the best is yet to come


Recent Posts

How to trick people into thinking you’re glistening, not sweating, and other things I’ve yet to learn this summer.

How to trick people into thinking you’re glistening, not sweating, and other things I’ve yet to learn this summer.

The roar of the cicadas in the summer is deafening. The past few weeks have been deafening, sweltering, and muggy. Seriously, Shanghai is a stifling oven cracked all the way up to broil. Actually, no, not an oven. That’s not excruciating enough of a metaphor. […]

Shanghai and the art of letting go

Shanghai and the art of letting go

The first time it happens, you rarely notice it. First it’s your favorite Hong Kong Milk Tea kiosk replaced by metal shutters. Then, it’s a laptop repair kiosk torn apart overnight, used USB cables dangling amongst newly-drying racks of giant eels. Shanghai is a city […]

St. Petersburg: Then & Now

St. Petersburg: Then & Now

To be in St. Petersburg is to tip-toe around the edges of a porcelain a faberge egg. There is something fragile, delicate, gilded about every memory I hold of my city. There is something romantic about its crooked and uneven pavements, its bronze status decaying to […]

Homecoming

I never got around to publishing this last week. I’m working on something about my time in St. Petersburg now, but my feelings are so different from what I wrote last week that I feel this needs to be published before I write anything else.  […]

Shanghai-Tested: My first ‘Chinese’ haircut

Shanghai-Tested: My first ‘Chinese’ haircut

The hairstylist put down the bleach and took out a jar of brown dye. That’s when I realized something had gone awry.  As part of my recent deep-dive into embracing China local life, I took the plunge and did something I had never done before – I let someone who […]

coming face-to-face with my mortality aka ‘just a typical morning commute in Shanghai’

coming face-to-face with my mortality aka ‘just a typical morning commute in Shanghai’

  My scooter slips. I skid into a crack on the pavement and veer sharply to the left. The man on a motorbike to my left narrowly avoids me and squeezes past, unfazed. The car behind us screeches to a halt, the driver’s palm glued […]

Spanish paella, LobsterFest 2017, and other reasons to celebrate Spring

Spanish paella, LobsterFest 2017, and other reasons to celebrate Spring

I had planned to write about how the miserable of the past week, but instead I’m writing about the beautiful. I’m writing about the beautiful, because life in Shanghai has reached peak levels of the exhausting and the absurd, and when things get tough, there’s really no […]

The most beautiful things about Florence

The most beautiful things about Florence

I feel like the word breathtaking is overrated. We use it so much that when something truly takes our breath away – and I mean with that sharp intake of breath and an utter loss for words, I completely lack the vocabulary to put my feelings into words. […]

The courage to eat with a spoon

The courage to eat with a spoon

Learning to use chopsticks in China is easy. Learning when not to use them is hard.   Dinner in Shanghai – my home for the past two years – is rarely eaten alone. A dinner is the sort of grand occasion where one squeezes a group of […]

Leaving WordPress

Leaving WordPress

I’ve done it. I’m self-hosting my blog! This feels like a big step, because Skipping Customs (first called Pasta Republic) is something I started over three years ago and over the three years it’s become a place where I’ve been able to openly (or sometimes not openly) document […]