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to give my future biographers more material
howdy, my name is allen. i was born in Taipei but grew up in Queens NYC - i refer to myself as a 'New Yorker' when asked "where are you from?" i love to travel the world, enjoying it in all of its splendor; taking in the sights, smells, tastes and cultures from everywhere near and far.
i'm an easy-going, down-to-earth type of guy and am very open-minded, always willing to give something new/different a try, so long as it is legal and doesn't put myself at too much risk of physical harm :D
"the more you know who you are, and what you want, the less you let things upset you"
"is there anything, apart from a really good chocolate cream pie and receiving a large unexpected check in the mail, to beat finding yourself at large in a foreign city on a fair spring evening, loafing along unfamiliar streets in the long shadows of a lazy sunset, pausing to gaze in shop windows or at some church or lovely square or tranquil stretch of quayside, hesitating at street corners to decide whether that cheerful and homey restaurant you remember fondly for years is likely to lie down this street or that one? i just love it. i could spend my life arriving each evening in a new city"
"i sometimes wonder if people like Peter are happier because they know what they like and have no doubts. would i be better off sitting at home with a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, knowing there's no place i'd rather be? or am i lucky to be the way i am, always eager to see what's around the corner and always willing to believe that the next flavour will be even better than the last?"
"travel is about immersing yourself in something new, allowing yourself to be a fish out of water and just trusting that things will wor out. it may not be like home, but so what? it doesn't have to be. it's time to get lost. the world is waiting for you!"
HOW I PARTICIPATE IN COUCHSURFING
i participate in CouchSurfing most often by meeting up with local CSers whenever i visit another city, usually in a foreign country. i have also surfed a few couches as well as hosted/met traveling CSers in NYC, but with much less frequency.
i have met CSers in a number of cities all around the world. and I have stayed with someone in Chicago and in Zaragoza (Spain). i have also hosted one person at my place in New York City, and look forward to doing more of everything. all of my CS experiences have been positive ones, ranking from good to great. i even began a long-distance relationship with a fellow CSer that i met during my travels, but unfortunately that turned out to be short-lived.
* travel - probably not necessary to list, but yes, traveling is one of my interests :D
* music - i listen to music wherever and whenever i can. depending on the situation and my mood, music, and especially the type of music, plays different roles in my life; it can be inspirational, motivational, or a distraction, among other things.
* food - i like to consider myself as a "foodie" but not in the snobby, elitist kind of way. i'm open-minded about food and enthusiastic about trying new things. my view on eating "exotic" foods is that if there are people in the world who are eating it now not out of desperation or necessity - even though maybe that's why their culture originally started eating it - but rather are doing so because they like it, i'm willing to give it a try...except dog-meat.
* film/tv - not as much of a film-goer as i used to be and don't watch television as often as i used to, but still enjoy watching movies whenever i can and am staying up to date with the tv series i do follow (Archer, Happy Endings, Modern Family, Hannibal, Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown), as well as revisiting past faves (Arrested Development, Friends, Scrubs)
* exercise/fitness - i try to stay active as much as possible, working out whenever i can by either going to the gym or going for a run outdoors. i also like physical challenges, having completed events like the Tough Mudder and a half-marathon, as well as done the 3-day hike to Machu Picchu along the Old Incan Trail.
* art - i like to work on some visual art in my spare time...and when i'm motivated/inspired. but nowadays, this happens less and less. my taste for art is geared more towards modern, urban street art and less of the classics. i am also growing more interested in photography.
* sports - grew up playing recreational basketball, so naturally i also enjoy watching the sport. and i'm also a fan of both American football as well as the football the rest of the world knows and loves. if you'd like to know, i'm an Arsenal fan.
music - i like to describe my musical taste as 'eclectic' since i listen to a variety of genres, so you can catch me listening to Red Hot Chili Peppers or Bone Thugs-n-Harmony or Sigur Ros or Massive Attack or Rihanna or Mogwai, depending on my current mood and/or environment. some of my favorite musical acts include Linkin Park, Radiohead, OutKast, The Roots, Lupe Fiasco, Phoenix, M83, Explosions In The Sky, Coldplay, The xx, Yppah, RJD2, Of Monsters And Men, Mutemath, and The National.
movies - i used to consider myself somewhat of a film buff, but nowadays, aside from certain movie events (ie. going to the midnight showing of the new Batman films), i tend to watch films in bunches. i enjoy watching films of all genres and releases, from blockbuster action movies to limited indie dramas. the films that stay with me the most are the ones are able to strike a balance between drama and comedy, much like real life. and i also am quite fond of films that require thinking and/or present new ideas/worlds for which the characters live in. i'm also a sucker for films shot on location and uses the real world as it's backdrop. some of my favorite films include Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Inception, Lost in Translation, The Dark Knight, Sunshine, Adaptation., Collateral, Fight Club, Se7en, Before Sunrise/Before Sunset, Hanna, Munich, The Prestige, 25th Hour, Rounders, Snatch and Ocean's Eleven/Twelve/Thirteen.
books - i do enjoy reading from time to time, but definitely not an avid bookworm. i prefer non-fiction and tend to gravitate towards books related to travel and/or food, but will venture into fiction if it's interesting, especially if it's a novel that has been or will be adapted to film. some of my favorite books include A Cook's Tour by Anthony Bourdain, Neither Here Nor There: Travels In Europe by Bill Bryson, World War Z by Max Brooks, Into The Wild by Jon Krakauer, Unlikely Destinations: The Lonely Planet Story by Tony & Maureen Wheeler
i've traveled a lot of places, seen many beautiful views and experienced my share of "first's", but after my most recent 3-month assignment in Kraków, i'd have to list this as my current most amazing thing done/seen. on paper, there's nothing extra "spectacular" about this trip, but it my first time living abroad in a foreign country and getting a little taste of what it's like to experience a city as a resident as opposed to a temporary visitor. i stayed in an apartment just outside of the city center, i went to work every weekday, i had my go-to spots for lunch and dinner, i frequented the gym whenever time permitted, and i got out of town on the occasional weekend. but most importantly, i met a lot of friendly, kind, generous people, both at work and through CouchSurfing.
i enjoy introducing and sharing music with people. i like to open people's ears to music artists that they may not have heard before.
i love to try new foods/cuisines and whenever i travel, i hope to be able to experience new, interesting dishes. i am game for almost anything and enjoy gourmet, fine dining, as well as simple, street food and home-cooking.
if i'm the one traveling, i can:
- share music
- teach you some basic Chinese (Mandarin dialect), and English as well
- share my travel experiences
if i'm the one hosting, along with what's listed above, i can also:
- teach you how to make custom T-shirts using fabric markets, fabric paint and stencils, as well as just paint with acrylic and/or oil on canvas
- not necessarily "teach you", but we can cook/bake something
Austria, Bahamas, Belgium, Canada, China, Czech Republic, Egypt, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Japan, Netherlands, Peru, Puerto Rico, Slovakia, Spain, Taiwan
Poland, Taiwan, United States
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