Does anyone else remember the name of the giant tree that Totoro likes to sleep in? For some reason, this detail has stuck with me to this day-- "camphor". And that's probably the last time I encountered this word in English. In Chinese however, you'll encounter the word for camphor 樟腦 in everyday life. It pops… Continue reading Camphor: From Totoro to Taiwan
This past month, I spent eight days in the counties of Hualien and Taitung. There, I saw a different side of Taiwan--these counties are on the east coast and since childhood, I have spent most of my time in Taiwan on the west coast. My eyes were also opened to a new layer of the… Continue reading Taitung: Journey to Prehistoric Taiwan
Since coming to Yale, many Chinese-learners have tried to speak Chinese to me, and it always made me feel awkward. For me, language is a means to an end, so if we're both most fluent in English, why not just speak in it? (Longer piece on my personal feelings here). I started to wonder if… Continue reading Ask a Native Speaker: How do you feel when Chinese-Learners Speak to you in Chinese?
The conversation usually starts with them asking me why I wanted to come to Korea or how I got started learning Korean. Unlike most people who study Korean, I wasn’t drawn in by Korean pop culture. I was interested in exploring a new country, and the best option happened to be Korea. So far,… Continue reading “So you WEREN’T interested in Korean Culture?”
Today, I taste-tested various tofu samples for Pulmuone 풀무원 (pronounced "poor-moo-won"), apparently the largest manufacturer of tofu products in the world. It was such a delectable experience that when the nice food scientist asked if she could contact us regarding future "tests," my friend and I immediately said yes. We had six sets of samples in… Continue reading How I Made $30 Eating Tofu (and musings on the future of the bean curd)