Hello and welcome to The Ruby Ronin!
My name is Mary. I’m half-Vietnamese, half-Irish and born and bred in the United States of America! Thanks for visiting the Ruby Ronin, where I blog about my crazy dating life in Asia, learning stupidly difficult language such as Chinese and Japanese, and just talk about my travels throughout Asia and other parts of the world.
It all started with me being a crazy anime/manga/game nerd, which eventually led down the dark, dark path of Japanese language study. I studied Japanese in college for three years and, after graduation, moved to Niigata prefecture (aka middle of nowhere) to teach English for the JET Program. Although it was lonely living in the Japanese countryside, it built character. My two years in Niigata were a treasure.
Somehow I got the crazy notion to study Mandarin and decided to learn Chinese at Tsinghua University for six months. Despite the corruption, the pollution, the tainted food and the unsafe conditions of China–I loved it. I fell hard for Beijing. I fell in love with China. I was so crazy about China I stayed for an extra four years and moved to Shanghai, where I worked a bunch doing interpreting/translating in Japanese & Chinese, advertising work, government work and business consulting.
I am now stateside and damn, I miss Asia a lot, but I’m also very excited to rediscover my homeland. I realized my home state of Utah is probably the most beautiful place in the country, I’ve developed a love/hate relationship with Los Angeles and southern California, and, when I can, I try to escape to places like Europe, Bali, Thailand and Vietnam.
I mainly focus on expat life in China/Japan, traveling in Asia, learning Chinese and Japanese and life as an expat who is struggling to get used to ‘home.’
If you have any questions, feel free to contact me!