The Massage and the Meme

Recently, I started interning for a tech company.  It’s an office job, which means you’re sitting down for long stretches of time. I think my brain knew that but my body didn’t. The fibers and tissues and ligaments haven’t taken the news well, neither have my organs–or maybe that’s the excess of Chinese New Year food I’ve been eating–anyway, my back and shoulders have been hurting lately, so I thought I’d go and get a massage.  (I was also swayed by peer pressure.  Most of my friends have gotten some sort of massage in the last couple months, so I thought, why not?  It sounds nice.)

I forgot something important though.

I’m way too ticklish to have a massage.

The poor lady.  I squirmed around and tensed up as soon as she started to knead my arm. “Relax, relax.” *tenses more, face contorts in agony trying to refrain from a) laughing manically and b) forcefully retracting my arm.  It kind of works, in this case, I move the rest of my body and take the arm with me as I turn.

“Okay, so your arm isn’t a great place to start, let’s do your legs.”

I almost fell out of the bed and kicked her.  I literally couldn’t even finish this section, she kneaded for five ish seconds and I pulled away.  She forced me to at least accept massaging of the calf muscles.  My legs are not the problem, I don’t care and can’t feel any difference but okay.

She finally let me sit up and did the neck and trapezoids, which quieted me a bit, then I had to lay down again while she did the back. All the while I thought, never again.  Literally.  Please.

“It’s quite nice when you get used to it,” she kept repeating.

Well. No thank you. I’M STILL SORE, JUST IN A DIFFERENT WAY NOW! also, it could be the bad sleep quality I had last night, but I was kind of woozy when I came out of that place.

Anyway, this meme sums it up.


On a completely different note,

Praying that everything goes smoothly and according the plan,






反正,这个可能比较短。 有很多错字,我知道,请原谅!希望我能表达我的思考方式。给评论了也行 !!

“大脑讲主意,平均脑讲最近发生了什么,小脑会讲人的坏话。“ (这句子用英语比较训口。)我是一个喜欢比较深刻地聊天,但我觉得深刻的话题说不定是光光的“主意“。另一个人说过,”可讲感情的,那也是很深度的话题。“ 但是还是觉得,说不定,我曾经跟一些 “还不算很受的朋友们” 一起吃饭时,他们都提到他们谈恋爱的故事。这又不是我真想知道的以大堆惨惨惨的故事。所以。感情也不是很深刻的话题。 工作行业深都的秘密吗? 我者几个月都很认真的找盖关系的机会,我认识很多人,有机会问他们的工作是什么,他们目前的计划是怎么样。因为我很想听比较深的答案,我会认真想深的问题。可是我最近感到,我越来越深密的问题,就是讲行业内的秘密,不仅是我听不懂,而且,我感觉我们就谈这个话题而已,没有任何感情,此对话结束之后,我们也不会算朋友。另外的流行聊天题目就是你人生过得如何。这个叫 “小话”。  应该不需要解释。

所以,我最近一直在考虑,什么话题是最深的? 会不会真正按照 “大脑讲主意,平均脑讲最近发生了什么,小脑会讲人的坏话。“ (这句子用英语比较训口。)


不过,你朋友们是不是因此这种讲话方式而成为朋友吗? 这是我常常考虑的一点。。。


The Depth of Shallows

“Great minds discuss ideas.  Average minds discuss events.  Small minds discuss people.”

Maybe it’s because the essence of my studies centered on the art of conversation, or maybe because my father taught me to be a long-suffering listener, I like to think I have above-average conversation skills.  Along with that, I like interviewing people, so let’s add a few points there, and BANG! Conversation level: Genius.

But I’ve been thinking that lately, the more I seek in-depth discussions of ideas, the more I realize the law of diminishing marginal utility can still not be ignored.  An easy example is talking about work or hobbies. I always invite the person talking to talk more, which has put me in some un-enviable socially awkward positions more than once.  And somehow, these conversations feel very shallow, because I don’t necessarily have emotional connection before I jump and start asking questions about that industry. And sometimes it feels forced, and a forced conversation is always shallow.

Now, on the other hand, there’s small talk.

But isn’t small talk, over and over, (and over) the way that a relationship is cultivated? From which you have an emotional connection.  From which you can ask further questions about your new friend’s industry or hobbies and you’re ALWAYS genuinely interested because you’re interested in what’s important to them.  I really like doing informational interviews with people–see previous blog posts to know more–but I wouldn’t say I’m great, close friends with most of the people I interview. I can count on one hand the number of friends I have made by first discussing grandiose ideas before really going through the ritual of greetings.

This phenomenon of interaction will continue to amaze me, and I don’t really have any good conclusion.



