• Writing

    Connecting the dots

    So many dots connected after reading Last Boat out of Shanghai.  I zipped through the last third of the book this weekend, finding the pace of the stories after the end of the civil war to have picked up substantially.  Keeping pace with the author’s dash through history, I too sped to the end, wanting to find out what happens to each of the characters. Growing up in Vancouver, I never learned much about Chinese history; everything was learned from the stories told at the dinner table or the Chinese period drama series I’d occasionally watch when I was young.  As I’ve drilled down in my research and understanding of my dad’s stories…

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  • Writing

    Current project

    I’m currently writing the outline and sample chapters for my first book: Dinner with my Baba. This is a project that’s been brewing in my head for a few years.  On one of my return visits home (whilst still living in Singapore), I started making some notes about the stories that my Dad had been telling me over the years.  Initially, it was just intended to help me remember interesting family tidbits; I knew I couldn’t rely on my poor memory to remember everything.  As I started to type things out, I realised there was enough meat here to turn it into a book that could be shared with many others who have…

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  • Cultural Marketer Podcast Icon

    My first podcast: living and working in Singapore

    Recently recorded a podcast with Florence at the Cultural Marketer.  I am a big fan of podcasts and was excited to do one when she asked.  We chatted for over 30 minutes about what life is like working and living in Singapore.  From office culture to food to traveling around Southeast Asia, it was a fun little journey down memory lane of my time there.  Click here or below to listen.

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  • Vancouver

    Visit Vancouver

    Over the past year as I’ve settled back into Vancouver, I’ve found myself saying “I haven’t been there in a decade!” a lot.  And that’s not an exaggeration.  Living abroad for 8+ years with only brief visits back, I’d usually only have time on these short trips back to see close friends, eat at a handful of favourite restaurants, and spend time with family.  That meant that I hadn’t visited many sights, neighbourhoods, areas of Vancouver for a loooong time. I’m writing this post to share my favourite recommendations for Vancouver.  I will admit the list of restaurants and bars is not the most up-to-date or hip, but they are…

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  • Asia,  Bali,  Food,  Travels

    Bali Part 1: Ubud

       Quiet, except for the singing cicadas.  Thick air, the smell of incense heavy and slow in the steaming heat.  Green leafy trays of floral offerings along the pathways.  Orange marigolds, strung around the necks of Ganesha or placed on stone steps.  This is waking up in Ubud. I love this “island of the gods” that is Bali and Ubud is the spiritual heart, located in the middle of the island, amidst the lush green rice fields, far from the pulsing beats of the bars at Seminyak.  This is my third trip here and I can confidently offer some suggestions for you, if you’re planning a trip. Wander the charming…

  • Chinatown
    Singapore,  Travels

    Returning “home” to Singapore

      This week, I’m returning to my former “home”, Singapore.  It’s been over 7 months since I left Singapore and I had been missing it so much.  Returning after only 7 months is nice because things haven’t changed so much here yet that I feel like I’ve lost touch.  Most of the friends I had are still here, and I’ve even been able to crash at my old flat, so I’m truly feeling like I’ve returned home. When I am in Vancouver, Singapore seems like a dream, so long ago, but back in the stifling steamy heat of Singapore, I feel like I’ve never left! But Singapore doesn’t slow down. …

  • Bucketlist Collage
    Travel Bucketlist,  Travels

    My Travel Bucket List

      The good ol’ travel bucket list; who doesn’t love to dream and make a list of places they want to visit eventually? I’ve been lucky to have lived in a few different countries and have taken the opportunity to visit many others.  Knowing myself, this list is always going to be a certain length because the more I see, the more I want to see! My current list, in alphabetical order… Argentina – Buenos Aires and the rest of it Belize Bhutan Boston Brazil – and catch Carnival China – a big trip Colombia – all the parts I didn’t see yet eg. Bogota, Ciudad Perdida, Salerno, Cali Czech…

  • Friends

    How to make friends in a new city

         Probably one of the biggest hurdles to overcome when moving to a new city is making new friends and forming new social circles. I moved to Sydney in 2010, and then picked up and moved again in 2014 to Singapore.  The challenge of finding new friends is definitely real but essential for feeling happy and settled in a new place.  Even now, relocated back in Vancouver, I find myself going through this same challenge again.  Making new friends is arguably a lifelong process; here are some strategies I’ve employed over the years… Organised social networks In this day and age, there are many different social networks available with…

  • making wontons
    Food,  Recipes

    Wrapping up 2018 and wrapping up some Shanghainese wontons

    This is my last post for 2018, and as I wrap up the year, I’m going to share a very traditional recipe that also requires some wrapping up.  Today I’m sharing our family recipe for Shanghainese wontons.  It takes a bit of effort, but homemade wontons are much yummier than store-bought frozen ones, definitely worth the time.  We always make extra to put in the freezer for later as well. Leaving aside cantonese wontons for now, there’s usually two types of Shanghainese wontons:  small ones or big ones.  Literally that’s what they’re called in Chinese. Small wontons (小云吞)- usually filled with just meat and maybe some shrimps, these are “wrapped” as…

  • Food,  Singapore

    Kopi & Kaya

    Kaya toast, served with kopi and extremely soft boiled runny eggs is a uniquely Singaporean experience.  I first tried it as a visitor to Singapore, when my Singaporean friend Kelvin demonstrated how to eat it properly.  The toast and kopi can be consumed as served, but most Singaporean’s season the two runny eggs with soy sauce and white pepper, mix it all up, and slurp it up.  Two classic places to try this are: Yakun and Killiney Kopitiam. Personally, I’m not a big fan of the runny eggs, but I love a kopi and if I want to treat myself, I’ll go for some kaya toast too. Kopi Kopi is…