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Family ghosts Shanghai

Customs House

My paternal grandfather worked for the Imperial Maritime Customs Service from 1906 to 1909. It was a curious place to work and an extraordinary creation for its time. On behalf of the Qing court, a British-led Inspectorate of Customs collected import duties owed on foreign goods. Grandpa was probably a low-level clerk, an office boy. […]

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Chinese-American Craft Politics

Mine mine mine

For me, writing is a series of synapses: firing, sparking, veering off into places unknown. I connect a newspaper article with a podcast with drinks last night with an incident in the park this morning. Writing is both an act and a release. The deliberate use of my imagination in order to drive the train […]

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Chinese-American Family ghosts Food Los Angeles

Gong Ho

When Mom was still in high school, she wanted to become a journalist. She had won a school competition for writing and the prize was publication in the local newspaper. No surprise, I suppose, as Mom was a good student. She graduated at the top of her class from the National Taichung Girls’ Senior High […]

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Politics

The Five Stages of Trump

The day Trump was elected, I wrote a piece that ended up on the OpEd page of the Dutch national newspaper. I was in denial. If this was the outcome, I didn’t want to be an American. Then I got pissed. My husband and I donated money to the ACLU, Planned Parenthood and the Southern […]