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Friday, August 24, 2007

Proud to be Petite!

I was shopping on jcrew.com. I am a petite woman -- and petites are listed under "special" sizes. WTF, what is so "special" about being petite? I am totally normal! Petite women of the world unite!

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Asian eyes; European eyes

I read an article on Chinese-American beauty pageants in NYC the other day. The writer commented that in an attempt to look more white, the contestants would clip their eyelids (so that they would have double eyelids) and put on whitening creams.

I am not sure if these are attempts to look more white. I have large eyes with double eyelids. Several non-Chinese have told me that I did not look Chinese though no one in China would ever mistaken me for anything but Chinese. I look the standard Chinese. But it seems the "authentic" Asian look to some non-East Asians is the stereotypical super small and slanted eyed look (and perhaps the buck tooth as well?).

Hey, maybe large eyes with double eyelids is a natural aesthetic preference in East Asia independent of Europeans. The people in Asia don't want to look more white; they just somehow want my eyes!

Monday, August 20, 2007

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Xinjiang, China, aka Uighur Autonomous Region

Below are some pictures my dad took while he was in Xinjiang last week. I thought I'd share them with you because Xinjiang is such an unique area in China. For one thing, the Xinjiangese or the Uighurs are not ethnically Chinese or East Asian at all.

Here is a brief history of Xinjiang: once upon a time, there was a group of people called the Han Chinese, and there was a group of people called the Uighurs, a nomadic Turkic people. They came into contact through trade via the Silk Road. The Hans eventually conquered the Uighurs and the situation in the region has been precarious ever since. According to my dad, although the two groups live in segregated quarters in Urumuqi, the capital of Xinjiang, they get along fairly well and he felt the Uighurs were hospitable people. However, southern Xinjiang is a different story. It is a very poor region and there has been strong separatist sentiments.

Downtown Urumuqi -- yep, definitely not Chinese

Kanas National Park

Kanas Lake

Some Kazakhs/Mongolians also live in the area. It seems a lot of ethnic groups converged in Xinjiang.

Interesting Landscape - the rock formation in the foreground is a result of wind erosion

Fire Wall Mountain -- Poor little camel waiting for tourists...

Uighur performers dancing for Han tourists under grapevines. Xinjiang is known for its raisins. Someone once told me that some Uighurs would travel to prodominantly Han areas and sell raisins. I felt really bad after hearing that -- raisins are cheap even in upscale Chinese supermarkets -- they must have very difficult lives to travel so far from home just to make a few bucks.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Michelle and Gandhi? Ewe.

When I saw this headline - Mary-Kate and Kingsley lock lips in movie - the pukeometer in my head went up through the roof. Ewe ewe ewe. Baby Michelle and Gandhi. Fortunately, the movie is a comedy.

On an unrelated note, I officially want a lhasa apso doggie. I am in love with one named Joey.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

All I wanna do is have some fun

... until the the sun comes up over Santa Monica Boulevard...

What a fantastic day! Beautiful view of Santa Monica beach -- from a parking garage!

Pretty palm trees -- the people sleeping under the trees are homeless people.

The pier -- the cars are such eyesores. Anyhoo, I've ridden the ferris wheel before. I like ferris wheels -- they take you up high and are slow -- unlike scary roller coasters!

Another view of the beach.

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Bye bye, Baiji

The world's most endangered mammal, the Yangtze River dolphins, or Baijis, as they are called in Chinese, are now likely to be extinct. An extensive expedition in the Yangtze River recently failed to spot any Baijis.

Bye bye, Baiji. Rest in Peace. On behalf of my fellow humans -- sorry we destroyed your habitat.

Friday, August 3, 2007

Dumplings!

I was working late today so treated myself to some home made dumplings as a late night snack. Dumplings are probably Northern Chinese's sole contribution to Chinese cuisine. I am particularly proud of the ones below because I personally made the dough wrappers. (though I suppose P and J deserve some recognition too for getting the pork, the shrimp, the chives, chopping them up to the make fillings, mixing the flour and water and some other stuff to make the dough, wrapping the dumplings, etc. etc.) It was so hot this past weekend -- I almost had a heat stroke from making the dough wrappers.

Look at these -- fat and yummy.

A closer look at the filling.