A Photo a Week Challenge: Funny Signs

I used to laugh at memes of ill-translated signs on Pinterest. It was something to boost my moods though I never thought I’d encounter such signs until I took a trip to China in 2017.

Continue reading “A Photo a Week Challenge: Funny Signs”

3 Wrongful Assumptions About Life in the U.S.

After reuniting with my relatives in China, I discovered there has been some assumptions floating around regarding the U.S. Some cracked me up while others were just very wrong indeed. Continue reading “3 Wrongful Assumptions About Life in the U.S.”

Happy 4th of July!

Good morning! Happy 4th of July from my hammock to everyone in the U.S. Continue reading “Happy 4th of July!”

#AtoZChallenge – Z For…

Wow, can you believe it’s the last day of April already? I can hardly believe it. This challenge’s been fun even though my theme’s been all over the place. Continue reading “#AtoZChallenge – Z For…”

Welcome to My Ever-changing Hometown

Today’s prompt is kind of a tricky one to write. Continue reading “Welcome to My Ever-changing Hometown”

I Wish the New Year Would Arrive Already!

For some reason, I am feeling very eager to have the new year come already but at the same time, I am Continue reading “I Wish the New Year Would Arrive Already!”

I DO NOT Eat Everything!

picky2I have been in the United States for almost 13 years now, more than half of my life had been spent here. When I meet Chinese folks, they tend to have all kinds of assumptions about my diet. Oh, you’ve been here a long time, you must eat all American food. Not exactly. What do you normally eat dinner? Most would ask. Rice, vegetables and meat, I’d tell them.

When I worked for the Li’s earlier this year, they were even more ridiculous. They often asked me to eat the stuff that they don’t like such as cold pizza, burritos (chimichanga), and even over-sweetened cakes. I was like, why don’t you eat them? Don’t treat me like a garbage disposer. I remember a quote from my mom’s speech, “If there are 4 legs and it can walk, it’s food.” I guess they took it literally. When I complained to mom about it, she came up with the term, Garbage Mouth. It means someone who eat everything literally. image03291553

No, that is not me. I am a super ridiculously picky eater. Okay, maybe that’s exaggerating a little but it’s true and I hate it when people assume I eat everything. One thing I tell you I do not eat is onions. Green, red, spring, anything that belongs to the onion family, I DO NOT eat, that includes leeks. I like the smell of minced garlic with vegetables but I throw it away right after.

Another kind of food I don’t like is squishy sloppy food. You’re like what? I’m talking about anything hot that makes the squishy sound when I squeeze it. No, Popsicles don’t count. Those include burritos, sloppy Joes, apply sauce, well, you get my point.

Oh and don’t get me started on smelly food. Smelly food makes my stomach churn and I can’t think around those kinds of food and I don’t mean like when people say they can’t think around food. I literally I get headaches and want to vomit.

One time when I was still living in L.A., My step-dad and his friends decided to go to an Indian restaurant after church since his friends resided in India for quite some time. As we entered the restaurant, the smell of curry was so potent that immediately I ran back outside and wanted to vomit. I’d never mind the smell of hot curry, in fact I liked curry, until that moment. It turned out what I smelled was a different kind of curry, I forgot what they called it but it was horrible. So no Greek, Thai, or Indian food for me.

Frankly, I can sit here and go on and on about what I don’t like to eat but I think by the time I’m done, you all might unsubscribe my blog so I’m going to end with these three. For now though, I think I’d stick to my favorite foods, Chinese, American, and Italian food.

If I meet my extended family…

extended circlesIn the past week, I’ve managed to learn something new about my extended family. It turns out I have a bunch more of family in China, more than I’ve ever known (grandparents, aunts, uncles).

Anyway, for as long as I could remember, I’ve always been the second oldest among my cousins that is until mom told me a couple days ago about an older cousin whom I’ve never known about in China. Now, I maybe third eldest or the forth or the fifth… Whoever knows.

I had to asked, “How much more family do I have?”

She chuckled, “More than you know.”

“Well, then the next time I go back, remind me to have them sit in one room and everyone will introduce themselves.”

If I am to meet all of them, my entire clan, for the first time today and I assume today means the present, some time in the 21st century and not some time in the 1900’s, that is exactly what I am going to do. I am going to sit them all in a giant circle, the eldest shall sit directly across from me while from there on, the circle shall go in a counter-clockwise direction with age like the second eldest would sit to the left of the eldest and it goes on. Then we’ll go around the circle introducing each other.

