Well, it’s December 24th of 2018 and I’ve just returned from a week-long cruise in Mexico. I’ve also returned to update this blog, it looks like. This year has been quite uneventful, and it’s not for lack of trying on my part. My life seems stagnant, spiraling in a stall, and so my desire to keep up with blogging has pretty much drained down to nothing. But 2019 is around the corner, so perhaps things will go differently with a fresh new year.

The trip was very fun but not quite relaxing. Being surrounded by people 24/7 isn’t really my cup of tea, but it was a great vacation nonetheless. I went with my s.o. and his family and we all had separate cabins with balconies. We went offshore for excursions and brought back a bunch of souvenirs (all very unique and very breakable. Lucky we didn’t have to deal with flights or anything crazy aside from an Uber ride back). It was my first traipse into Mexico and as far as super touristy cities go, it was quite nice.

(Saw a T-shirt that said “relax, you’re on the fun side of Trump’s wall” and thought it was hilarious. Didn’t buy it though because the occasion where wearing it makes sense are very, very few.)

I like the night when we were at sea the best. I love standing out on the balcony, watching the moon’s rays reflect beautifully on the water. The only sounds were the splashing waves from the ship. There were so many stars, unaffected by light pollution, and I could actually see the gentle curving of the horizon with nary a coast in sight. It was then that I started to relax. The idea of being alone at sea seems to invoke some sort of calmness in me rather than fear. My mind empties out, and I worry about nothing for a while. It’s funny, because I’ve never appreciated the sea quite so much before. Guess I had to be in the middle of it rather than by the beach for it to make me feel its draw.

Well that ended on a poetic note. Hopefully it doesn’t read too cheesy, but you know what, even if it were it’s fine. It’s really hard for me to find ways to relax, at least now I can add ‘lost at sea while staring into the abyss’ onto that list.


And I’m Back!

I’m back from my trip – and suffered some pretty terrible jetlag. Couldn’t sleep during the night and couldn’t stay awake during the day. So I’ve been pretty much out of commission for a few days. And then I had to unpack and clean the house and plan and – yeah, sorry for no immediate update yet. Still trying to get my household (and myself) back in order.

The trip was all kinds of exciting so of course I’ll be talking about it in the next few entries. I might post some pictures, once I get everything organized and formatted so everything is not like 300mb each. I probably will talk a lot first, though, so brace for really long and detailed entries.

Ciao for now.

Tomorrow I Go

Tomorrow I’m going to be on a plane to go visit my family in China. I haven’t seen them in a few years so I’m super excited! And also fearful, as everyone tends to do when they’re traveling. I mean, it’s weird but China is becoming more and more like a foreign country to me, even though I speak the language and I have family there and it’s getting more westernized all the time. I just feel super American, you know? Worse, in that I kind of knew how I’m supposed to act but kind of not know, so it’s this weird combo thing where it’s like the uncanny valley of unfamiliarity. I think if I just look completely white or black or not Chinese I might feel easier, because people expect one thing of me that they don’t necessarily expect from someone who looks almost like them. Anyway, I’ll be in China by myself for a bit before joining my s.o. on a nice vacation to Japan. It’ll be fun and relaxing! Hopefully.

It does mean I’m not going to be able to update for a whole month, because this website is 100% blocked in China, and Japan’s Internet is a bit crazy to travelers so who knows if I can get online or not. I would love to detail my travels but alas, it won’t get posted, if that. So I guess we’ll have to find out after I get back. Cheers everyone!

I’m Still Around!

Hello! I’m alive, yes. I have not abandoned this journal – would probably never, haha. Anyway, yeah, my in-laws have left and I kind of felt like I needed a whole lot of time to recuperate after that. Oh and life is kinda boring except for a few things. What’re those? I’ll fill you in.

In-law visit was fine. I actually managed to work a lot during their visit which just completely wiped me out. Holy crap. I have no idea why. Too stressful? Anyway, they left and I was basically like, okay, time to go to the doctors for all my check-ups. And I went. And I found out that, well, I have a pretty big fibroid in my uterus at the ob/gyn. The doctor scheduled me an MRI because depends on its location it may impact pregnancy (just the trying part, once I’m pregnant apparently it’s fine), so off I went to radiology last night and got stuck in a very, very loud machine with an IV in my arm for half an hour. Was told to drink a whole lot of water today to wash out the dye they injected, because accumulation in the kidney is not very good. So the results’ll come out in a week, when I’ll be not in the country anymore, so no telling until in June how exactly that fibroid impacts me.

