• China
  • Chongqing Three Gorges Museum

    For the first time in my recent memory of Chongqing winters, the skies cleared. It also happened to be the last day of school for wee ones before Spring Festival break. This combination brought hordes of grandparents and grandkids out to Renmin Square, a stretch of public space between the Chongqing People’s Assembly Hall and […]

  • Beijing
  • Back in the ‘Jing!

    I was welcomed back to Beijing with a murky sea of smog and the whistling calls of my parents at the arrival gate. It had been 8 months since I had seen them during my 72 hour visa-free transit. Our first stop before home was to a Sichuan restaurant, Yuxin, where my favorite cold chicken dish, 口水鸡, which  literally translates […]

  • Letters to Strangers
  • Letter to the Chinese Bottle-Collecting Auntie

    Location: Commonwealth Avenue, Boston University Campus Date: 2012 maybe??? Dear Chinese-auntie-collecting-bottles-on-Comm-Ave, I don’t remember your name and I don’t remember how we started chatting, but I probably called you “Ayi,” which is Chinese for auntie used to address older women, and I assume mutual smiles triggered our conversation. Maybe you had asked if I were Chinese? Anyhow, I […]

  • Letters to Strangers
  • Letters to Strangers

    Today, I begin a new series of posts: letters to individuals who have shaped my life in small but profound ways. All of these lessons stem from conversations with people I meet randomly, some as short as 2 minutes. Growing up I was taught me to be wary of neighbors, to not trust strangers, and absolutely no […]