Free Fallin’

I’m gonna free-fall out into nothing, gonna leave this world for a while. 

When I first heard the fireworks, I thought they were gunshots, and my fight-or-flight immediately panicked like WTF yo, and pushed me out of my hotel bed and I fearfully rushed towards the door as intermittent sparks flashed and bounced around the walls like a malfunctioning strobe light–much to the amusement of my boss and his wife, who happily reassured us that this was no cause for concern, since fireworks were practically a daily occurrence. 

In their land of invention, fireworks are traditionally released to ward off evil spirits. On some occasions, they are also released to celebrate weddings or as a message to the gods to spread wealth and prosperity over the city, for good luck and good fortune. And every night, when the sporadic sparks liven up the city,  few curious citizens follow the noise (mainly children),  and the majority  just go about their business, unphased. 

It’s pretty unfortunate that hearing those fireworks automatically triggered a negative response and how quickly this brain associated its sound with gunfire. Back home, shootings are practically a daily occurrence, and shocking images of violence are grossly ingrained in our heads. It’s  incredibly tiresome and annoyingly cyclic  to read yet another headline citing a mass shooting as the deadliest in modern US history. And it was a cot damn music festival, in Vegas, where everyone was just trying to have fun and enjoy life. Why take that away from them, then end your own life in cowardice. Fcuk you.  

Why couldn’t they just be fireworks?


I’m in another world. 

I’m more worried and concerned  about the health and safety of loved ones in the US, than I am of myself over here. I’m in an oddly peaceful place right now, and that guilt creeps up again because I want y’all to feel this peace with me. I’ve jokingly stated that  the only real danger for me is getting hit by a car on the crosswalk, since drivers ridiculously have the right-of-way here, even when the pedestrian light is green! But I’ve grown accustomed to navigating, and even with all the whacky maneuvering, there hasn’t been any incidents of hit -and -runs or car accidents. I’m still crazy cautious tho.

This post was originally supposed to be about some epiphany-heavy, eatpraylove fueled, rain-soaked aromatic experience in a market I discovered, close to my apartment (photo), but then I read the news and got super upset, so that’s where my brain decided to go. I would’ve loved to see the direction it would have gone with the original post tho…BOO U.S. NEWS.


240 Thousand Miles From the Moon 

Just know, that wherever you go, you can always come home.

It’s the Mid-Autumn festival, which means a   holiday and mini-break from school and work. During this time, most individuals travel back to their hometown to reunite with their loved ones/family and spend quality time as they shovel down moon cakes as offerings to the moon (which is at its biggest and brightest, this time of year). 

My hometown is halfway around the globe, but my beautiful family is wherever I go, thanks to technology and wi-fi. 

This studio is eerily laid out the same way as my bedroom back home. The bed next to the wall, towards the left. Closet space towards the right. Open windows against the headboard. When I close my eyes, I layer this city’s heavy rain onto the canvas–merged layers of Caribbean Teal walls, mandala duvet cover over Betsey Johnson fuschia bedding, a brown Costco mink blanket, lightly ink-stained closet doors, a customizable bookshelf from Amazon, IKEA dresser, canvas art from Ross, awesome art from brother, makeshift desk with an out-of-place chair, camera lens cup with colored pencils, film developing tank with Amoeba sticker, yoga mat, laundry basket with two sweaters still trapped inside, and the pink Buddha, carefully arranged with the seashell from ateh Liz & Tasha (with cookie’s fortune inside) and beautifully polished obsidian from Mexico. 

Then my human alarm clock, aka nephew, aka siahsaur storms in and wakes me up

And downstairs, there would be a huge breakfast and coffee, prepared by any of us or a collaborative effort as music, from Ekolu to Eagles, blasts across the living room. I’ve always loved how  music became an integral thread in our  familial fabric (and now I miss watching Jeopardy! and Beat Shazam with you guys).  And this was Sunday, which was our designated family day, which is also today in this city, which is also the English translation of my last name. 

I stopped crying after the second week. It surprised me because I expected the homesickness to ride out a little longer, and there was some sort of guilt attached to that because I’m actually pretty happy like Pharrell. My family (both immediate and extended) has been the most beautiful, loving, amazing support system, whom I had selfishly taken for granted in my younger years. I’m glad that I was able to reconnect and make up for all that lost time. 

When I open my eyes, I see eggshell walls and hear the cacophonous orchaestra of car horns. I remember that I finally have orange kitchen things, wooden kitchen things,  and a stainless steel sink, and I should probably get up and wash them now. And like, feed myself. It may not be New York or Tokyo, but I actually live and work in the heart of a city. And it’s by the water. And it’s like a Chinese version of San Diego. I’m still waiting for someone to pinch me so I can wake up. So this is what it feels like to finally live out your dreams.

I’m happy for the moves my loved ones are making (and have made) back home. I love you all, I love my hometown, and wherever I go, California will always live in me, with that city mentality and beach personality.  And like, memories and stuff.