I’m leaving in May to go to visit my folks in China and then going on a nice long Japan trip with my s.o. So you won’t hear from me too much in the next month not because of laziness. Trust me, I would LOVE to post here but I’m pretty sure this site is blocked to all hell by the Great Fire Wall so, yeah… and Japan is so stingy with their wi-fi that I’m not sure how long I can stay online. If I can I will but no promises. It’ll all have to wait until after I get back.

Tomorrow I’m going to a Renaissance faire with my s.o. because apparently his boss thought it’ll be a great team-building experience, and they can bring their s.o.’s as a guest. Well, he does work for a video game company so it’s appropriately nerdy, I guess. I like Renaissance faires, actually, because I’m a nerd (ha!) although I never dressed up for them. The turkey legs and the meat pies are worth it already, plus a lot of weird little knickknacks to buy, and also jousting stuff. Always fun. (Yes, I realize how I sound, let me be okay???) So that’ll be cool social experience tomorrow. I’ve been kind of cooped up in the house for awhile. Time to get out.

Bad Traveling Plans

So my s.o. and I are going on a round-trip across the world in May. He wanted to go to Japan for the longest time and I wanted to see my family in China. His cousin was also getting married then, too, so we decided to combine all that in one trip. The ticket was cheap, so that’s good, and the planning all worked out okay. But the trip there is terrible. It’ll take me 18+ hours to get to China and it’ll take my s.o. 19+ hours, because we’re flying Japan Airlines and there’s a required stop in Tokyo. Compared to the previous times we basically only flew 10+ hours to and back, this seems really inconvenient. I’ll be ok I suppose, but my s.o. can’t sleep on planes. Like, he hates planes (OCD does that to ya) so he’s never comfortable enough to sleep. We’re traveling separately too, so I hope he’ll cope okay.

I’m trying to figure out how to juggle my sleep schedule to accommodate. It’s a good thing that I won’t be doing anything once I arrive in China, just staying at my grandma’s house and chill for like, a week. So I suppose I got plenty of time to adjust jet lag and get through that notorious diarrhea you get when you’re there haha. Meh. I get to see my family, especially with both my grandmothers being pretty damn old (a good thing! They’re both quickly approaching their 90s so, hey, not many people can boast that) and not in the best of health. I gotta go and see them and say I love them as much as I can.

A Quick Life Summary

Sorry I’ve been absent once again. Life is pretty boring right now, so not much happened. Granted I could write about the movies I’ve watched and the games I’m planning to play and all that, but they just sound so boring to read, even to me, so I’ll spare you the mundaneness? I probably will get back on track in a bit, right now I’m just going to do a quick thing before I start talking about some more serious life changes, perhaps.

The house is almost done with furnishing. We hired a guy and he got a TV mounted in the bedroom, so the only thing left to get is a TV stand and that one small end table for my workspace downstairs. That’s it. We’ve put up the bookshelves and filled them with my books and my s.o.’s nerdy figurines (ok, both mine and his, but his comprised of at least 70%). There’re plenty of space for more books/figurines so it’s futureproof. We got an armoire for the front entrance and now all our coats and shoes aren’t just draping haphazardly off chairs and strewn all over the place. All were IKEA, and my s.o. had to get one of his friends/co-worker to help him put them up, since I’m too short and weak to do anything. We joked about keeping it a secret because as a friend it’s no big deal but as a kinda boss with a kinda subordinate it’s kinda iff-y, if you know what I mean. So shhhhhh.

My in-laws are coming for a week in April to check out our new house. I’m kind of nervous because, hey, who wouldn’t be if your in-laws stay and you’re not the best housekeeping wife there is. Nor the best independent-woman wife. Nor the best writer wife. (All around fail omg.) So you see why I’m a bit trepidatious. I can maybe bake stuff ok, so maybe I’ll bake a cake or something. But they’re Asian so western cakes maybe aren’t their thing either. OMG. So many issues!

We are going to be out of the country for most of May. My s.o. had wanted to go to Japan since forever, and he thought if we don’t go now we’ll have kids soon and stuff (hoping, nothing concrete) and then we won’t be able to go for a long time. So we bit the bullet and decided to just make a good round trip where I go see my family whom I haven’t seen in years in China and this trip in one go. We plan to go to Kyoto first and then Tokyo, because of the onsen and the more interesting architecture and etc. Tokyo sure is cool but I’ve seen Hong Kong and been to Shanghai so yes, it’s different, but not as different as Shinto temples and ryokans from a modernized city. So it’ll be fun, jetlag and food poisoning and possible leaking radiation from Fukushima and all (my mother was all freaked out about it and we couldn’t calm her down no matter what). So I’ll keep up the update for more exciting things to come. Right now, though, it’s just the same old routine of work and maintenance. Life is boring.

