Politics In Small Town

When Jun Choi was running his mayoral campaign for Edison, New Jersey in 2005, many Asians I knew didn't vote for him, not because they had anything against his candidacy, but rather due to the fact that they were content with the way things were and saw no need to replace the incumbent. That's exactly … Continue reading Politics In Small Town

Leave The Lovers Alone

We all know those famous witch-hunts in Europe and North America, but there were witch-hunts in Asia too. As far as human absurdity is concerned, no continent is immune. And I am about to describe one of these concerning a pair of star crossed lovers. I promise there's no gory detail, no hopeless injustice, no … Continue reading Leave The Lovers Alone

The Reverse Psychology Expert

Lulu the customer: "Don't you think I need to change the rear view mirror? I somehow cracked it with the back of my snow brush." Maahi the auto mechanic:"No need to do that. It's cracked a little on the edge and it won't bother your vision." Lulu: "Don't you think I need to change the … Continue reading The Reverse Psychology Expert

The Owner Of “Maahi Repair”

Maahi is not his real name. Since I am not sure whether he desires this kind of publicity, I have to change his name to tell his story. He's a graduate of Indian Institute Of Technology, and he loves cars. He came to America twenty-five years ago, attending graduate school in New Jersey and intending … Continue reading The Owner Of “Maahi Repair”

Alternative Valentine’s Day Tradition

Women give men chocolate as gift on Valentine's day in Japan. It's a tradition since the end of the WWII, when a chocolate company tried to market chocolate to Japanese people. In those days both chocolate and Valentine's Day were something new in Japan--rarely anybody ate chocolate or observed Valentine's day. The chocolate shops were … Continue reading Alternative Valentine’s Day Tradition

Lunar New Year

https://twitter.com/Haoyando/status/1360348311052550151 First day of the ox year, or bull if you prefer to call it. I was hoping to add several photos of festivity to my upcoming "About" page, but alas, all the stores here are out of spirit, with absolutely no holiday decorations anywhere. Blame the pandemic, I guess. For the past ten years … Continue reading Lunar New Year

Colorful And Perilous

She's an incorrigible gambler, an incessant drinker, a perpetual presence in local parties, a lover of fine clothes and gossips. She sounds like a typical college girl of the 21st century, except that she lived almost exactly one thousand years ago. Yes, it is true that history repeats itself and the same kind of women … Continue reading Colorful And Perilous

Knowing Yourself And Others

Lulu has finished a long day's work at the Ivy Training Center, which has established classes from 4PM to 9PM every weekday, and all day weekend to cater to students of all grades. She calls it Ivy, never using the full name, just like everybody else. Before 4PM, Ivy also helps translate, fill forms, make … Continue reading Knowing Yourself And Others

My Mischievous Great Aunt

My great aunt Zu, my grandfather's eldest sister, had long been dead before I was born, but my father enjoyed talking about her. Somehow I suspected that he did this for my benefit--the moral of his story is that aunt Zu's cleverness is a liability rather than an asset, although he would never say straightforwardly … Continue reading My Mischievous Great Aunt

Who’s Afraid

of Virginia Woolf? I really like that movie, but I don't really like Virginia Woolf's writing. Long time ago, when I was young and fervent, torturing myself through reading something I dislike was part of my duty. So I thought. That's when I took on Virginia Woolf but I dislike everything, from "Night And Day", … Continue reading Who’s Afraid

Saturday’s Little Woes

https://twitter.com/Haoyando/status/1358166073791705088 Suddenly everyone is double masked.Me too.Dragon Fruit is $6.88 a piece.Robbery.Bought a book from Betterworldbooks.com with the library label still attached.LOL.Why are these people at the car wash?Don't they know another snow storm is coming tomorrow?Why is this white haired eighty-year-old out and driving today?The road is jammed; half the right lane is ice;the … Continue reading Saturday’s Little Woes

Something In Between

I dislike writing reviews, but I also dislike not saying anything after reading a book. So what to do? Which one I dislike more? Those people trained in writing workshops or master programs know how to criticize without offending anybody, but I'm unschooled in this direction. The compromise will be to read books written by … Continue reading Something In Between

Kids Protecting Parents

This is a story about me and my friend Ying when we were teenagers. It's when I realized how protective some kids are towards their parents, whether the parents deserve it or not. Ying's father and my mother both worked for a university as English teachers, and both our families lived in the university living … Continue reading Kids Protecting Parents

The Boy Who Cries “Fire”

Alia only wanted to make things a little bit fun and less didactic. However once she unplugged the fun bottle, things started to get weird. This morning, she found a little piece of paper on her desk, saying "I don't know how to spell because I am not a witch." Anybody could have entered her … Continue reading The Boy Who Cries “Fire”

An Improbable Debate

When Genghis Khan was getting old, people around him were bickering more than ever. Too much was at stake. The one who could influence him most won not only for the time being, but also for the time after his impending death. He was old, forgetful, often dozing off during meetings. He couldn't digest the … Continue reading An Improbable Debate

Wednesday, Not Tuesday

https://twitter.com/Haoyando/status/1357101310852612097 I even forgot today is Wednesday. Am I losing my mind? The book is falling apart with pages breaking away one by one. A little touch of my finger, a page is off from the binding edge. Also my failed sweet rice chicken dish is waiting for me (in its most unappetizing way) from … Continue reading Wednesday, Not Tuesday

I Can’t Believe This

Shoveling snow is a depressing job. And it might cause some unexpected effects, like weird thoughts rushing into one's mind. I really thought about this when shoveling snow: In heaven, when people first meet, the question they ask each other will not be "what's your job" or "where are you from", but rather "how did … Continue reading I Can’t Believe This

The Chef And The Snow Storm

It's rumored that Shanzu was a little orphaned girl, living among the urban poor in the capital city of Chang'an during Tang Dynasty, which was about 1400 years ago. It seemed that fate had doomed her in the beginning of her life's journey. What prospect could she have other than being an illiterate servant girl, … Continue reading The Chef And The Snow Storm