the best is yet to come

China

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 […]

If I put soy milk into my latte, am I Chinese enough for China?

If I put soy milk into my latte, am I Chinese enough for China?

  I’ve been on a huge China kick the last couple of weeks – I’ve finally started getting groceries online from YiHaoDian (an online Wal-Mart/Amazon hybrid where I can buy puppy food, sparkling water, and a Kindle all in one go), ordering lunch through ele.me and meituan then giving […]

What is a normal Shanghai experience?

What is a normal Shanghai experience?

I can never really put my finger on what it means to live in Shanghai. And I mean, live in Shanghai, to get the most out of this city, while still remaining honest to my identity outside of it. A few friends came through town this last weekend. […]

The AQI Blues

The AQI Blues

The air tastes like burned rubber and cellophane. Today is one of those days where as soon as I open my weather app, it tells me the air quality is ‘very unhealthy’, which means that as soon as I step outside, the air will burn my throat raw […]

The Chinese man selling popcorn

The Chinese man selling popcorn

On Tuesdays, my apartment becomes a Civil War reenactment. From the third floor, we hear the crackling fire of a hand-cranked oven, a voice yelling a signal, and the BOOM of the popcorn machine that follows like clockwork. We’d spent the last few weeks trying to figure out […]

What we write about when we can't find the words to write anymore

What we write about when we can't find the words to write anymore

It happens again. I’ve sat down to start writing this entry several times in the past few weeks, or honestly in the past two months, but everything I’ve written is charged, angry, calamitous, and then resigned. I feel this surge of emotions but then nothing […]

What we write about when we write about New York

What we write about when we write about New York

I used to dream about New York. When I closed my eyes, I dreamed of pillowy snow heaps falling outside my window in Astoria, about the hum of the radiator warming up the apartment. I used to dream about the entire building smelling of that one greek […]

Some changes are coming

Some changes are coming

It’s interesting, this idea of living abroad, and the reality of living abroad.

Adulting in China

Adulting in China

I came to China to escape the corporate nightmare and now I’m living it. Part of living abroad is this idea to escape the real world. Sort of like, I’ll come to China and it doesn’t matter what I do here, because in the grand […]