Shanghai Disney Resort

I went to the Disney Resort in Shanghai when I was vacationing. It was surprisingly awesome. I was expecting long lines and rude people and dirty bathrooms but didn’t have any (except an over-excited toddler who grabbed my glasses by accident in line, but, you know, toddlers). Personally I love Disney parks – I’d go to Disneyland all the time if I could afford it. I don’t know why but they relax me so much. Like, I literally am the happiest just sitting on the main street, listening to the background music, and eating their ridiculously good peanut brittle watching people go by.

I went with my s.o. and his cousin in Shanghai. It was a pretty cold weekday, so there were like 1/4 of the capacity of people there, and minimal children because you have to take your kid out of school to go and well, Asian parents aren’t likely to do that, especially since Christmas is not a holiday over there. I was bundled up very warmly so it was just great. At first I just wanted to ride the rides that American parks didn’t have – like the Tron Lightcycle Power Run. That ride was phenomenal, by the way. It’s so immersive, you feel like you really are stuck in the Tron world, racing to the finish line. It’s a quick rollarcoaster kind of thing, where they strap you down on a Troncycle and you have to take off your glasses/hat/scarf etc. because it’s going so fast. And it was amazing (despite the fact my view is blurry as hell due to severe nearsightedness). Short and crazy ride with cool effects and you even spin around outside so random people can hear everyone on the cycle scream their heads off. If you were ever in Shanghai Disney that’s one of the must-go rides.

We then went to some quick no-wait kiddie rides because why not. Then the cousin said that we have to go see Pirates of the Caribbean ride so we’re like, ok, let’s check this one out. I’ve already been to the American version so at first I just went for the novelty factor (because listening to Chinese dubs of Jack Sparrow and Barbossa is…interesting), turned out this one is actually better than the one in the States! There are parts where they “submerge” you under the ocean, which is actually just a giant IMAX screen where you get the illusion (and a damn convincing one) you’re walking on the ocean floor. And there was a small section of bumpy rollarcoaster where you’re escaping a ship fight, and all the story-telling is pretty top notch. So after that we were just like “well scratch the idea of only experiencing rides not in America, let’s just go to all the good rated ones!”

Of course, there were more rides than we have time for, even on a very not crowded day. We saw the afternoon parade and the evening fireworks, and also a short play of Frozen at the Peter Pan Theatre. We were wondering how Disney princesses, who’re mostly white, would look with Chinese actors. Turns out they actually hired white people instead of Chinese people to play them! (well, aside from the obvious ethnic characters like Mulan or people in costumes like Goofy). It’s really, really weird to watch a Frozen play, with a bunch of side characters who’re played by Chinese people, surrounding Anna/Elsa/Kristoff who’re white people speaking very horrible Chinese on stage. I mean if I were a kid I wouldn’t understand anything they said because the pronunciation is just barely intelligible with its weird inflections. Hell, I myself had trouble understanding them, and to someone like my s.o. whose Mandarin is not good, well, he just watched the pretty light effects and listened to the songs. Some of them are in English, and some of them are in Chinese. I don’t know why.

It’s surreal to listen to “Let It Go” with translated Chinese lyrics, though. It sounds really…weird? I mean, all the lyrics are translated correctly, and they rhyme (which is a feat!), but it sounds so funny because the phrase they used has a connotation of plain speak instead of song lyrics. Like, usually in Chinese songs the lyrics are a little elevated from every day speech. The difference in the hook “let it go” in Chinese is like the difference between “It’s okay” and “fuhgeddaboudit” in English. Now imagine the hook of the song is “fuhgeddabouit” over and over, but in a serious song like a hymn. That’s what the feel of “Let It Go”‘s translated Chinese lyrics is.

But I suppose kids wouldn’t care so that’s all that matters. And aside from this little weirdness my entire experience of a day at Shanghai Disney was awesome, so, yeah, whatever. Let it go. I did NOT buy a lot of souvenirs though because the price is basically American prices but in RMB. I mean a single Tron mickey keychain is like 75 bucks (about $10, and yes, of course I bought it after that awesome ride) The park ticket price is about $50 instead of the $130+ we get  here, which is nice, but yeah everything inside is about the same. There were some really nice figurines and stuff that’s like 600+ RMB, which I really want, but, you know, I’m not spending money on that and lug it across the Pacific. I might post the souvenirs I bought later, because it’s like two things.

P.S. Yeah this is not a plug for Shanghai Disney Resort. It’s just me talking about my vacation.