taiwanese are being too much, too paranoid of something that hasn’t happened yet. Even so, they are just simply being preventive.

Care of others and unselfishness are highly essential disposition each person has to have in this pandemic era. Nevertheless, I still thrive myself of becoming a better person and more aware of my surrounding each day.

Lately, I frequently wondered – during restless days and sleepless nights- what if Covid has never happened and existed; what if masks weren’t part of our everyday fashion. Yes, it’s been a very strange period of time. But in the end of the day, I just hope that the world will be healed very soon.

Daily Thoughts, Mental Health

why I’ve gained weight so easily in Taiwan #zerotohero

As you can see, these are the documentation of my food in Taiwan. It was only a few of many photos in my archives. Most of the time I always take photos of my food before eating it, so as you can imagine my phone gallery is full of food 🍱🥤🍦, besides my selfies and drawings.

I have to admit that I’m too easily attracted to food 😂 That’s my problem to have such weak mind to anything delicious. And basically I like and not afraid to try new things -weird one is also acceptable-. In addition, I also have the access to these food since two years ago when I started to move in to Taipei to pursue master degree. The worst problem is I wasn’t afraid to be fat at all (wrong way of thinking due to some reasons), but now I regret it (really🙃). Right now, I’m afraid to be fat (even though I still am), so this year I decided to change. 2021 is my turning point! I have started to get out of my comfort zone, letting go some things that I hold too long (maybe I will tell about this later?) was one initial step of my life-changing.

Back to topic, actually to be honest, this topic is one of my insecurities. In real life situation, I kinda avoid this topic to talk about with people around me, except with some people I really trust, so if I ever raised this topic with you, be proud, because you are one of people that I trust enough 🙂

Long story short, since the first time I arrived in Taiwan, I’ve gained A LOT OF kilos. To be exact, I’ve gained (actually I am hesitant to mention it😶, but here you go😝) 13 kgs from the lowest to the highest weight I’ve ever been, only in period of about one and half year. Yes, it was a lot. There were many reasons, of course, but to be easy it was because of two main reasons: environment and constant stress in my life. However, I don’t want to blame anyone instead of me myself. Less motivation and lack of right way of thinking affect my habit and there was no people to “wake me up” until one day I wake up to discontentment feeling of my life. There were some signs from my body that I always dismissed all the time. I didn’t hear myself enough. Eventually, there’s no need to regret, since it’s already happened and I’ve already moved on.

Now it’s the time to get up and do well because everyday is a new day~ I am proud of myself for these several months for taking action into reality, though it’s still halfway through but definitely the progress is there! My body gave signs of getting fitter each day. The thing that I still have to improve is my sleeping schedule, since my work as architecture designer sometimes (most of the time, actually 🙂) required to be overtime, it’s kind of difficult for me to have enough sleep.

After all, I have this understanding of myself that I don’t like to rush and to be rushed about anything in life. So, slowly but surely, I’m going towards my goal to be my better self and have brighter future. 🌞

Daily Thoughts

life is like a train ride

Life is like a train ride. Waiting on the platform, ready to get on from our starting station. The train is continuously on the move. For a moment all passengers are heading towards the same direction. And eventually get off at certain final station.

The beauty of the journey is the possibility of things happen on the train. We might encounter many kind of people, either the bad or the good one. While many things could happen. Joy, sorrow, pain, pleasure – everything is in constant state of change. It is our choice to stay or leave the train.

It’s just the same as our life. One main thing is that we just have to cherish every moment while it happens.

Every single souls we met in our life are meant to be for a reason. Whether we can learn from them, or they can learn from us. Without them, we wouldn’t be who we are today.

In the end of the day, we just have to be prepared to say hello and good bye. Expect that not everyone travelled with us will accompany us till the end.

Dear every human beings I had travelled along with, thank you for the accompaniment on my ride. ❤️

Daily Thoughts, Mental Health

languishing: 2021 theme emotion

“Languishing is a sense of stagnation and emptiness. It feels as if you’re muddling through your days, looking at your life through a foggy windshield. And it might be the dominant emotion of 2021.”