I am sure that is the strangest way they have ever encountered to introduce themselves, after all, why would they need to? They know each other. Unfortunately I don’t know them, so we’ll do it my way. Wait, would I be known as the family’s weirdo after that? I bet I will but I am sure some of my many cousins will have my back. So I’ll probably have a posse. 🙂

Someone calling my name?

I don’t consider myself to be a listener because somehow I just like to talk about myself as if I haven’t share enough with anyone. Sometimes, though, I like to Continue reading “Someone calling my name?”

A Strange Variation in Alphabet Pronunciation

There are ups and downs to being a teacher. The downs? Grading papers and skulking the students to pay attention and listen in class. The ups? I can tell and laugh about the student’s mistakes afterwards. Continue reading “A Strange Variation in Alphabet Pronunciation”

Don’t or Didn’t? A Grammatical Argument

From my experience of learning English and Chinese, I have to admit that even though it has funny sounding words that means exactly like they sound like pompous and ridiculous long words that no one can say it in one breath like supercalifragilisticexpialidocious, English is an easy language to master. Way easier than Chinese. Continue reading “Don’t or Didn’t? A Grammatical Argument”

The Embarrassment of Mispronouncing People’s Names

I love my mom but sometimes she drives me crazy. Not the angry kind like usual but the insane kind. When it comes to mispronouncing names, most people would be embarrassed when they mispronounce people’s name the first time but they will try and try to correct themselves as to never embarrass themselves ever again. Continue reading “The Embarrassment of Mispronouncing People’s Names”

Competitive or Underpaid?

I have been wondering whether or not I should write this post but now that the question is burning a hole in my mind, how can I not? At least let me rant a bit. Continue reading “Competitive or Underpaid?”

How long does it take…to learn English

When I was teaching English to newcomer students at LCA, a private school I work at for the past two years, I often get this exact question from either my students or some concerned parents who like to waltz in and out of the school as they please.

How long did it take you to speak English so fluently?

Me: About 3 months

Concerned Parent/Student: Wow, tell me your secret. Maybe I can do what you did. 

That was usually my queue to tell the brief summary of my experiences during my first year in the U.S. But I never got to tell the whole thing before I was cut off like when someone yells cut in the middle of a scene and walks off the set and never comes back. Anyway, I want to take this chance to finally get all my words down in this one single uninterrupted article.

I came to the U.S. when I was 10, an age when it’s all about curiosity and learning. Moreover, I was prepared. In fact, I’ve been preparing for this trip ever since I was 7 and it did help that when I went to school in China, I was elected the class group leader for the English subject (英语科组长) two years in a row. 

When I landed that night at LAX, I was dove head first into a conundrum. My step-dad spoke nothing but English. I didn’t have a choice except learn the language. After a frustratingly difficult first Christmas, I was enrolled into the second semester of 5th grade even though I didn’t even finish the first semester of 4th grade.

Luckily, there was a Newcomer’s program. I was in a classroom 8 hours a day, 5 days a week learning the basics of the English language along with 15 or so other newcomers from other parts of the globe (mainly Mexico). 

Each afternoon, after getting home from school, I sat in front of the TV watching non-stop comedy and other shows. I wasn’t even allowed to turn to the Chinese channel. At first, I couldn’t understand a thing. It wasn’t until a couple months later that I finally managed to grasp the jokes and the funniness of the shows. 

That first summer, mom got a job at a tutoring center teaching newcomer kids English and dragged me along. By the time summer was over, I was as fluent as I could be after 9 months of constant learning. On the other hand, my Chinese went way down because of the lack of usage. I can still speak fluently but reading and writing, not so much. 

Most of the time, all they grasped was that watching TV can learn English and nothing else. I told them though, if you are willing to put in the effort, you can accomplish anything. 

Lucky Charm

Last year, when my aunt from China came to visit, she brought along a whole boatload of goodies in her luggage from Chinese New Year decorations that are still plastered all over the house to this, just your plain everyday souvenir. I hung it in my car ever since. Continue reading “Lucky Charm”

Throwback Thursday: Cloudy with a chance of Reconciliation and Cash?

You ever hear someone say, “you took the risk and it paid off”? Continue reading “Throwback Thursday: Cloudy with a chance of Reconciliation and Cash?”

