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I wonder what the statute of limitations is for going on and on and on about a trip one took in the blogosphere. Bear with me here: there is an urgent whining I need to unload…

WTF ASIA?! What’s up with all the skinny bitches?

If you know me, you know that I’d be the last person on earth to reinforce/subscribe to any stereotypes knowingly. I am the self-proclaimed, kill-joy, party-pooper, stereotype police. But I have to say, I felt totally out of place when I was in that part of the world last week. Actually, I felt TOO MUCH OF ME was IN the place.

I left in 1993 and have not been living over there. Throughout the years, I have become complacent. I am 5’7″, so by all measurement, I am of medium height in the U.S.  I “carry my weight” really well and I have the advantage of living in the Midwest, to be more specific, in Chicago, the #13 Fattest City in the US in 2009. In addition, I often wonder whether being Asian automatically makes me look thinner, like, here’s my theory, people cannot believe that there are fat Asian women… When I renewed my driver’s licence last year, the man at the DMV refused to accept the number I gave him for my weight.

“You look like you weigh no more than 150 lbs!” So he put down that number. Hey. I was NOT going to argue with him…

As soon as I got on the plane from Washington D.C. to Tokyo, I felt like a giant. Not only was I taller, I needed more girth. I was in the middle seat, and both of my seat mates voluntarily surrendered the armrests to me. That is the kind of nice gestures you make for the overweightI looked: neither of them filled up their seats. I could see the blue seat cushions. Like the “air between thighs” test, they also passed the “visible seat cushion” test.

As soon as I got off the plane in Tokyo, I had the vision of Godzilla rampaging through the City of Tokyo in my head. Was I merely imagining the worst about myself? I wish.

“You are so fat now!” My nephew said as soon as he greeted me at the airport. With affection, mind you.

“Have you gained more weight since March?” My mom asked. “Look at your arms.”

When I saw my dad at home. “Oh, ha ha ha. Look at you. You seem to be bigger than last time.”

At the restaurant where I saw my brother and my sister-in-law, because that is really all we do: we get together, we eat, we talk, and we eat some more,

“You didn’t lose any weight at all!… Never mind. Eat eat eat. Eat now. Go on a diet when you return to the U.S.”

My entire trip I vacillated between feeling obese and stuffing my face. Often simultaneously.

“You need to lose weight. Now eat some more!”

I love my family.

So here is the chicken and egg question:

Did I feel the urge to get out of there because I knew I would not fit in, in more ways than one? Or did I let myself grow to fit the space that was afforded me, physically and figuratively?

More WTF moments came when I was at various restaurants, roadside stands, shops, stalls, surrounded by skinny women stuffing their faces heartily with delicious food. So fucking unfair…

One of the best beef noodle in Taipei. There is a line outside on a Monday night...

Deep fried anything tastes yummy

Big giant tapioca balls, oh, how I love thee... So much so that I had 6 of tapioca treats in 2 days...

Dan Dan Noodle - a tradtional Taiwanese dish; I had no desire to go to fancy restaurants. I craved the roadside vendors and night markets...

At the basement of any department store worth its weight, there is a tricked out food court lined with shops offering any style of Chinese cuisine (and Japanese and Korean) one can possibly crave. As if that is not enough to mock the overweight amongst us, on the other side of the food court, there are always fancy pastry shops and bakeries, tempting us with the mouthwatering, intricately decorated, baked goods.

Temptations! Tell me this is NOT a case for "f* unfair!"

Another pastry shop. How many pastry shops does one need? Apparently many.

Another fancy pastry shop? No. Wait... This is good ol' Dunkin Donuts! Upgraded!

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Velva over at Tomatoes on the Vine kindly asked me to be a guest on her blog.  I had to agree because if she was crazy enough to ask me, who knows what’s going to happen if I had said No to her?

So, please hop over now (but NOT like a frog) and visit Velva’s lovely blog if you haven’t already, and while you are there, please read my ramblings on how I couldn’t cook (and why was I a guest blogger on a COOKING/FOOD BLOG?!  I told you already, she lost her mind!  Must be all the Martinis she drinks over there down in the South, aka Florida.)

