Secrets of the Yeastyboys: My Two Weeks at Robert Clay Vineyards

Texas Hill Country Texas Hill Country (think: rural Central Texas) is a hub of the Texas wine industry. To get here, all you have to do is get f*cked by Southwest Airlines so that your two flights turn into four and then all four are delayed by at least an hour and then one of them spends 30 minutes flying small ovals over some random … Continue reading Secrets of the Yeastyboys: My Two Weeks at Robert Clay Vineyards

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The Year My Life Got Stranger Than Fiction

My 7-Year Pursuit of How To Live A near-death experience, an improbable disorder, and a global quest for answers Dakar, Saly, Kedougou. Marrakech, Fez, Cairo. Chicago, Aspen, Los Angeles. Beijing, Langfang, Hangzhou. And finally, Springfield, Kambah, Ballengarra, and Fassifern Valley… a good whirl around the world… I write from Brisbane International Airport. In one day, I’ll be home. In one week, I’ll be 22. This … Continue reading The Year My Life Got Stranger Than Fiction

Tiny Tales #3: I Crossed the River Nile on a Motorcycle Scooter

Frankly, I could replace this entire post with a single screencap: Back in March, I spent a week bumpin’ around Cairo: eating twelve-cent meals, chugging fruit smoothies, haggling felucca fares with a guy who added me on WhatsApp and now sends me, at random, snippets of radio talk shows entirely in Arabic. I was thrilled to see Cairo for one reason: Uber.* *Not a paid … Continue reading Tiny Tales #3: I Crossed the River Nile on a Motorcycle Scooter

Dakar Survival Guide for the Everyday Toubab

The Hell is Dakar? Dakar is the capital city of Senegal, a country on the west coast of Africa. I studied there from January to March 2018. I understand that this post is hugely belated. Well, here is what happened: In April, UChicago kicked my ass. In May, UChicago kicked my ass. In June, UChicago ended! . . . and I flew straight to my … Continue reading Dakar Survival Guide for the Everyday Toubab

Lessons Learned from a Crash in the Dunes

This post is Episode 1/3 of the Great Camel Odyssey of 2018, whereby I traversed 3 countries over the course of 3 months in search of one perfect camel ride. It is the second week of my study abroad program in Dakar: early January, dry season, seventy degrees and sunny. During class on Thursday, my professor hands out itineraries for Saturday’s day trip. I don’t … Continue reading Lessons Learned from a Crash in the Dunes

Tiny Tales #2: I Met Bidew Bou Bess at a Senegalese Chinese New Year Festival

Amendment: I danced with Bidew Bou Bess at a Chinese New Year Festival in Dakar. Amendment to amendment: I jabbed my hips in arbitrary directions and flailed my arms in floppy circles and fundamentally disgraced both myself and the entire Chinese American community beside Bidew Bou Bess at a Chinese New Year Festival in Dakar. Bidew Bou Bess is a rap trio consisting of three brothers: Makhtar, … Continue reading Tiny Tales #2: I Met Bidew Bou Bess at a Senegalese Chinese New Year Festival

Tiny Tales #1: I Fell Out of a Plane at 10,000 Feet

  San Jose in July is a sprawling geography of white heat, browning mountains, and yellow grass. We pull into the lot beside our squat, cinderblocky destination and my stomach shnargles. For lunch, I’d prepared myself a hybrid of an “I’m Too Cheap To Buy Real Food” meal and a “Potential Impending Projectile Vomit” meal, i.e. old miso soup and a hard-boiled egg I’m pretty sure was … Continue reading Tiny Tales #1: I Fell Out of a Plane at 10,000 Feet

I Traveled Europe with $450 and a Bottle of Hand Soap

The night before my flight overseas, I threw on my backpack and did a little twirl in the mirror. Whereupon I noticed two things: I should never twirl in a mirror again. I’ve carried the same backpack since the seventh grade, a revelation I made upon spotting the gaping, wallet-sized hole in its rear end. Thank Jesus for Khai’s sewing kit. The abysmal state of … Continue reading I Traveled Europe with $450 and a Bottle of Hand Soap

This Is Where The Brick Road Burns

A small circle of orthodontically superior young men and women, no two of whom are the same ethnicity, make doe-eyed oh-my-Jesus-I-am-so-pleasantly-overwhelmed-with-intellectual-stimulation-right-now faces at each other. Either they’re sprawled on an environmentally impossible emerald sea of grass, or they’re huddled around a gleaming mahogany table surrounded by gleaming mahogany bookshelves, or they’re arranged strategically on the steps of some beautifully architectured building in a manner that allows for the … Continue reading This Is Where The Brick Road Burns