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My parents bought a box of masala chai tea at the local Indian grocery store to try. This brand, Tea India, had more spices and less tea flavor than other chais I’d tried before. There was ginger, cinnamon, cardamom… We made a pot every night with hot milk and sugar, and the spices in the tea nursed my entire family back to health in just three days! I know what my next cold medicine is going to be.

We also engaged in quite a bit of home cooking. My mother’s specialty, pumpkin and pork rice noodles:

Taiwanese oyster omelets, o-a-jian:

Marinated New York strip steak and ramen-on-the-stove, a.k.a. soup for the invalid:

Almond tofu dessert:

Starfruit from the Chinese supermarket, 99 ranch:

We went to the farmer’s market last Sunday and bought some fresh oranges and vegetables. I saw fresh walnuts being cracked, and these blood-red stems of a vegetable whose name I do not remember:

As I lay in bed, I also took the opportunity to write some poems and do some drawing. On the right, an in-progress illustration from Angela Carter’s short story "The Lady of the House of Love," and on the left, a completed illustration from a book idea I have floating around in my mind about a girl and her monster tree of inner demons.

When I was feeling better, I went off to San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park with my friend Lily and her boyfriend. We walked around Haight and Ashbury as well in the SF downtown area, and looked at the pretty houses and stores:

I also took the bus and lightrail down to Mountainview to visit some Caltech Ruddock alumni who work at Google, Linked-In and Oracle. Here’s a view of the San Jose Civic Center Station:

It was such a beautiful day outside!

Well, spring break at home is coming to a close for me this Wednesday because I head back to Chicago on Thursday for my second graduate school visit at Northwestern University. Time to finish this blog entry and go to sleep!
Till next time!

Anita Chen

Anita is a senior majoring in chemistry and minoring in English. Born in the island nation of Taiwan, she braved the cold on the American East Coast for a year at the age of six before moving to San Diego, California. At Caltech, she is involved in the music program and the literary and visual arts magazines. She is also an upperclass counselor (UCC) in Ruddock House, one of the 8 dorms on campus, where she watches out for the mental health of her peers and every once in a while tries to stir up trouble and excitement for her hallmates. In her spare time, she tutors and TAs, writes poetry and prose, plays the violin, draws, paints, cooks, and climbs rocks. She is currently pursuing her senior thesis project under renowned professor of chemistry Harry B. Gray, and plans on attending graduate school next year.

Graduation year: 2017

Option: Chemistry

Minor: English

House Affiliation: Ruddock