Before I met up with Elex for our little musical adventure, I had a lot of fun spending quality time with my Daddy, Godfather & Godmother George & Bo Mu.
My Godfather George is a living miracle. At 65+, he is healthy as can be. 16 years ago, this was not the case. When we first met after my family moved to Huntington, Indiana, my godfather was suffering from terminal liver cancer. He had 2 sons, but he had always wanted a daughter. So he took a liking to the mischievous little tomboy I was. When I was told I had to wait another year to enroll in 1st grade because my birthday fell after the cut-off date for 1st grade enrollment, George spend hours at the District Admission Office with my IQ test results begging them to not waste a year of my potential. Because of him, I graduated college as Class of 2012.
Fast forward 16 years, George is cancer-free, full of life, and is a master at making Chinese steamed buns. He promises me that one day he will share with me his craft!
2 of my top 3 lovers ❤
I love my family & friends.
I’m truly blessed. Thank you to every one who called me, texted me, facebooked me, or contacted me through one way or the other to wish me a happy birthday. 🙂
First off….waiting for Looper to start.
I had an amazing day. First of all, my daddy decided on Wednesday night that he would fly back a bit earlier before his client meetings to make it on my birthday. Secondly, I have the best boyfriend in the whole wide world.
For lunch, I was reunited with my daddy, mommy, and K at New Port Restaurant. We ate dim sum, laughed at each other, and cam-whored to the max. My parents also got me a rather…interesting tiramisu cake that we nibbled.
Very Important People 🙂
When K & I got back up to Pacifica, I walked up to his room to put down my stuff, and came across this. *Strokes Beard*.
Birthday Surprise for Molah..
K came up behind me and with a mysterious smile, urged me to go ahead and open it. I went up and peered inside. Oh. My. God.
“My Goal is to Make Your Life Easier”. :’) ❤
Proud Owner of My New Power-Toy 🙂
It did not end there. I was stunned beyond belief.
For dinner, K instructed me to dress up. He emerged looking dapper with his suit and leather shoes, while I threw on a red dress and heels. He escorted me to his car like a true gentleman, and informed me that we were going to ahem…’Burger King’. We headed into the city, found parking, and I found myself walking with K down California Street in the Financial District. The suspense was building up, as were my blisters from my killer heels.
He slowed his steps, but didn’t stop. We strolled forward until we slowly came to a stop. He turned me around, opened the door for me, and then offered me his arm. We had arrived at our ‘Burger King’, otherwise known as Michael Mina Restaurant, Esquire’s Restaurant of the Year 2011.
🙂 AMAZING DINNER.
It was amazing. The stellar service, beyond delicious food, attention to intricate detail, and amazing company made it a night to remember. The hors d’oevres were exquisite, and the kona kampachi sashimi featured tiny pomogranate bursts and 3-year-old POWDERED soy sauce for extra seasoning (I was mind-blown). My Maine Lobster Pot Pie blew me away, as did K’s Cook Taste Eat Featured Chicken dish. Wow. Just wow.
🙂 Thank you Potato! And thank you Ilan for your birthday present – I will cherish this bag forever and ever.
After a stroll around downtown, K led me back to the car and took me on a scenic late night drive through the city. As we drove through the lights of San Francisco, the clock ticked to midnight and my 22nd birthday drew to a magical close.
Thank you Mr. Potatohead, for being the best boyfriend one could ever hope for. ❤
After another packed day at work, I had a date with my Daddy. Our default choice was Chinese food.
Today was the first time I’ve ever told off a waiter and straight up walked out of the restaurant. I’m feeling generous so I won’t disclose the name of that unfortunate place, but we had a pretty sh*tty experience. We walked in and there was not a single person in the restaurant. At 6 30pm. Bad sign already. Both the exterior and interior looked grungy, and there was a ghetto whiteboard with ‘specials’ messily scribbled only in Chinese. Plus, a disgruntled looking waiter who gave us plenty of attitude and not much service. After several prompts, he finally came by our to get our order. We ordered one item, but were taken aback when the next FIVE, I kid you not, options on the menu were ‘unavailable’. Um…so what is the point of having the item on the menu? We asked him nicely what he recommends, and he says go look for yourself on the blackboard. Um…rude much?
The last straw was when we politely asked him if we could get the order started with our first entree and get back to him on the rest. He looked visibly annoyed and walked towards the kitchen, and then refused. In his very words “Um can’t you make a decision now? Just pick something.”
I stood up, told him off and showed him real good. No wonder his restaurant is failing. I got up, flashed him my best rawr rawr face, and stomped out of the restaurant with my Daddy in tow. Jeez.
Instead, we went back to our usual Shanghai Pan-Fried Bun shop and indulged on those heavenly baos of meaty bliss.
Mmmmm mmmmm mmmm. Could never go wrong with those, and plus the service was stellar. It was a great end to a terrible beginning.
Daddy and I continued our date in my new apartment, where we got settled in and watched our current favorite singing show together. Its shot and produced in our hometown – Hangzhou, China! Of course, my 5th grade DARE lion joined in on the fun. It was like a mini family reunion.
I see the resemblance.
Our date concluded after a fun grocery shopping excursion to Safeway. 🙂 Daddy Time is always a good time!
