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Mongolian Moments

The soft padding of our footsteps echoes down the staircase behind us. Besides the scuffling of our shoes against linoleum, my host mom and I are silent as we reach the second floor of the school. I take a deep breath and see a short, broad-shouldered man in a collared...

Forgotten Thoughts of Forgotten People

Istanbul Ataturk Airport, 06/28/2016 Baklava… NO! Kunefe! All the deserts that people have not yet discovered the beauty of outside of Turkey pass through your mind, as you board your plane taking you back home to Istanbul. And the desserts remind you about all the drinks. As soon as I...

A Foreigner in Familiar Lands

As a child, I felt as though I had two sets of parents. I had my American ones, consisting of my sweet, cute mom and my quiet, reserved dad. Then I had my Chinese ones, consisting of my outgoing, bubbly mom and my witty, boisterous dad. I was amazed by...

Sun to Snow

Gazing outside the large, paneled window of my room, I am greeted by a winter wonderland. Fluffy flakes swirl and twirl towards the ground, lighter and softer than I had imagined. Icicles, sleek and smooth, glisten in the wintery light, dangling from rooftops and railings. Coating the tops of the...

How to Dim Sum

What is Dim Sum? Dim sum is one of my favorite Cantonese traditions. Sometimes compared to a more casual, Chinese version of British high tea, this meal has gained popularity and swept across not only the nation but also the globe. Many of my non-Chinese friends have asked me to...

Photographing a Mexican Slaughterhouse

As I sat in the taxi, speeding through the winding streets of Oaxaca, Mexico, I thought about my relationship with meat. A spice rubbed filet mignon, a New York Strip with bearnaise sauce, a bacon cheeseburger—all of which greatly increase my quality of life. I’m a firm believer that life...

Chicago Culture

The windy city does more than howl, It breathes, it lives and feels and when you listen to it, you can hear it sing back to you. Millennium Park – Walking through rarifies the city around it, as the skyline takes on a different view from the green metropolis within....

Teaventures

Guangzhou, China Wooden chopsticks and porcelain spoons clink against white bowls and white plates, intermittently cutting through the buzz of the restaurant crowd. I sit in my wooden chair draped in a light gold silk cloth and look down to see my Velcro sneakers dangling, too short to touch the...

Cuba: the Tourism Boom and a Shortage of Food

For many tourists traveling to Cuba for the first time, visiting the island’s famous paladares – the Cuban name for the more than 1700 private restaurants that have recently opened up to cater to their appetite – is often talked about as an absolute must. Paladares, in fact, are praised...

Pro-Tips on Traveling in Cuba

So you’re doing it – you are traveling to Cuba, the rapidly evolving 58-year-old socialist state which may soon be another place altogether. I have had the privilege of traveling to Cuba twice and have accumulated several pro tips which may help you out on your next trip. Note: this...