Weird Chinese Dinner Table Rules

Everyone has probably been to a Chinese restaurant or got a glimpse of how Chinese people eat through watching movie, TV shows, etc., right? Continue reading “Weird Chinese Dinner Table Rules”

Morally Degrading Teens and Internet Addicts

For over a decade I’ve lived in the United States, I spoke English, read English, did everything that normal American teens and young adults did. Up until I took the job to be an English-as-a-second-language (ESL) tutor at a private school two years ago, I had no idea just how different Chinese teens were. Continue reading “Morally Degrading Teens and Internet Addicts”

The Problems with Baking

As I sieved through old posts looking for inspiration for today’s post, I came across this one draft that I’ve never managed to finish. But the way, this post was originally started on February 3, 2013. As usual then, it was a spur of moment thing, feeling of anger and annoyance. Continue reading “The Problems with Baking”

Flashback Thursday: An Unforgettable Incident and Broken Promise

Ever had a traumatic incident that just changes your life? Create new fears like knives, bikes or cars? How about never trusting when someone say “I’ll get you an ice cream. I promise.” and then nothing, not even a good job or you’re so courageous? Continue reading “Flashback Thursday: An Unforgettable Incident and Broken Promise”

An Eventful Thursday: A record setting week

Whew!!! Finally, a load off my chest.

After getting just three hours of sleep and a protein-rich breakfast (Hot Cocoa and scramble egg sandwich) , Continue reading “An Eventful Thursday: A record setting week”

Liebster Award: First Nomination!


First of all, I just want to say thank you Artfullyadelie for nominating me for the Liebster Award. Aww, I have to blush a little. It is currently the second achievement I’ve gotten since I started blogging. At this point, I should probably put up an achievement page. Last year, I was nominated for the Sunshine Award. I am extremely honored. It’s not everyday you get nominated. Of course, I was going to write the post yesterday but excuses, excuses, excuses!

I had a large weight loss shake yesterday, then a large bowl of grapes, and finally, a large bowl of Ramen noodles for lunch. Of course, Ramen noodles are no good without the soup base which by the way is full of MSG. Not soon after I finished, I was exhausted. I stumbled through work, thank god I work at home 🙂 and I wasn’t completely awake again until a few hours ago, after I had dinner, a shower, and begin fiddling with some of my old short stories (I’ve posted them too! Click here to check it out!).

Now, it’s 11:30, planes had stopped rumbling outside (long story), my computer’s off and I can’t sleep. Great!!! Oh well, at least I have my tablet handy, might as well take the time to get this started and finish it in the morning. So, according to Adelie, I’m supposed to:

  • Write 11 facts about myself
  • Answer 11 questions
  • Ask 11 questions
  • Nominate 11 other fellow bloggers.

So first things first, 11 facts about me:

  1. I do NOT know how to write a happy ending! If you’ve read my flash fictions and short stories on my other blogs (Click here), you’d know that none of them has a happy ending. I don’t know, maybe a sad ending just tricks people into thinking there might be sequel?
  2. Two of the most annoying sounds in my ears is a baby’s cry and a child crying. It just make me want to scream and throw things. So if you don’t want me to go insane, control your child! OR keep your child away from me! 😦
  3. I am the most awkward person at parties and gatherings. 😮 I don’t know what to do there. Everybody’s talking to each other at the same time and everywhere’s crowded and full of plastic cups. Maybe I just need to be go to more parties and get used to the atmosphere.
  4. I can either be the loudest, most social person you’ve ever met OR I can be the quietest, most invisible person you’ve ever met. It all depends on the place, occasion, and the familiarity of people and topic.
  5. I have a very severe case of stage fright. Even now, after I’ve joined Toastmaster for almost 3 years, my heart would pound and I would forget everything the moment I hit that podium.
  6. I love to cook and travel but I don’t have the money or the time right now. Maybe someday.
  7. I used to play the  piano and a little guitar but without practice for 7 years, I forgot it all. 😛
  8. I used to want to be a singer, a director, and an actress. But I don’t have the look, the voice, and the emotion. So oh well, I

    A Maglite
    A Maglite

    still pretend the maglite is a microphone and sing to my stereo for fun though.

  9. I am extremely old-schooled. I didn’t start listening to music, using a computer, and watching Tv until 2002 when I was 11. I’m still using a flip phone when everyone’s got a smartphone and tapping away. I dislike texting too!
  10. I wanted to be a website/graphic designer but my mom’s friend wanted me to be a civil engineer. Naturally, she listened to her friend and pulled me along with it.
  11. I went to three different high schools in 4 years after moving from California to Texas to Utah. The moves were adventurous but meeting new people is hard.

