Thursday, March 15, 2012

I wrote this while in class

It's been a long time since she has been home, and this is what she was thinking as she walked down the streets. Often, now, she saw his face in the store windows, reflected a million times back at her own at various angles, like a kaleidoscope. Or funhouse mirrors. It was no different here, although he had never set foot in this town. He'd always said he would come with her, that he'd walk the streets of her childhood and that they'd create new, adjacent memories, but, well, that wasn't going to happen now. Now all that was going to create memories with her was his ghost, his frozen face and his beautiful eyes peering at her soul from every store front. (Here's us: me and some mannequin, matching summer hats.) Maybe she'd go snorkeling off the coast. Maybe he'd be there too.

It's been a long time since she has been home, and it hasn't changed a bit. Not on the outside, at least. There was the same liquor store with the burnt out neon sign, the old white van parked in front of the laundromat. The mailbox that was a miniature version of its house. The avocado home with the brown trimming that marked the corner of her street.

She paused in front of the front door, glancing from the lock to her purse, which she realized contained no corresponding key. She rang the bell.

"Oh, baby," cried her mother, swinging the door open as if she had been waiting on the other side all along. "Oh, Cece," she said as she wrapped her arms around her daughter and pulled her close.

Sunday, March 4, 2012


Today I read this article. In the comment section there was a person saying:
I simply never thought of how paranoid the average female has to be to simply avoid being attacked and how that paranoia effects how they perceive what I might have interpreted as an innocent gesture.
It made me think about a small incident that happened to me, and the reactions I got when telling the story.

A little over a year ago (I cannot believe it has been that long!), I traveled Japan by myself. I booked my accommodations entirely too late, so I had to stay for three days over the New Year holiday in a tiny single room, in the cheapest hotel I could find, instead of the hostels I preferred. After those three days, I checked out to go to a hostel, as I had planned. The hotel owner was a middle aged Chinese man, and when I left he asked me what my next destination was. You know, friendly talk.

I was a little embarrassed to say that I was still staying in the same city--just changing lodgings (your hotel was only a desperate choice), but what else could I do? He asked me if I could continuing staying in his hotel; I said no, my other place has been already booked, you see. He said that he had a daughter around my age. She was studying in the US. He asked me if I knew how to get to my new hotel. Yes, I said, I had drawn a map. We talked about some other things.

Then he said that he was heading out also, and that he could walk me to the metro station. Here, I started getting uncomfortable. But hey, I thought, here I am, meeting locals! So what if he's an old man? That might even be better! It could be an interesting travel experience!

We walked to the station together. When we got there, he seemed worried that I wouldn't know how to purchase a ticket (as if I could have survived like that), and insisted on buying one for me. This involved him knowing my stop. I let him buy it. At this point, I mostly just wanted to get away and get to my hostel as soon as possible, to return to my familiar world of youthful backpackers and hip, lax receptionists. We got off at the same stop. He had a friend here he wanted to visit, he said. He said it more than once.

As we exited the station, he asked me again if I was sure of where my hotel was. What was its name? Perhaps he can help me find it. I absolutely did not want him to know where I was staying. I knew the name of my street and I knew the exit I needed to take, but I didn't tell him this. I didn't want him to walk me there. So we took a look at the station map. We see the street my hostel in on, but right there on the map was a little symbol of the hostel. Oak Hotel! My heart dropped. I was so angry at that map!

"Is that it?" He asks.

"I think so," I say, my voice small.

And we leave the station together.

About a block later, I needed to cross the street, and apparently he did not. He asked me again if I was sure I knew where I was going. I nod vehemently. Yes, yes, I'm sure. Thank you for your help. The cross signal chirps and I just start walking across, cutting off our conversation. Bye, I say. I know where I'm going, I say, rushing away. I wave a little, and leave, leave, leave.

Later on I sneak a peak back, there he is, on the other side, walking.

I head down the alley to my hostel.

When I got back to Hong Kong, I told this story a couple times. I felt a little bad, leaving so suddenly without much pleasantries, because, after all, perhaps he was truly concerned for a young female traveler like me. He paid for my metro ticket. Was I just paranoid? Did I just blow it up out of proportion in my head? Every single one of my female friends said no, he was definitely overstepping boundaries and being creepy.

My male friends thought it was not a big deal, that it was innocent, and that he was just being friendly and helpful, like Japanese people tend to be towards foreigners. One of them said, "But I'm a guy. Maybe for a girl, it would be creepy."

I thought, if he really was just being friendly, how could he not understand how uncomfortable his actions made me? He should've backed off and trusted me to take care of myself. One part of taking care of myself would be staying away from strange men, right?

I'm still not sure what to take from this. Just some food for thought.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Life is moving ahead

Well, I've just officially applied for graduation. Somehow it makes it so much more concrete.

I don't want to grow up.

Friday, March 2, 2012


It's really difficult for me to look into my archives and not want to change things, such as deleting expletives (it never makes me sound cooler and I don't think it ever makes anyone sound smarter), uncapitalizing sentences, hiding whole posts entirely. It's hard for me to hold back.

George Lucas keeps changing his films and everyone keeps complaining. Michel de Montaigne added new things to his essays all the time, changing his mind and such, but he also wrote that he never takes anything back, that everything he wrote, even if they contradict themselves, is true. I've read through quite a few webcomics where the art is atrocious in the beginning, but improves dramatically as the story goes on, and the present day page is a beautiful work of art.

So. I will ban myself from changing anything aside from spelling and grammar mistakes in my old posts. If anyone ever reads this, please go easy on me.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Drifting rice

A username I used to use, and no longer use, is RiceDrifter. It's based on a combination of the various meanings of my various real life names, which is why I was surprised when, some years ago, someone came up to me in a MMO to tell me "nice username" (or something to that effect). I was confused because it I didn't think it sounded particularly cool on its own. Was my name creating skills really so great?

It was only until very recently that I realized that he probably, probably thought that my name was referring to cars, ricers, and me, drifting them.