If I put soy milk into my latte, am I Chinese enough for China?

I’ve been on a huge China kick the last couple of weeks – I’ve finally started getting groceries online from YiHaoDian (an online Wal-Mart/Amazon hybrid where I can buy puppy food, sparkling water, and a Kindle all in one go), ordering lunch through ele.me and meituan then giving virtual Red Packets of ele.me cash on WeChat (oh man, it does feel like I’m speaking a foreign language). I’ve been … Continue reading If I put soy milk into my latte, am I Chinese enough for China?

What we understand and misunderstand about coming back home

It’s not easy to come home. First, there’s the sixteen hours of the flight back, which is in itself a special kind of torture. There’s the reverse culture shock, this inability to comprehend what it’s like to be among people who speak your native language. For the first twelve hours being back,  there’s the violent jolting back to a place where the unfamiliar becomes the comforting … Continue reading What we understand and misunderstand about coming back home

The beautifully-curated life 

Things I’ve thought about this past week: D and I celebrated our second anniversary. To be honest, I’ve spent the past month dreading the day – and for absolutely no good reason. There’s something about being with a person whom I love so much that is so exhilarating, but also so, so terrifying, in the cosmic sense of the word. In some ways, approaching a relationship … Continue reading The beautifully-curated life 

I went to Florence to see Renaissance art, but all I got was this lousy pneumonia

I haven’t liked my writing much recently. I feel that I have so much to write about, so much that I have observed around me, so much that I want to put into words. But when I start putting these ideas on a page, a part of me falters and fails to translate the words floating in my head into words on the computer screen. But there … Continue reading I went to Florence to see Renaissance art, but all I got was this lousy pneumonia

the overwhelming devastation of ‘getting’ Russia

Originally posted on Skipping Customs:
I think I’m finally beginning to get Russia. This entire time here, I’ve had such a hard time connecting with people. The people on the street, in the bazaar stalls, my relatives, they have all grown up in such a different way from me. And it’s not just a matter of living in different means, although I can’t say that… Continue reading the overwhelming devastation of ‘getting’ Russia