How to Carve a Peacock

One of the perks of being a DaBiZi (big nosed American) in China is that you get to judge English Speaking Contests. But today? I didn’t even have to judge. I just had to hand out awards. And one more thing: I had to pose for pictures. Yes, English speaking competitions are a big deal. This contest was held in […]

When Spice Isn’t

After living in Kunming China for eight years, I have built up a tolerance for what’s spicy. Not just the far-side foods, either, but the spice of life. The nine-year-old selling liquor in his parent’s store? At least he can see over the counter. Old women recylcers with huge bundles strapped to their backs? Walk faster! Freshly slaughtered carcasses hanging […]

Year of the Entitled Attitude

“So Ginger, do you want to come over for game night? We’re playing Secret Hitler.” I rubbed my eyes. “I think I’ve been playing it all day.” Don’t go off the deep end. My book club friends are also into high strategy board games, the kind that require you to watch a You-Tube Video before rolling the dice. In Secret […]

Sacred Pool of Underpants

I had to get off the train. The duck intestines I had in my Chengdu hot pot a day earlier were finally catching up to mine. While the 114 local from to Chengdu to Kunming was an adventure in itself, I picked a stop by chance just to break up the journey. Emeishan. 峨眉山. Or Mt. Emei. Little did I know […]

Cheng-do!

  It was not a good day for the squirts. A twenty hour train ride. In China. I know. I’ll spare the details but that’s what I endured to make it the American Consulate in Chengdu, Sichuan, to reclaim my maiden name. While I have flown over China numerous many times, this is the first time I’ve taken in the […]

Reading People

I don’t know what smell was more alluring, the smell of old books or the red peppers. It was a hole in the wall Thai book noodle shop in Ayatthaya, Thailand. The eighty cent train ride from Bangkok transported me back in time to the land of ancient temples and cheesy paperbacks. I browsed the browning pages while waiting for […]

Bang-cha-cha-cha

  So, between my semi-annual my-body’s falling-apart check upand street-food crawl in Bangkok, I stopped at a café for a cup of WiFi when I started talking with a guy named James. He has your typical ex-pat bio. James is a former country dancer employed by a high-tech business in Portland but he’s working at the India branch. Like I […]

And So the Red Tape Rolls

I have a legendary story about how I got my first job in advertising. I wrote a letter seeking advice regarding what to do with foam rubber sumo wrestler. I hoped that my letter–or at least picture of this monstrosity– would lead to an interview. It didn’t. The letter lead to a job offer at an agency bigger than wrestler’s […]

Are you there, Cortana?

            A coworker was telling me about a friend who works for Microsoft. This guy’s job is to fine tune how Cortana works. You know, that annoying voice that greets you when you power up your laptop, asking if you want to add anything to your grocery list. His s job is to actually listen […]