Adam Grant – The New York Times

This pandemic situation is not easy for all of us. Sometimes we feel like doing monotonous life all the time and this indescribable void feeling strikes us. The uncomfortable feeling of not achieving something, doing mundane things in daily basis. It’s not burnout (yet), but somehow we just feel empty or aimless. Actually there’s this term for that feeling: languishing. It is in-between state where you’re not depressed but not feeling happy either.

Have you ever staying up until late to do something else other than sleeping? Even though you already feels very sleepy. I think recently I’ve done it too many times. Sacrificing my sleep time in order to reclaim the freedom of my free time in day time, it’s sometimes just drawing or watching or scrolling through social media. Feeling “productive” if I could against my nature of having break. Considered sleeping is unproductive and feeling guilty about it.

There’s actually this Chinese expression that can correspond with this circumstance. It is 報復性熬夜 ‘bàofùxìng áoyè’ – or ‘revenge bedtime procrastination’. The phrase, which literally translated as ‘retaliatory staying up late’.

Then, what’s the cure for this languishing thing? How to avoid it so it wouldn’t worsen to be depression? At least, it is good that we’ve given a name to this condition, so people aware and conscious about it. According to The New York Times, “flow” state can be the antidote to languishing. Enter the “flow” state where your concept of time, place, even self melts away. To maintain the pre-pandemic happiness, we have to be more immersed to our projects. Focusing your mind on task on hand, so the other things become insignificant for awhile. Give yourself some specific uninterrupted time.

I just remember this phrase from somewhere. When your body moves, your mind tends to be more passive. While your body don’t move, your mind becomes more active and then the overthinking loops happen. So, doing some physical activity can be very helpful, too.

Other suggestion is to focus on small goals. I have this little note for myself in the mirror written “Make your first small step today 👣”. As I grew older, I become more understand of my pattern habit. Most of the time I struggled to make action into reality is because my to-do-list is too overwhelming. I aimed something so big, like for example, making this blog, it’s already on my to-do-list since years ago. But now, I tried different approach to make my goals smaller and aimed for the nearest step that I can do. I changed my to-do-list become more specific, such as “write about “xxx” and just press the publish button, don’t worry, you can edit it anytime.” And here you go, I’m still very doubtful with my writing and what I want to do exactly with this thing. However, I just try to push myself to really doing something real, and not just think about it only.

We all have to start somewhere, and doing something better than nothing at all. Start small so you don’t discouraged and give up. Remember it is all about consistency.

– Khloe Kardashian

Take control of yourself. Challenge and push yourself a little bit more. You don’t have to do the important work, just choosing to do things that meaningful to you, it’s enough. Small yet meaningful. So, what matters to you most?

Mental Health

daily habits to prevent depression

This morning while doing my daily job as usual, I decided to listen to Youtube recommendation on my phone. Using wireless earphone, it is very convenient to do multi-tasking. My eyes focus on computer while my ears focus on listening.

It was only one click from my phone notification. I’m glad to choose these videos because those were quite useful for me, especially for this time. During this pandemic, I felt a bit overwhelmed with the situation and especially it is because my mind always overthinks everything that actually no need to be overthink 🙂

So yeah, I think I need to have positive habits to keep me sane. Here’s the first video some daily habits to prevent depression:

➼ morning routine: express gratitude or meditation, avoid social media when you wake up

➼ see social media in lunch time

➼ have enough night sleep (I’m still struggling to do this, only had 4 to 5 sleeping hours on weekday recently 😥 I know it’s not healthy, but yeah…)

➼ being clean and get dress

➼ take vitamin

➼ exercise (very agree, even though I only started doing exercise these several past months, but it really helps to improve my mental health!)

➼ being outside: get sun or wind~ or open your windows if the condition don’t allow you to be outside in this pandemic situation

➼ evening routine: pray or journaling or just write out your feeling or thoughts (recently just started doing bullet journaling again after many years of only thinking about it…)

➼ self-care

➼ have social interactions, human needs it 🙂 (haha agree on this one, but sometimes the reality is not that easy😂)

Source: Daily Routine To Fight Off Depression – Psych2Go

And here’s the second video about some small yet life-changing things you can do to improve your daily life.

