How to Cross the Canyon

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The canyons of the Napali coast. 2013.

Picking up the phone, I took a deep breath, then dialed the number.  One of the benefits of being multilingual is that you can communicate and cross barriers  to connect with others.  But one disadvantage is that you might also have to do the very thing that no one else wants to do… deliver bad news.

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I Miss Sweet Potatoes

Reaching over, the parents handed steaming hot, half peeled sweet potatoes to their children. One for each.  Their kids, actually, growing teenagers, grabbed the sweet potatoes with huge smiles and bit into them, steam hitting their faces.

“Wah! I really miss sweet potatoes!” I declared, watching that TV scene. It reminded me so much of my family. “Did you ever eat sweet potatoes with your parents growing up?” I nudged my husband.

“Huh? No,” he continued reading. He didn’t bother looking up from his book, sitting beside me as I watched a Kdrama.

“Ahhh… but I love sweet potatoes,” I sighed.

Growing up, Continue reading

We Don’t Say “I Love You”

IMG_7560Some nights waves of nostalgia hit me.  I’ve been thinking about food and the meaning of food quite a bit lately, and it reminded me of an old blog post I wrote, 4 years ago…
March 15, 2012

Scooping out the rice from the rice cooker, the fresh jasmine aroma overwhelmed me with memories of my family…

~ ~ ~

“What did you eat today, koun (daughter)?” Mak asked over the phone.   Continue reading

Keep on Dancin’

Toes tapped and heads bobbed to the groove of electric guitar, keyboard, and drums. The lead vocalist serenaded the audience. As he sang, I searched the tables for familiar faces.

Wrapped in her black coat, she sat quietly, hands folded in her lap.

Jum reap sua (hello),” I pressed my palms together, raised them to my nose, and bowed my head in a formal Khmer greeting.

She hesitated.

Maybe she didn’t recognize me without the scrubs. Or maybe she couldn’t hear me, with the Khmer rock band blasting on the stage. The band was the highlight of the fundraising dinner for the Khmer community.

“Oh, it’s you!” her stoic expression transformed into a toothy grin. She patted my hand.

How far we have come… 

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Music from the Mortar

Clunk clunk clunk.  The sharp sound of a clay pestle striking against the mortar startled me.

Nearly every Saturday morning, the sounds of my parents laboring in the kitchen awoke me from my slumber. Still in bed, I wondered, what were Mak and Ba cooking today? Continue reading

你好 Nei hou, from Hong Kong!

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one of my fav meals to have in HK

Tonight, we slurped delicious won ton noodles from a dai pai dong, savored real Chinese desserts like sesame soup, and walked through countless shops for our favorite snacks.

With each day, I am mesmerized at the complete mesh of cultures, like robust tea so beautifully paired with English milk, to form the perfect combination of lai cha.  Or the trams and trolleys traveling down the streets, carrying loads of Chinese passengers to and fro.  Or the old Eastern medicine herb shops nestled between glitzy department stores and boutiques.

It is a wonder, a sight to smell, to taste, and to explore.

Thus, please pardon the lack of updates on the blog for the time being, as I am currently traveling abroad.  =)

But I’ll have plenty more adventures (and nursing stories) (aaanndddd kit kat reviews, i hope!) to update you with upon my return.

~ ~ ~

P.S.

Anyone have any recommendation on MUST SEE’s/ MUST EAT’s  in Hong Kong?

And any must see’s in Tokyo? Going there for a quick layover and have 1-2 days to explore. Go! =D

Till Our Bellies Ache

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my Khmer dance students dancing to a Swahili song, sung by our African brothers & sisters. 2012.

I am so thankful for…

working in a cross cultural community where we learn and grow together.

We may be from different places, peoples, and languages, but when we laugh, it is the same. We laugh till our bellies ache and our eyes water. There is richness deep in the spirit, working with people of different cultures and backgrounds. It’s quite beautiful, actually. (And great fun, too!)  See below, just a few of my fond memories (and experiences of recent):

a few  years ago

african american coworker: (speaking chinese) bu hao… (he shakes his head as he is working on my other coworker’s computer)

me: (I abruptly turn around, realizing he just spoke chinese) What did you say?!

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