Started May 26 on the iPhone in between feedings with a sleeping baby in my lap. Please excuse typos and nonsensical sentences. The Best Day of My Life It’s been 10 days now since our baby boy swam into my arms, and I got to pull him from the water to take his first breath […]
Written April 25, 2020 What do Sheryl Sandberg, Jim Henson, and my pregnancy have in common? * * * * * Sometime around month 4 just into my second trimester, I distinctly remember waking up with a sudden feeling of massive life failure: “I’m 33, 4 months pregnant, and what life accomplishments do I have […]
Written April 16, 2020 When a family member, M*, decided to do a home birth a few years ago in the US, we all freaked out. Those in the inner circle that she shared this with were told to keep it strictly secret from her parents. When a family friend (a doctor) found out about […]
Written March 21, 2020It’s been over a year since my last post. I lost track of time and felt so much joy in our travels and adventures that I forgot to write about them. We were too busy moving throughout Asia and enjoying cherry blossoms in Japan (from parks in Tokyo to mountains in Hokkaido), […]
Note: this piece was originally started in December when I was in the US. I got lazy, forgot about it, and now it’s just in time for the Lunar New Year – all the rave here in Singapore – to be revived and published!
I had a flashback in Hong Kong when the waitress at our local dim sum joint in Western Hong Kong island slapped menus onto our table and said quickly and impatiently in English, “What are you ordering?” The bustle and clamoring of the restaurant mingled with the honking and general street noise of Queen’s Road West: everyone was busy, and no one had time for two confused tourists.
On the surface, Hong Kong – covered in November fog and lit up florescent at night with old British colonial road names and cantonese conversations – seemed like an expensive, crowded, dirty city that’s caught in between the cross fires of Eastern and Western identities. We had just arrived from Singapore, jungle paradise with ridiculously clean roads and public spaces, into an uncleaned Airbnb apartment wedged next to two open air meat stalls. We were supposed to be on vacation and instead, it felt like we had stepped into the Manhattan of the Far East, or, Asian Gotham.
After a night’s rest and some explorations, I developed three distinct impressions of Hong Kong over the course of our 6 day vacation that distinguished it from any other place we had traveled so far. Continue reading “Asian Gotham in 6 Days”
I admit it took me a while to begin this post. In hindsight, I think it’s because Seoul confused and fascinated me. Close your eyes, and you can almost imagine Seoul to be Los Angeles transplanted right into the heart of South Korea, an intersection between the West and East, a budding economic power with cultural soft power that has spread across the world, and a city proud of its powerful identity after years of conquest from outside forces. As American influenced as the city may initially feel, keep your eyes closed and you can sense China there too. Perhaps this is because we met several Koreans fluent in Korean, Chinese and English, and perhaps it was because I could palpably feel the North and South split. Yet despite this, South Korea was also distinctly, proudly and beautifully Korean.
Do you like spicy food? What about onions and strong, salty flavors? Or maybe you’re swearing off all carbs to try that new paleo or whole 30 diet. Well if you can check off any of the above, Korea is the place for you. The champions of fermentation (seriously, kimchi will be your primary source of vitamins during any trip to Korea), mysterious red chili sauce, and two inch thick pork belly BBQ, Seoul is a meat lover’s dream.
Written October 30, 2018 in the middle of the night.