7 Small Changes to Improving Your Life

➼ put your phone on silent & face down

➼ put your alarm opposite of your bed (have been doing this for some time and it works!)

➼ carry a water bottle always (eight cups a day)

➼ allow yourself to say “no” to others

➼ share your ideas or write down your thoughts (yes, journaling can be very helpful)

➼ replace bad thoughts with good ones by acknowledging it first

➼ think before you react (maybe I’m too good at this 😂, since I always think too much before really express myself)

Source: 7 Small Changes That Will Improve Your Life – Psych2Go

Study in Taiwan, Working in Taiwan

living abroad

Hi, welcome to my very first post~ So here I am deciding to write a blog. Actually, this writing thing has always been in my mind since a long time ago, but never took it seriously :”)

So, here I am~ just want to share a lil bit of my life update at present time. Hope you enjoy reading it!

I am from Indonesia and currently living in Taipei, Taiwan. Initially, I came to take master degree majoring in Architecture. Then two years after, which is this year, I (finally) graduated~ Right now, I work at a local architecture firm here. Overall I enjoy my life in this small yet rugged island.

Btw, this is the first time I live outside of my house. Living abroad is one of my biggest dreams since I was kid. In the past I always dreamt and wondered how would it be to live somewhere far from home. “It would be very fun!” I thought at that time. Hmm… if I’m able to tell my past self, what would I tell her? “Yes, it is. You will have so much fun, but not all the time 😝 most of the time you would be working very hard to achieve the fun part. So just prepare yourself ☺️”

My story in Taiwan began after my bachelor graduation. I took a gap period of 5 months after it to prepare everything I need to live in Taiwan. Then, I decided to apply master degree in two universities in Taiwan, which are NTUST in Taipei and Fengchia University in Taichung. Since it was Spring admission, so my options were limited. What my focus when choosing university: the world ranking, Taiwan ranking, department ranking, scholarship they offer, what department open for Spring, do they offer English program (since I couldn’t speak Chinese at all).

Here’s useful website I often used as reference at that time:

The plus point of most scholarships in Taiwan is that they don’t require you to have contract after graduation. So it’s free to choose whether you want to live or work everywhere after the graduation. Usually after graduation, most people that I know want to have work experience first in Taiwan and save some money, of course, since salary rate here was quite high compared to Indonesia, but the amount really depends on which field you are.

From my experience, applying job in Taiwan as foreigners who graduated from Taiwanese university is quite tricky. In one side, your alma mater was highly appreciated by the recruiter, they think highly of the university name written on your CV, especially if your university is top ranked. On the other hand, in my case, you are considered as the same as Taiwanese and required to be able to communicate using Mandarin, at least, on basic conversation level. If you don’t have ability to speak Chinese at all, you would be very hard to get accepted unless you are very lucky!

In future post, I want to share my experience of applying work permit as full time job position in Taiwan. Since my current company had never hired foreigner before, they helped me from beginning to make work permit for the first time. It was quite long journey because of lack of some documents and the information about the requirements are not that clear.

My main source of information about applying work permit were from the office located in Ximen area and also this website:

That’s all for now, hope you enjoy your day!

Daily Thoughts, Study in Taiwan, Working in Taiwan

hello world! #zerotohero

My name is Monica.

An Indonesian, who is currently living in Taipei, Taiwan.

I love travelling, swimming, journaling, drawing, learning languages, playing piano, trying new cuisine, etc – basically learning new things.

I am an ailurophile, night owl, daydreamer, the healer, INFP-T, 9w1.

Here’s some of my favorite quotes:

“If you can dream it, you can do it.”

Walt Disney

“Every great dream begins with a dreamer. Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars and change the world.”

Harriet Tubman

“Do more of what makes you happy.”

So this blog is intended to be my personal space to share my random thoughts about anything. From my life in Taiwan as foreign student, working in Taiwan, travelling, learning Mandarin, culinary, architecture and design, creative thoughts, personality test, mental health, and other topics that will just randomly pop up in my mind.

Read my first post about living abroad here.