Blank-American: But where are you REALLY from?

Once again, one of the struggles that I face every time I travel is my identity as both Chinese AND American.

In China, I was able to take advantage of not always immediately being perceived as an outsider. I wasn’t stared at and I may have benefited when shopping and bargaining for prices. However, with my limited Mandarin Chinese ability, speaking with locals was difficult with their rapid-fire responses and criticisms of my language skills when I stared back with a blank face and/or had to tell them I didn’t understand and/or spoke English to seek clarification or convey confusion. The focus growing up was English and, even if I did learn Chinese at home growing up, it would have been Cantonese… Continue reading Blank-American: But where are you REALLY from?


Delhi Culture Shock

Eeek! Time has been flying by. I have already been here 2.5 weeks and only have 1.5 weeks left. Here are some of the things that stood out to me during my first week about the culture and living here.

I don’t know what I expected from Delhi and India in general. Before departing, I felt really nervous about how I would get around and traveling by myself. For some reason, when I went to Morocco I wasn’t half as anxious about traveling by myself as a female in a country where social norms are so different and—might I say it—misogynistic.

Barter Culture

One of the first things I discovered was that you have to constantly haggle over things. In Beijing and Shanghai, the metro system was awesome and we would walk or take a taxi cab to get to the nearest metro station. Of course, you have to be wary that a cab driver might try to drive you the long route, but—for the most part—our transportation was relatively cheap, convenient, and easy (despite the crowds).

I quickly learned that Continue reading Delhi Culture Shock

Why India?

As many of you know, I will be in India for a month to volunteer full-time in Delhi (and sight-see in my spare time).

Why volunteer? 

With the month of spare time I allotted myself for international travel, I could have easily visited a wide range of cities and countries as just a tourist; instead, however, I decided to volunteer (thereby limiting the amount of time I have to visit tourist attractions).

Continue reading Why India?