Student. Journalist. Explorer.

Category: Blog

Day 233: Whole Foods

by Sonia Su

Today was the first time I went out armed with my new Samsung S5, ready to take photos for the blog—except I also brought my service-less iPhone 5 because my Samsung was running low on battery (didn’t want to charge it before leaving out of paranoia on maintaining excellent battery life, which meant not charging till dead or nearly dead). I didn’t want to miss out on an opportunity to take a photo, should my Samsung die.

In the end, it wasn’t necessary, but I’m taking an embarrassingly long time (at least to me) to take a photo. With the iPhone, I was a pro at taking photos quickly and surreptitiously. With a perfect frame in mind, I could whip out my iPhone on one hand and after one swipe and a tap, I could have taken a pretty decent photo.

Yes, I can still do the same with a Samsung, but I’m not quite at the same level of ninja-like speed I had with the iPhone.

Before checking out my sister’s new apartment for the year, we had lunch at the food court inside the Lotte Korean market off Route 40. Instead of going with the usual bibimbap, I tried a Japanese dish at one of the Korean stands: ramen! I’ve been craving noodles for the past few days. It was not that filling and it ended up being a quite spicy, snot-inducing mess (nice imagery, huh?) but it was ramen noodles with yummy rice cakes—that itself was enough to make me happy.

Manna Lotte's fish cake ramen noodles

Manna Lotte’s fish cake spicy ramen noodles.

Once we got past the ridiculous traffic on an early weekday afternoon, thanks to taking another route, we arrived. As with my sister’s apartment last year, this year’s also surprised me. Her room for the school year is bigger than the one I have at home—and even the one I will be living in this year despite the infinitely more expensive price tag. #privateschool #citylife

Towson Woods Apartments

I’m always amazed at the new, clean apartments students in Maryland are able to rent out, compared to those old, rundown ones in Boston.

Towson Woods Apartments

You don’t get this in Boston.

A much-anticipated Whole Foods Market also just opened yesterday. From pictures on Foursquare and its Twitter account, basically the whole of Columbia and surrounding towns showed up yesterday. Especially in such a boring suburb, any new big business opening up is news for years. Heck, my family still calls the Arundel Mills shopping mall that opened 14 years ago “the new mall,” in Cantonese. #suburbanlife

Of course, the enormous store was still packed with excited patrons. What jobs? Going to Whole Foods was probably on everyone’s “midday break.”

Before even walking into the store, several vendors offered samples of food, from organic grass-fed beef to $1 oysters. Needless to say, my dad and I pigged out, while my mom and sister immediately went inside. Even inside, the food samples and expected yet uncontrollable emotions of awe and excitement were present.

Fresh oysters at Whole Foods Columbia

$1 fresh oysters. My dad got three for himself on the spot.

I mean, free cupcake samples? GET OUT OF MY WAY.

Can't seem to get a hang of taking quick, surreptitious photos just yet.

Can’t seem to get a hang of taking quick, surreptitious photos just yet. #BLURRY

But really. Whole Foods, man. They sure know how to make a girl excited.

We also couldn’t pass up the cookies—for $10.99 a pound. We got half a pound’s worth. #noregrets

Whole Foods chocolate hazelnut cookie sandwich

Chocolate hazelnut cookie sandwich. Just YES.

We even received a $10-off coupon for a purchase of $50 or more. $50 is scarily easy to spend at Whole Foods. We definitely spent more than that on this visit.

Oh, and school starts in less than two weeks. What. I changed my schedule around late last night, too. It doesn’t look very pretty, but I’m still so pumped to return to campus. It’s been almost a year…

Day 232: Skeuomorphism

by Sonia Su

As the first in my family to own a Samsung, I feel even better about having one. Not unlike many families, mine is #TeamiPhone. My sister definitely expresses curiosity in owning a Galaxy S5, but the fact that she only got her iPhone 5S last year makes her hesitate to get a new one so soon.

But I just got my iPhone 5 last year, too. And clearly I could not wait.

Now I have two old iPhones. Since my dad’s iPhone 5 has apparently been acting up, we’ve decided to keep my iPhone 5 as a back-up for him—but no one knew that I still had my iPhone 4 stored in my drawer upstairs.

I dusted (it’s only been a year though, so I guess this was a more figurative use of the term) it off today.

Even though it’s only been a year, looking back at the old iOS was like looking at 10-year-old technology. Except that I was used to seeing this skeuomorphic design as recent as last summer. Skeuomorphism. What a word. I admit, I had to look that up, because everyone can remember “flat design” to describe what’s on the current iOS but skeuomorphism?

Here, take a look down memory lane, longtime iPhone users. Amazing how quickly we adapt to new technology—and forget the old.

Oh, yeah. There was a time when icons weren't flat.

Oh, yeah. There was a time when icons weren’t flat. (This isn’t the best example, given the gradual integration of flat design, as shown by the Vine, Accuweather, and LinkedIn icons.)



Day 231: Team Samsung

by Sonia Su

After years of using iPhones, I have crossed over to #TeamSamsung.

Samsung Galaxy S5, to be specific.

Samsung Galaxy S5 in white 2014-08-19 21.13.14

Upon the insistence of my uncle (and the great AT&T salesman), I will be able to trade in this phone for a new one in 12 months. So far, I’m loving the bigger screen, notification system, customization, and overall feel of the phone.

I could list and explain my own reasons for already loving Android despite years of using iOS but a fantastic article I read a while back encompasses mostly how I feel. The main thing that resonated with me:

But when it comes down to it my love of Android lies heavily with the way Android handles notifications. These aren’t your useless “read-only” iOS notifications that just launch the app. … Android just knocks it out of the park here.

Pumped to continue exploring the world of Android!

Day 230: Magic Three

by Sonia Su

On these summer days when I stay home and largely do nothing, the photos I take (not even consciously for this blog) end up falling into one of three categories:

1) B, my “77-year-old” Pomeranian:


2) Selfie—you have no idea the number of selfies I will take on a good-hair day:

2014-08-18 11.56.47

3) Food—because it’s easy:

Turkey stack grilled sandwich from Zoe's Kitchen

Turkey stack grilled sandwich from Zoe’s Kitchen. Yes, the top half slid off but it looks better this way.

Today just happened to be that day when I took photos in each category. The important point: I don’t even do it consciously. Taking photos of my dog, myself, and food are actually part of my routine summer days. #noshame

Day 229: Throwback

by Sonia Su

I couldn’t wait until #throwbackthursday/#tbt to post this on my social networks.

It’s a tradition for many ABCs to take glamour shots when they visit China. My former violin teacher’s daughter did it for years, returning with albums and posters of her photos.

My sister and I did it way back in 2004, and it’s been a while since we’ve taken a look back at them.

And I’m so glad we did. Our house was roaring with laughter tonight.

As soon I posted it on Instagram and Facebook, the collage received quite a popular response.

Part two coming soon?

A hilarious trip down memory lane.

A hilarious trip down memory lane.


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