2013, reviewed

Now that it’s a new year, we can look back on the old year! The main question is, of course, how many blue sky days did we have? According to statistics for the year released by the Beijing Environmental Protection Bureau, which ranks each day from 1 to 6 (highest level of pollution), 176 days […]


Solo in Singapore

So this past weekend, I went down to Singapore all by myself, and if there were ever a place for a small young woman to to go by herself for the first time, it’s Singapore. I’ll admit: Before I went, I was nervous at the thought of being lonely and alone in a place I’d […]

Haeundae Beach from a boat.

Korea, observed

So I made it to Korea and back. Since I was not even there for 48 hours, I don’t feel qualified to make an in-depth analysis. But below are some observations: The Internet really is super fast, which is indicative of how technologically savvy they are. Everyone on the subway seemed to have a Samsung […]

I’m going to Korea!

There’s something I never thought I’d say. I don’t have anything against the country, but unlike a lot of Chinese and Chinese-Americans, I never got into Korean food, Korean supermarkets, Korean films and TV shows, Korean cosmetics, or any of the countless other manifestations of Korean culture. I never wanted to study the language, and […]

24 hours in Suzhou

This past weekend I took the high-speed train down to Suzhou with a friend. She’d never been and wanted to get one last trip in before she leaves China at the end of the month, and I hadn’t been back since the family vacation tour of 2002. At that time I was a rebellious American […]

What happened in May

What a month. It started off with a friend’s wedding, then quickly followed with visits from friends and relatives, an excursion out west, and finally an impromptu — but welcomed — visa run to the U.S. (while friends and relatives were still visiting.) With that said, this post is simply a placeholder of sorts for […]

The drought in Yunnan

Today I came across an alarming article on the Scientific American website about the environmental degradation of Yunnan, which I visited for a few short days in 2011. At that time, I did not know — and certainly our tour guide didn’t mention — that the province was in the middle of a serious drought, […]