Graduating, Leaving California, Traveling to Ireland and Getting Married

I apologize for the long, silent hiatus on this blog.  I usually try to update once a month, but since May ’17 my life has been absolutely crazy.


I honestly thought going back to school would be a nice break from “real, work life,” but it was actually more demanding and taxing both mentally and physically than my previous 8-5 office job.  In graduate school I literally spent 10 hours a day in the library reading (and comprehending) the 500+ pages of literature, as well as write an average of 2-3 essays per week.  Graduate school was a repetitive schedule of sleep-study-eat-study-sleep.  That was my life for ten months. read more

You’re not Western Enough: How I Got Kicked Out of My First Shanghai Apartment

Beijing Hutong

“Mary, I published a book about teaching foreigners in China and I wrote almost an entire chapter about you.”

My Chinese teacher from Tsinghua University suddenly e-mailed me with the news, and I was completely caught off guard.

Me? …..In a book?

Impatient, I opened up the attached word file and scanned through the chapters hurriedly.

When I turned to the chapter about me, I realized that she retold one of the bleaker moments during my stay in Shanghai about…

My First Roommate:  The Leftover Woman read more

結婚願望 (The Lust for Marriage)


I think for women, there’s only one difference when it comes to dating in your early twenties as opposed to your later twenties:


Even the most liberal of us start to countdown to 30 and hear the impending doom of the ‘clock ticking’ after we surpass 25.  It’s when we start telling ourselves that we can’t goof around and date losers anymore.  Being in the same band or liking the same indie movies doesn’t constitute as appealing qualifications for boyfriend material anymore.  Instead, women start to look beyond the personality and into the ‘what he can do for you’ category: In other words, salary, job, social status, and age.  The things we used to tell ourselves didn’t matter look far more enticing after 25. read more