Now, 11 questions from Adelie:

  1. What is one thing you have been meaning to do but haven’t seem to find the time? I’ve been meaning to finish the two 1000-piece Ancient Chinese painting jigsaw puzzles my mom’s family brought with them when they visited two summers ago. Wow, two summers? Has it really been that long? Anyway, my mom bought these for me when I was 6 and I do not like to leave things unfinished. I said I was going to do them two winters ago, then last Summer, then last Winter. Well, someday, I’ll get it done.
  2. Finish-Line-Full-HD-Image-8Are you motivated by fear or hope? Of course, I’m motivated by hope, if a person’s motivated by fear, how are they going to get things done? I believe that everything has a start and an end, you just need to get over that hurdle to the finish line.
  3. If you could invent an ice cream flavor, what would it be? I’m not very creative but if I could invent an ice cream flavor, if would probably have all the things I like and probably all the things my mom hates. Yes! We are completely opposite when it comes to ice cream. It might be plain vanilla with mint, fruit (probably strawberry maybe peach), plus marshmallow swirls. NO nuts though.
  4. What is the one word you love for people to describe you? It all depends on the situation. I had people describe me as lovable, tolerable, stubborn, and even lazy. Obviously, lazy is a horrible word to describe people. I do like it when people describe me as stubborn though because it shows I’m persistent. It shows that I’m not the kind of person that give up easily. However, I would love to be described as fun and cool because I’ve never been those things. So being described as fun and cool will definitely make my day.
  5. Who do you most look up to and why? Well, there hasn’t been a lot of people in my life because I don’t really stay long enough to get to know them. Like my dad and step-dad, my dad passed away before I could properly register his voice in my head and my step-dad, well we talk but most of the time, it was about him teaching me stuff or we’re just having fun. So the person I look up to would probably be my mom because she’s hard working and cunning. She wants me to be like her everyday and I try very hard at it too.
  6. If you could master one dance style, what would it be? Ha Ha 😀 If I can master one dance style, it would be ANY since I do NoT know how to dance! I’m the most awkward and clumsy dancer you’ll ever see. So don’t expect me to dance at parties.
  7. If you were a superhero, what would your name be? Hmm, I’ll have to think about that.
  8. What is the one thing you’ll never regret doing? Coming to the U.S.! That is the one thing I’ll never regret doing. If I am still in China, I would’ve never gotten my diagnosis and been a goner at 33! Besides, I would have never discovered the joy in blogging and be blogging in my bed at 4 AM in the morning! Can’t Sleep! Darn you, fluctuating temperatures! 🙂
  9. What’s one word you always second-guess yourself when spelling it out? Lately, that list seemed to be growing! I used to be a whiz at spelling. Maybe I’m getting old. 😀
  10. What’s the nicest thing anyone’s has ever said to you? Hmm, I don’t know. I love you, you’re adorable? We express our feelings very differently in Chinese.
  11. Fill in the blank: In a perfect world, love and peace would be everywhere.

Now, for my 11 questions:

  1. If you won a free airplane ticket to travel to anywhere in the world, where would it be?
  2. What is the one word you dislike when people are using to describe you?
  3. If you can change the name of a food, what would it be?
  4. If a stranger hands you a hundred dollar (pound, euro, whatever your currency), what would you spend it on?
  5. If you’re a reincarnation of a famous person, who would you want it to be?
  6. If you can have any job in the world, what would it be?
  7. If you were a pop icon living a double life, what would your pop icon name be?
  8. If you can have an ice cream flavor named after you, what would be?
  9. What is the one word you like people to describe you?
  10. If you can time travel to any destination in time, what year would it be?
  11. If you can wake up to any sound, what would it be?

Now, for the hard part, nominating 11 fellow bloggers. It’s going to be very difficult, real difficult.  Also I cannot guarantee that any of these bloggers hasn’t been nominated.

So here it is:

  1. Brainstorm
  2. From Pickles to Paris
  3. bluchickenninja
  4. Wake Up Your Luck
  5. Osomann
  6. P.s Meganelizabeth
  7. VintageDahl
  8. Release the Mind
  9. Older Than Young
  10. Gwenism
  11. Fortiesgirl

Well, there you have it, my total of 11 facts, 11 answers, 11 questions, and 11 nominees! Looking forward to hearing for you! 🙂

You snooze, you lose

You snooze, you lose. That is just the lesson I learned today. Continue reading “You snooze, you lose”