Today, I write from the motherland!

After a lifetime of hearing about Hong Kong from my mother and relatives, I’m finally here!

It started on Saturday, when we left Frankfurt on a direct,11-hour flight leaving at 22:00.

We arrived early and had 4 hours to leisurely wait at the gate.

We arrived early and had 4 hours to leisurely wait at the gate.

Imagine fear of losing your luggage x 10 and that's what I'm feeling right there.

Imagine fear of losing your luggage x 10 and that’s what I’m feeling right there.


Here’s part of my travel routing: packing up my wheelchair for flight. Since it is stored with the cargo and just generally handled by many strangers in transit, I never quite know what will come out at the final destination. Thanks to Gail’s meticulous packing, it arrived unharmed!
I even had time to video chat with some relatives and Jarkie, thanks to free wifi in the “Fraport” after a month of limited internet data. She told me that my hair was like “Murry Curry’s” (as in, the Nobel Prize winner; what a southerner!;) ). Some people leave flights still looking radiant; seems like I can’t even board them that way!

We arrived in the HK and were greeted by my aunt at the massive airport (there’s even a cinema!). She lives with my Pau Pau (maternal grandmother) in an apartment of a campus dorm where she serves as the faculty-in-residence.  I hadn’t seen Pau Pau since she moved back to HK 3 years ago, and it was even better than I expected to be in each other’s company again. Their home is so spacious by any standards, let alone HK’s, with beautiful views, and we feel so blessed to be here!

Maybe I should've gone to school here... the university sits on the hills of Kowloon, right next to the water, with the mountains in the distance.

Maybe I should’ve gone to school here… the university sits on the hills of Kowloon, right next to the water, with the mountains in the distance.

On the first night, we went to eat at the Chinese restaurant on campus that serves dim sum every day at lunch time! :O A-mazing! (see caption above)

Yesterday, we rode a bus line from one end, a large mall, to the other, the waterfront at Sai Kung.

Pier at Sai Kung

Pier at Sai Kung. My aunt says that this use to be a day trip for the family when they were growing up.

Drying fish

Drying fish

Just a regular day at the fish market aquarium...

Just a regular day at the fish market aquarium…

Today, we went downtown for a buffet lunch and stopped to take in the Avenue of the Stars.

Look at the skyline!!

Look at the skyline! There were a couple of those so-called Chinese “junk” sailing ships.

My father and I, both visiting for the first time, are taken in by the vibrancy and composition of the city. I’m really looking forward to my mother’s arrival in a few weeks to see what she has to say about her memories and current impressions.

Today, I ask you: Eat, Pray, Love? [Submit your experience/Ask Your Questions!] :)

“Nostalgia makes us a bit more human” – In a recent NYT blog, John Tierney discusses how nostalgia can actually be a good thing. Memories of my six months abroad (2011) studying, living, conducting research, traveling, meeting people, pretending I was Indian (in both India and China… haha fooled that Chinese cab driver! 😛 ) in Udaipur (India), Beijing (China), Anhui (birthplace), & Yunnan (my home foreversssss) constantly come back to me.

via: fyeahmindyproject.tumblr.com

This reminds me of Elizabeth Gilbert’s Eat, Pray, Love. Okay okay, I’ll be honest. I stopped reading that book after I finished India. And I stopped watching the movie after she left Italy. So … I guess I don’t know what happened in INDONESIA! Haha. But then … as relationships come and go… somehow… accidentally, I was living out my own version of Eat, Pray, Love.

Eat. Okay that needs no explanation. This is 100% always happening.
Pray. The temples in India, my village temple in Yunnan, the clouds in Yunnan, the mountains in Yunnan, the sunset in Udaipur, the forts in Udaipur, the desert, the 115 degree Fahrenheit days in Udaipur, the stares, the bike accident after actually drunken noodles, etc etc… they all made me wonder about my own particular views and beliefs again. I’m still not sure… just as lost as Margaret was in Are you there God? It’s me, Margaret
Love. Welp. Welp. Welp. I did not find love in the form of a Brazilian businessman, if you’re wondering about that… but…
I think about this trip so much… because it was unplanned, completely by accident. But it meant so much to me. I turned into an infant, crawling around, eating with my fingers (literally.. what a disaster and a complete mess that was when it came to rice.. but I mastered the art of the eat-yo-roti-with-just-yo-right-hand technique. Whoot!) … meeting all sorts of lovely folks, learning new languages, learning more of Jarkie.
So my question to YOU, lovely readers… have you ever had an Eat, Pray, Love sort of experience? Did you plan it ? Or did you just open the door and there it was by accident? Or do you have a question about my experience? Feel free to share below in the comments or in the comment box below (these will be privately sent to us – let us know if you mind us sharing your experience & with or without your name) or you can email us at todaycommai@gmail.com. I’ll try to do a follow up postttttt 🙂

[EDIT]: Our unspoken little blog rule: one post per day. But it’s a new day! 47 minutes (as I’m typing this) into the new day!

