Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #196: Humor

John from John’s Space leads this week’s Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #196 with the challenge theme of Humor. Way to pick the theme, John, you really have me digging into my head and my archives.

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#Bloganuary Prompt Day 15 – Life Lessons

Day 15

What is a life lesson you feel everyone can benefit from learning?

If there’s anything I’ve learned in my 30 years on Earth is you cannot count on anyone but yourself. This lesson was cemented into my core when I was young when my mom left for the U.S and I was left in China.

She recently revealed to me as we were scanning and digitizing old pictures that she didn’t know I was going to be treated so awful when she left.

I was 7-year-old when she left. She told me she was just going to tour America and that she was going to be back before I know it but she ended up staying and didn’t return until 3 years later, during which I was constantly lectured and punished for being a girl while my male cousins were being spoiled like little princes.

Less than a year after mom left, my aunt, uncle, cousin, and I went shopping in a department store. I was browsing when the ladies around me started screaming, one even fainted. At first I didn’t know what was going on but then one of them shrieked, “your hand.” That’s when I realized blood was spurting from my left hand.

Why I didn’t feel anything? I’m not sure.

Meanwhile, my tiny cousin was standing next to me, in his hand was a bloody cleaver, and my aunt and uncle were nowhere to be found. Who lets their 2-year-olds run around the store? Beats me. And what kind of department puts cleaver display on the lower shelf? Again beats me.

Anyway, it wasn’t long until the adults appeared and my bloody hand was wrapped in cloth and we were walking to the hospital, which, thankfully, was next to the department store. My uncle accompanied me to get my hand stitched while my aunt waited outside as she has a fear of blood.

It was during the stitching when my pain finally registered in my brain. “I’ll get you some ice cream when we’re done here, I promise.” My uncle said when I began sniffing, trying to hold back my tears.

He never fulfilled that promise. The moment we got home that afternoon was the moment they treated like the last few hours never happened. The ice cream never came up again and that’s when I realized, adults lie. They don’t keep their promises.

It was also that moment I promised to get myself whatever I want when I am grown up and have a job because the only person I can only ever trust is myself.

#Bloganuary Prompt Day 4 – Favorite Toy

What was your favorite toy as a child?

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Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #168: Seen Better Days

This week, on Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #168, Tina from Travels and Trifles is our host and she’s chosen the theme of Seen Better Days and the first thing that flew to my mind was my trip to China in 2017.

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Well, Bonkers!

Photo by David Veksler on Unsplash

As a kid, do you ever have store where you go in and feel like you want to buy everything? For me, that store was either Circuit City or Best Buy or Fry’s Electronics when I was living in California.

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A Photo a Week Challenge: Preparation

Though it’s a little blurry, I think this photo fits this week’s topic of Preparation. Isn’t this little guy just the cutest? He’s about to jump to try to catch the bubble.

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#AtoZChallenge 2021 – I am a Worrywart

For a naively optimistic person, I worry a lot and about lots of things.

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#AtoZChallenge 2021 – I Often Over-Analyze

Photo by ᴊᴀᴄʜʏᴍ ᴍɪᴄʜᴀʟ on Unsplash

Life is but a never-ending chess match. One wrong move and you might lose.

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#AtoZChallenge 2021 – I have Nyctophobia

I have Nyctophobia. It’s another word for an irrational fear of night or darkness. My brain and heart are fighting each other on this. My brain says this is an irrational fear but brain, can you please tell that to my heart when it’s thudding like a high-rhythmic beating drum when I’m in the dark?

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#AtoZChallenge 2021 – I am Hopeful

I don’t recall when I developed this ridiculously hopeful attitude toward life – that everything will get better eventually, that something is better than nothing, glass is half-full kind of person.

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#AtoZChallenge 2021 – I am working on being Generous

“Don’t be so selfish,” my mom would chide whenever I refuse to help or whenever I refuse to share food with somebody. I hated being called that because I feel like that’s all I’ve been doing my whole life – sharing and never getting enough for myself.

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#AtoZChallenge 2021 – I Have Feelings, Too

When I was in middle school or high school, my mom would often point out teasingly that I have a low EQ (emotions quotient), sort of like low IQ except with emotions.

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#AtoZChallenge 2021 – I am Easygoing

I consider myself to be an easygoing person but of course, because of my doubtfulness, I am not certain I’m viewed as this person in some people’s eyes. In the past, I’ve had people give me conflicted ideas – people tell me I’m mean, people tell me I’m too nice and need to be meaner – you can see why I’d be confused.

