Letters to Our Baby – Letter 3, Unexpected Pregnancy Megalomania

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 […]

Letters to Our Baby – Letter 2, Home Birth

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 […]

Entering the Lunar New Year with a Reflection of 2018

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! 

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Zillions of shops like this one lined up along the streets in Singapore so you can prepare for the festivities. This year will be the Year of the Pig.

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Asian Gotham in 6 Days

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.

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Victoria Peak by foot on a foggy November Day.

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”

Korea Tell All

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.

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Out in the old neighborhoods of Seoul

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Seoul Food Journey

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.

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