In this scintillating tale I shall illustrate how to properly entertain Southern Gentlemen…


I will also show you what happens when there is no minimum legal drinking age

You gonna drink all that

If you are still here, I am running out of ideas to entice you…  Fine.  Do I need to pull a The Bloggess (God, I miss that woman… wish she were not frolicking in Japan right now and were working hard to keep us entertained with her high jinks…) and tell you that I will be sharing a revealing photo of myself over there?

Really.  I swear.

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In the American Pop culture conscious, there is this curious obsession with Twinkies.  One of the new exhibits at the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago is about Twinkies.  Putting our obsession with this oddity on view.


A Twinkie was born

For once, let’s scientifically study the myth that Twinkies will never die.  Observe and report.  (I will visit MSI later again to check on the Twinkie that is on view there).

Of course, Twinkies are not the only food that are believed to be evil-incarnate.  Why such revilement?

My theory is that half of that ill-begotten fame came from the name, Twinkie.  What’s in a name? If it were called “Hostess Cream-filled Yellow Cake”, or, let’s say, Snow Puff, it would not have become such a legend, warts and all. Kudos to the marketing team that came up with this name that is now a major part of American pop culture.

Upon further investigation, I learned that the name Twinkie came from a chance encounter with a billboard:

In 1933, James Dewar, a baker at Continental Baking Company in Indiana, was inspired and came up with this name when driving by a billboard advertising shoes from the “Twinkle Toe Shoe Company”.

This is serendipity!  In our collective consciousness for food, Twinkies share a significant space with the shoe in Charlie Chaplin’s The Gold Rush…  Ok. Maybe it is proven once again that I am easily amused. TOO easily.

Ode to Twinkies

‘Tis but thy name that makes thou irresistible;

Thou art thyself, though not a Twinkie.

What’s Twinkie? it is nor Monoglycerides nor diglycerides

Nor Polysorbate 60, nor Hydrogenated shortening, nor any other part

Belonging to proper CAKE. O, be some other name!

What’s in a name? that which we call a Twinkie

By any other name would induce as much grimace??

So Twinkie would, were it not Twinkie call’d,

Retain that dear longevity which it owes

Without that title. Twinkie, doff thy name,

And for that name which is no part of thee

Take all the cream.

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I want to love my airlines, I really do… Just keep bringing me the alcohol…

August 26, 2009 random

Tweet These are the grapes served with dinner on one of my UA flights. Notice the white fussy thingy in at least two places? Mold. No. I didn’t say anything to the flight attendant since I was for once upgraded to the first class, and boy, was I grateful! Besides, the flight attendant was pretty […]

If I don’t write this down I will probably forget and it would be as if I never witnessed the genius in my kid

August 25, 2009 no manual for parenting

Tweet Act. 1 “The Middle Number” Mr. Monk wondered aloud in the back of the car, “What is in the middle of all the numbers?” “Uh. Honey. We can’t know that since we don’t know what the ‘last number’ is.”  Taking a deep breath, I was all too scared of explaining the concept of infinity to […]

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Sunday breakfast: somebody loves me!

June 28, 2009 no manual for parenting

Tweet Mr. Monk surprised me with a nice, healthy breakfast, much healthier than I prepare for them… He has been trying to mother me lately: Are you driving over the speed limit? Why do you drink so much coffee? You should have brrrkfast every day you know. And, this is the best one: Why are […]


The best ramen noodle ever. Hands down!

June 8, 2009 random

Tweet Even popular in other Asian countries! That should mean a lot… Find it @ your friendly neighborhood Korean grocery stores…

Red Bull milk shake? Just seems wrong…

May 23, 2009 a picture is worth a thousand words


Food we missed…

April 5, 2009 random

Tweet These things that we have taken for granted are either hard to find or ridiculously expensive… Frozen food in general. Cheese pizza: pizzas have to have LOTs of toppings. Tried to teach aserver at an Italian restaurant how to make cheese pizza and they came back with crust and cheese and nothing else. Strawberry […]

Starbucks in Beijing in the “Bar Street” @ Bei Hai (North Sea)

April 2, 2009 through the looking glass

Tweet I have not travelled around the world enough to be a credible source, but from what I have seen, this is probably the best looking Starbucks…