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#AtoZChallenge 2021 – I Often Have Doubts

I believe having doubts is a part of being human but as I grow older, I would often find my doubts be the driving factor of my day-to-day anxiety and hesitation.

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Just like riding a bike…

Photo by Tatiana Syrikova on Pexels.com

A few weeks back, I won the grand prize at a prize drawing at work. I was honestly shocked when the HR department contacted me. I did not expect I’d win, let alone read the announcement that listed the grand prize.

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Three Years, Three Months, Twenty Days

As I mentioned in a post last week, I am posting my new speech which I have written for Toastmaster today. This is the speech I’m set to present today. Wish me luck and hope you enjoy this semi-fictional story. Continue reading “Three Years, Three Months, Twenty Days”

#AtoZChallenge 2018 – X for X (10)

My letter X stands for the Roman numeral 10. Continue reading “#AtoZChallenge 2018 – X for X (10)”

#AtoZChallenge 2018 – O for Old Pictures

Left to right: Cousin and Me

Let’s take a break from traveling and talk about something else… Continue reading “#AtoZChallenge 2018 – O for Old Pictures”

Share Your World – Week of February 26, 2018

What are you reading right now? Continue reading “Share Your World – Week of February 26, 2018”

Share Your World – Week of February 19, 2018

Photo by Joseph Gonzalez on Unsplash

How do you like your eggs? Continue reading “Share Your World – Week of February 19, 2018”

Share Your World – Week of February 12, 2018

Are you a practical jokester? Continue reading “Share Your World – Week of February 12, 2018”

Share Your World – Week of February 5, 2018

What would be your ideal fantasy way to spend Monday? Continue reading “Share Your World – Week of February 5, 2018”

A Walk Down Memory Lane


There is nothing like returning to one’s elementary school after fifteen years to find it closed and on the verge of being expanded once again into a larger school because the current size can’t accommodate for the current population. Talk about perfect timing.

I spent four years here when the school was only half this size or maybe even a third. There used to be a wall on the left side of the building you see above. This wall marked the school border and that was as far as you can get on this side.

When I attended this school, the building exterior was blue and there weren’t any murals on the wall, let alone encouragements like 我行 (wo xing) – which means “I can” – and 我能 (wo neng) – which also means “I can” but in a different sense. Apparently, those words have become a thing in China.

In my time, the exterior of the buildings were just a plain muddy yellow. The chairs around the columns also didn’t exist in my time neither did the little shelves nailed to the columns.

school-2In fact, it wasn’t until I arrived at this very spot did I finally recognized the school I used to know. It was those stairs in the back. Seeing them brought back only one memory – the day I fell on those stairs and broke my chin wide open. I ended up getting six stitches that day under my chin and still have the scar the prove it.

school-3Also, how can I forget this stage? It’s the same stage I walked across the day I received my red tie in second grade. Getting a red tie in China is quite a symbolic event for a student. It’s like getting initiated into a club. Once one gets a red tie, you’re supposed to never take it off.

The side wall also didn’t exist in my time. The entrance used to be at the other side of that wall and a stairwell existed behind the stage. Beneath the stairwell was a little office. It was the office of my gym teacher. It was the place he sold extra notebooks and supplies to students at a steep price.


This part of the school didn’t exist in my time. This spot was the one place I would never step foot in, not unless I had no choice. It was dark, dingy, and dirty. It was the school’s cafeteria and library. The library had walls that looked charred as though the place had recently burned down. There was hardly any books in it. The only time I’ve ever been in the library was when it was mandatory. Oh, and let’s not mention the cafeteria. The food was dreadful even when we were paying for the meals. Now that I’m thinking about it. Yuck!


This blacktop is also new. The school used to end at the blue pole at the far left of the picture. I don’t remember the apartments across the street existed either. The only thing I can remember that was outside the school was the smelly outside market. The pavement was always wet with reddish water as men and women did live butchering and slaughtering of ducks, chickens, fishes, and a wide variety of meat. At times, I would be able to smell the dankness coming from the market from the classroom. It was not pleasant.


After spending four years here, stuffing my brain with tons and tons of knowledge while spending all my free time completing the pile of assignments the teachers had assigned. Reflecting on it now, It was a difficult yet unforgettable experience and one I do not wish to repeat.