I seem to be making good friends with the sunrise, since I see it so often these days. Once more, I rolled out of bed way too early and got ready. My uncle drove us to Wu Shan Square, where we grabbed a delicious breakfast at my beloved 85 Degrees Bakery. Then we walked aimlessly up and down the street chatting, waiting for the 8 am K514 bus to FuYang.
At 8:02, the rusty old 514 came rolling down the street. I gingerly hoisted myself up the uneven steps, waved goodbye to my uncle, and I was off. An hour later, we finally rolled into the mountains.
For the rest of the day, I helped my aunt and uncle cook and clean, set up her IPad, and play with Mimi. Simple happy moments.
At 5pm, I bid them farewell and hopped on the even more rickety bus back to civilization. I strolled around InTime Mall, and ended up purchasing some clothes from Uniqlo. Michael picked me up after work, and we headed back together for a lovely dinner of delicious roast pork. After dinner, I turned around to see this adorable image.
I love my two cats Mimi and Happy. I swear, there’s a high chance I will age into one of those crazy cat ladies.
I’ve been listening to this song since it came out.
The lyrics depict the loneliness of a girl working far away from home and the warmth of family. She started out full of goals but soon realizes that she’s changed. She’s been sucked into the competitive environment, become a hardened and distorted version of her old self, and she realizes just how alone she is.
While not as dramatically emo, I can relate deeply to that girl. Its so nice to have a place to call home, and the unconditional love of family. This past month in China has allowed me to completely embrace the family that I never knew meant so much. Against chaos and bad news, I’ve been able to bond with them in ways I’ve never imagined. Despite having grown up away from them for most of my life, they have shown me unconditional love. They respect me as an adult, confide in me like a friend, and love me as family. Despite camping out (literally) on living room floors and guest room-surfing at the homes of different relatives, I’ve never felt more like I’m home.
My luxury suite for the night.
When I start work, I will be halfway across the world from all of them. But regardless of where I am, I’m so happy there will always be a home in China with its doors (and floor) wide open for me.
Extra happy points for the Hello Kitty French manicure shop next door.
My Hello Kitty mani!
At the crack of dawn, Lil Wayne woke me up with his gangsta rap. A 5 minute snooze later, he was back. I rolled out of bed just in time to catch my uncle doing some stretches at the door. We changed into our gear and slipped downstairs. Splash! The water was chilly. I did a few water jumping jacks and started to do laps. It’s been too long. Just like that, my uncle and I did laps until the sun came out. The water felt so good, and sunrise was beautiful. Soon, we were joined by elderly men in vividly colored speedos. Chinese old people are so badass.
After a beautiful hour in the water, we headed back to the house to get ready. An extremely Asian sandwich and bowl of red bean soup later, we were off. My uncle dropped me off at the K24 bus stop, and I braced myself for peak hour Chinese public transportation excitement. Sure enough, the sweaty and aggressive obasans once more brightened my day by almost pushing me off the bus. After the eternally delightful bus ride, I made it to my grandparents place just in time to run into my Daddy n his way to work. The rest of my morning was devoted to admiring my grandpa’s artwork. He was extremely eager to show me all of his old gallery books, and I was glad to see so many more of my grandpa’s masterpieces.
Then, it was time for lunch. My aunt was finally released from the hospital today, so for the first time in forever everyone was reunited. Lunch was simple, but extra delicious with my grandparents, aunt and uncle, and Daddy all together at the same table. So precious :).
This afternoon, I received a call from an old friend, CY. Or rather, my old boss from China Construction Bank. Ever since that internship, we’ve been penpals and homies. He took me out to a super chic coffee shop, and we ended up catching up for 5 hours. Two years can change a person’s lifestyle and habits so much. In CY’s case, definitely for the better. Its always nice to catch up with old friends.
Coffee Shop ❤
CY & I!
After a lovely home-cooked dinner, I gave my grandpa a calligraphy lesson and spent the rest of the night watching Chinese soap operas together with family.
What a long, but amazingly happy day!
Today was a happy, relaxing, and family-filled Saturday. I spent most of the day lazying around as a couch potato, reviewing my old freelance writing portfolio, and playing with Happy. In the afternoon, I finally rolled out of my old lady couch potato attire and got ready to visit A in the hospital. After a turbulent drive, harrowing parking experience, and lots of scary crosswalks, I successfully surprise visited A!
I de-hoboed for A!
She’s healing amazingly, and getting her game on to start chemo and radiation. I chatted with her for a bit, and then caught up with A’s husband. Things are looking better, and we remain incredibly hopeful for full recovery.
At dinnertime, I headed to City of Flower’s Restaurant & Bar for a mini-family reunion. My grandparents, aunt, uncle, Daddy, Michael and I gathered around a big round table and feasted on 11 sizzling plates of tasty Chinese cuisine. It was a very delicious and extremely happy dinner.
Despite all the hectic recent occurrences I think I’ve successfully adapted to life here in China. One minute its peaceful, and another minute its chaos, but things are finally starting to settle in place.
Besides, I have the cutest kitty soulmate in the world.
Even Michael has been Happy-fied.
Shh. Good thing he doesn’t know I keep a daily blog. Teehee 😛