Traveling Note: NYC

A List of Things that Baffle Me about NYC

  1. Lack of regard for
    • Traffic lights
    • Fellow human beings
    • The concept of smiling
    • Traffic lights
    • Bathroom/trashcans
    • Other people
  2. All the awesome museums!!! (And the fact that I got to live out my inner 5-year-old at the Natural History Museum, go to MoMA for free and meet so much awesome art and Sanjana at the MET.)
  3. Dogs. All the puppers.
  4. Hella expensive everything (like Hobbit Hole apartment = 890000 like wtf)
  5. Its similarity to Taipei, especially…
    • The transit, though Taipei is newer
    • Number of people
    • Type of people (who dresses classily)
    • Weather/humidity
    • General traffic chaos
    • Obsession with Starbucks
    • Tourists
  6. Chinatown is full of white people (and good food, because oh my god that lamb cumin burger was awesome).
  7. The New Yorker stench rising from the sewers (both figuratively and literally)
  8. Biodiversity (a clusterfuck of seemingly unrelated things. Ex. Natural Museum Oceans exhibit, NYC, and seeing fireflies at Central Park)


My throat tastes sour and I can’t breathe.

My heart beats at the expense of my sanity.

What can I do but grit my teeth,

And blame myself for vanity?


Yet, even in self-deprecation, it seems

Cruel to neglect truest affections. Never before,

Never will be one more worthy that I beteems.

So I searched for the note, the very end, at my very core.


These puny thoughts plague words and mind,

‘Til the tillers tilled and crushed more than kind,

To set parched earth free from drought,

To grow anew a stubborn sprout.


I will live.

So he said…

So he said, “My daughters would never want to commit suicide: even if they do, then that’s just too bad since life has so many burdens harder than college decisions,” when my mother urged him to stop throwing temper tantrums this month.

Hours later, he texted her, threatening her that he would kill himself if she continue to work at the magazine company she recently joined.

So he said, “Girls should only be educated so they would be more reasonable,” when I asked him about his opinions of women’s education.

He spat those words over a bowl of rice that was meant to be shared between the four of us as it wolfed it down, slurping miso soup and drowning pork katsu that he forced us to order even though we all hated fried things.

So he said, “It’s funny because I would want my daughters to be independent, but my wife should just stay home and make sure everything is good.”

Another bite of katsu. My sister set her chopsticks too hard onto the table while my mother shushed her. A “but you are part of the problem” escaped. Days later, he demanded to see everything in my sister’s phone since she came back from interning at the most prestigious research facility in Taiwan 10:00 p.m. since she wanted to buy some desserts before heading home. He suspected that she has a life.

How dare she have a life.

So he said, “Why didn’t you tell me her college decisions earlier so I don’t have to worry?” when my mother told him about my UCLA acceptance and scholarship a few hours after it came out.

I looked at my future. It’s as cloudy as my mother’s brows as he continued to bicker and threaten divorce, suicide while she continued to hide the atrocity from me.

You know, the usual.

So he said, “Is $200,000 enough? If we sell the house you are living in right now, sell your stocks, and I give you some money, we will have that. The three of you can live off of that for a while. Would you settle with that?” when he threatened divorce, again.

How could he know? That’s the amount he didn’t pay when my sister went to UCSD full ride. That’s the amount he would have to pay had I not also secure nearly equally financially beneficial deals with my colleges. I suppose I will no choices when it comes to my college decisions.

So he said, “You guys are so cold and logical” whenever we tried to reason with him.

Cold? I wish that I am frozen, logical enough to know that it’s not my fault when mother is forced to put up with him. How can I logically convince myself that I am not a shackle, and that my absence would allow her freedom? Am I not the cage? Her fear of her daughters being fatherless, her daughters being declared the “children of divorce” kept her there.

How much would it take so he would stop? I suppose I can only experiment.


My heart-strings are more tangled than my attempts at crocheting: but, if I was allowed to justify the ball of tied yarns with a claim of disinterest in that hobby.

To make things worse, I trod the swamp of shy vagary approaching the day dedicated to make the lonesome ever so lonesome. Aimless pursuits by one I simply cannot force myself to love deprived my place next to my best friends in celebrating our loneliness with bitter solace in friendship.

At this rate I don’t mind dealing with the aching ball of strings, now, like how I deal with tangled yarn.


For I am already wasting too much time.


Aren’t you quite the tease? Hinting so, speaking only in pronouns. It’s not like the world is my friend: I can’t just lean over to her ear and spill the name of your admiree.

Just tell me straight out and kill the mold of confusion-mixed hope: your cowardice and ambiguity feeds it so.

For I am a cat, I suppose, killed nine-fold by sheer curiosity.

Color Blind

She said that she saw no colors.

Then, how do you explain this?

Red, crimson, scarlet,

Burgundy if it’s in the past.

He said that he was colorblind.

Then how do you explain this?

Blue, dark, dark blue.

The stereotypical color of sorrows

Was the color of the lips

That screamed for breath.

For justice.


I want to know that I am made of colors

The red and blues and all around.

A collective rainbow

Hanging in a grey, grey world.

59,814,018 Cracks in the Glass Ceiling

Yet, we are still not there. Still, the electoral college founded in the great Founding Fathers’ days of fearing “the tyranny of the majority.” What do I have to say as a Taiwanese immigrant woman in the face of such a moment of American history?

I have very little to say beside resonating the wisps of positive energy within the general screams of panic around my vastly liberal environment: do not curse the head that now forcefully pilots the plane. Instead, focus on the passengers. Instead of kicking the back of the chair of those before us, hold those around you close, keep love in your heart, never get cynical. Even though sexism trumped racism last night, we cannot lose heart.

A certain great teacher/friend of mine reminded me that the arts usually thrive under an oppressive regime. It’s the push and pull that brings out greatness. So, I will continue to use my arts (or the experimentation of them) to tell stories. None of what occurred last night and what will happen in the next four years will change my goals, if not only prompting me to fight even harder for the things that I hold dear.