Eggs on me

Aww crap.  I left the eggs on the bagging table.  I was almost out of the underground labyrinth of the Carrefour close to where I live, with a nice stockpile of food for Chinese New Year.  I also bought some drinks to accompany, so my bag was pretty heavy.

Is it worth going all the way back? I considered for a minute.  Yeah, I’m already all the way here, and the eggs would be nice with the broccoli, I decided, so I went back inside and through the store and all the way past the check-out gate to the bagging table, a dingy, old piece of plastic supported by four stainless-steel legs.  The eggs weren’t there.

Well, I’ve got the receipt.  I’ll see if I can take another one.  

“Excuse me,” I asked someone working there.  I’m 90% certain that’s an extra holiday hire.

He turns his head.  I’m holding the receipt up and start explaining myself, slowly, clearly, so I hopefully only do this once. I’m a sentence and a half in, and an older auntie interrupts me by dashing off a sharp, barely intelligible string of a complaint/request.  He waves her forward, then turns back to me.  “What?”

I’m still holding the receipt.  It occurs to me that I’ve technically lost or broken my purchase which is therefore not the responsibility of the retailer.  I also see a wave of aunties getting ready to burst out of the check out lanes and I don’t want to get trampled.  Chinese aunties are another breed of fierce sometimes, I pray I won’t become like that.  Then the thought hits me, how strange it sounds to ask, “Can I get another package of eggs?  My ones on the table disappeared.”

He’s waiting.  “Forget it,” I say instead.  “Happy New Year.”

And so, to the person who picked up my eggs, enjoy. 


I’ve fallen out of the habit of writing my thoughts, so in an effort to get back into it, I’ve been reading blogs by other people in a similar life stage.  Here are the ones I really like.

Not Another Foreigner: Notes from a 20’s and sexy expat in Asia.

We were in the same Chinese class in MCU.  We were never super close friends, but we ate together a couple times and exchanged Christmas presents.  So when she started a blog, I started reading.  I REALLY LOVE IT! IT’S SO INSPIRING, and I’m so thankful I’ve gotten to meet her in person. This is my FAVORITE post of hers.  I’ve read it four or five times and I almost cry EVERY TIME.

Justinnonng: I like to run.

(And read. And write.)

I feel like I’m reading the to-be Ishiguro when I read his shorts.  I want to be THE FIRST PERSON IN LINE TO PURCHASE when he comes out with a memoir.  His pieces on running have inspired me to run more. I LOVE THIS GUY! He’s eloquent and sharp and reflective and expressive. I told my friend in Singapore that she can meet him in person and fangirl for me.  Check it out here: (This is just one post, I like everything.)

Thoughts on why these particular blogs:

I love the way these people think.  I love their honesty, I love the metaphors, I love that they end each post with room to imagine what’s next in their lives.  In E.M. Forester’s A Passage to India, he puts forth that ordinary life is extremely boring, and anyone who attempts to portray it as less than such is a liar.  Maybe it is, but Gabriela and Justin do a really good job of pointing out all that is beautiful within that existence.

Also, I like them because I feel like it’s kind of a roadmap/comparable experience to share.  I feel like they understand a unique set of problems really well, and their thoughts on life are more useful/encouraging than others.  Especially in this stage of “pre-postgrad”, these guys don’t take this uncertainty for granted, and that is very re-assuring.





So, I’m gonna start from where I left off.

To be perfectly honest, I was not incredibly impressed with Yunnan.  I really should have planned the transportation a bit better, but still.  Unimpressed.  Kunming, the provincial capital city, was okay, and the food was nice, but I didn’t see the waterfalls that I intended to see, and when I was taking the train, the scenery was very similar to southern California.  Plus, two taxi drivers and my hostel owner gave me crap for travelling solo.  Ppppffffffff.

Anyway, I went to Lijiang on a night train and got there before dawn, and I was waiting for the bus while tourist trap aunties swarmed around the group of just-alighted tourists and a couple locals trying to convince us to buy overpriced taxi rides.  And I was waiting for the bus, and it came, and I got on.  I got off at the place where I thought I could walk to my hostel, so I reached into my pocket and….

…I was thinking that I could probably still go do a hike or something without it, but then I thought about the last time I went out on something like this without my mobile and decided the fine lines between adventurous and stupid were a bit less fine than I thought they should be–well, I gave in, and decided I’d rather not find out what would happen if I sprained my ankle on a hike in the snowy mountain that may or may not have any people around without my cell phone.  Shudders.  (It would have been an adventure.  Maybe.)

I got so lucky.  So amazingly lucky.  My friend texted me and the angel who picked up my cell phone texted her to say i had lost it.  My friend then proceeded to ask our TA for my email and emailed me, and then I went and picked it up at their hotel.