Some photos below – alright, good night, dear readers!

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Today, I am looking at new places…

Ello! Happy Election Day! No new news in my life. Well, I will have to vacate my room in 30 days (hopefully we can extend that deadline), so now no more living half college-like environment/half grown-up world. It’s a full transition to grown-up world! EEP! Apartment hunting once again!

P.S. I got a Birchbox!

World News brought to you by Jarkie from a Stroke Center cubicle 😀 

  • “Young workers’ current struggles could leave them in a hole for decades” –
  • China’s leader, Hu Jintao, has overseen China for a decade and as he gets ready to step down, he is trying hard to bring his allies into high up positions. Oh Mr. Hu… apparently former chairman Jiang is gaining momentum with his allies. But let’s see what happens 🙂
  • Meningitis outbreak – pain-killing injections – compoundin gpharmacy in Massachusetts! Oh.Oh.
  • Tourism in Iran – foreign purchasing power at a high – hmm interesting theme going on the past two days
  • 363 reported killed (as of this morning) due to flood in Nigeria (the worst in at least 50 years!!)
  • Libya – key funder of Syrian opposition
  • “Apple’s new tablets are off to a fast start”
  • DC Metro Area – Body art is making a come-back! And one that sort of affects where I work but not me directly at all – Georgetown receives $20 million to fund study of the environment. Whoot!

❤ have a lovely day! let’s see what happens tonight! We will know!

Today, I am finally aware of the world out there…

I decided to stop moping about in my panda cave… or rather, I decided to bring light in!

#1 – My room has been furnished with a TV, basic cable, so as to not get crazy with the shows. I can still catch good ole “World News Tonight.” Of course, if the New Normal or New Girl or Modern Family comes on, I won’t shy away.

#2 – Livingsocial deal for Washington post. It’s a perfect time. Nowadays as the possibility of snow is around the corner, I have decided to cut down on driving (also to reduce the fines I get!! SILLY SPEED and STOPLIGHT CAMERAS!!! What happened to the old fashioned POLICE?), I will be riding the metro and the bus. So time to catch up on current events. In addition, I have learned that the adult, work life is full of ups and downs, fast and slows… so I’ll have my washington post and study flash cards to keep me company during the slows.

P.S. I share Markie’s sentiments. IT IS FRIGID. At my physical therapy appointment today, she left a cold pack on me for far too long. And then I had to step out into the cold. Oh baj! Not to mention I almost lost my balance while walking backwards on their treadmill 😦

Current Events, Jarkie’s abridged version (skipping the campaign news…) – 11/5
**Russia hopes string of ski resorts, an $18 billion plan, and beach developments ($4.6 billion) will bring jobs and peace to North Caucasus, where death/violence is quite the norm w/ the area’s Islamic fundamentalism and separatist aspirations
** 2-year old boy fell off a railing that his mother had placed him on to see a pack of African painted dogs at the Pittsburg zoo 😦
** Bo Xilai, former boss of Chongqing, was formally expelled from the Communist Party in China on Sunday –
** Syrian exiles resist US proposal for new leadership council for fighters/activists in Syria on 1st day of Syrian opposition conference.
** DC Metro – “Issues of race and gender create turbulence during ‘Flight’” – 
interesting, just saw this yesterday afternoon w/ a high school friend.

Happy Election eve!

Today (or yesterday, rather), I understand…

what the fourth prince meant in BBJX when he had given the following advice to Ruoxi: “既来之 则安之” (ji lai zhi ze an zhi)… Ruoxi had made an analogy of the following sorts: i feel like i’m in a dream world and i want to go back but i can’t seem to wake up. I just love the part when fourth prince looks back at her and calmly states this sentence. Its so hard for translations… but his response means “since you have come here [as unpleasant as things may seem] you might as well stay and make the best of things.” Take things calmly. I’ve gotten into a delicate situation and I put myself here, so I might as well stay here and try to take things calmly and no matter what happens, I will make the best of it. The world hasn’t ended. I haven’t gotten some chronic illness (even if I do think I have a stroke every day)… and to brighten my day up — the world has presented some interesting things…

* Another friend is in the same city as I am. 🙂
* The wind was so strong I say restaurant umbrellas flying across!

* And I’m loving to cook! Two exciting dishes (now remember, I’m cooking on one of those portable, single stove-tops.) I should create a cook book just for people like us who spend twice as long boiling water on these things…

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