The question isn't who is going to let me; it's who is going to stop me. --Ayn Rand


Reflections on LA

I spent one week in Los Angeles, sorting out a visa problem brought on by the overly-sensitive Chinese government as the 29th Olympic Games approach. Before going, I tried to contact all my friends who had stuck around LA--only a handful, as my LA friends always comprised a slim crowd--because I thought that it could be my last trip to the West Coast for a long time.

Something felt different during the trip, as though this was the first time I saw LA clearly. When I lived in Claremont and traveled there, and even when I lived there for two months, I recall I was not happy. This time I think I can describe why...

LA is a driving city. Everyone moves around in their cars without the need to interact with the hundreds of others going about their day. Moving about in public transportation--having to deal with crowds commuting--is uncomfortable. But, that is the problem. Driving around is too comfortable. It is the small interactions that take up a significant part of one's life. I would never want to give that up in favor of shutting myself off inside a metal box.

People are too busy. This is all relative, though. I have not met anyone in LA who is quite as busy as my Beijing friends. Once again it's more about comfort. People in LA seem to be comfortable in their schedules, and when they are asked to push beyond, they cannot. They are busy sticking to the same routine they've had the whole week.

Everyone dresses poorly. At least, I don't enjoy casual dress. There was a sea of flip flops, shorts, and T-shirts everywhere I turned. I don't understand. Sure, the weather is hot, but why doesn't anyone invest in linen pants with maybe a thin button-up shirt? When I walked outside people would think that I was dressed up. Sometimes semi-formal went beyond the comprehension of those I passed, so they would ask,
"Why are you so dressed up?"
Me: "Why do you dress like a hooker?" Weather has a big influence on LA fashion, which leads me to the final judgment.

LA is too hot. I need cooler weather, less sun, less skin, less collagen, less beach, fewer cars, more rain, whiter skin, more mountains, more green, more ties, more coats, more snow.

I am glad, still, that I was able to see most of my friends. I warned them this could be my last venture into LA. I doubt any of them will come visit, so in essence that was my final goodbye.

Adieu, LA. I will only miss the time I wasted.



I feel my life is approaching an important choice.

One week ago, while flying to Fukuoka, I had the feeling I was braving a cliff. I knew I would survive, but the path I take down will decide the rest of my life.

A moment ago I finished watching, Into the Wild. Ignoring the infrequent God references, it is an inspirational movie beyond my ability to explain. Some wonderful words of wisdom clash with the conclusion of the film, but I am still touched. "It is incorrect to think that human relationships are the only source of happiness."

In one week I leave for a vacation in Europe. Somehow this will be a factor. Something is going to happen--something needs to happen.

I feel like I may cry.


What are your False Idols?

When do your differences trigger the end of a relationship?

Can you continue in a relationship where you have core philosophical differences?

How much can you respect someone who you think is flawed?

Can I ever date someone who believes in God?

I don't think so.


The End?

It is misleading to say that I have no regrets. Rather, I am almost proud of every decision I have ever made. Stepping back, I can look at my life and see the direct result of all the good decisions I've made.

But, I don't know how to extend that to my relationships. Would other people regret things I have done? Maybe. I don't. As I like to say, I have no emotions. The overwhelming theme of a lot of my relationships is simply "neutral."

I have been dating RP for 3 months now, including a 1 month gap during the holidays. For the first time in any of my relationships--and from the beginning--I thought that I might not be exclusive. Particularly during my trip to Europe. Neutral.

And so, something was bound to happen. Last night I was presented with a opportunity, and I took it. I do not regret it, but I am wondering how this will eventually shape my future. Neutral.

This could be a mess.


All the fish died

Housewarming Party. January 25, 2008

Shanghai 30s

Drink list:
The bund--absolut vanilla, white tea, honey
Chino Latino--ginger, tequila, cointreau, red chili pepper, garnished with ginger salt

live piano player and signer




I long ago accepted that Chinese people, being surrounded by an environment of constant change, ugliness and pollution, have some strange ideas about the world, fashion, politics, science, truth, etc. A Chinese person could say to me, “It is healthy to smoke rather than brush your teeth,” and I wouldn’t be that surprised.

But, today, during a meeting with Everbright Bank, sandwiched between a discussion of who can drink the most and what tea should women drink to keep their youthful color, my manager commented, "Isn't it every girl's dream to open a bar?" I looked around the room at the other women to see their reactions. Apparently, it is the dream of all women.

Back in the US, if a girl said she owned a bar a few thoughts would fly through my mind. Namely, what an ambitious woman, she could be a whore, I wonder how much she can drink, I bet she's a lot of fun to go out with, she could be a bitch.

Then again, maybe I think that about all women. Hrm.


Love in Beijing

I am in love with my apartment so much it pains me to leave it for long periods of time, such as going to work.

191 square meters.
3 bedrooms.
2 baths.
27th floor.
private elevator.
panoramic views of Beijing to the North and South.
astutely decorated by a contemporary Chinese art curator, with the help of his young red-headed sidekick.

Pictures shortly

I go alone.

"I would have moved to Paris."

MM and I had short discussion about our former relationship this afternoon. If you exclude the time we decided to stop dating after my summer break, it was the first time we ever discussed our relationship, and I found it difficult. I always treasured the fact that our relationship was simple. After the Summer I was going back to college, and after that I was leaving the US. Our relationship wasn't strained by that.

Apparently that was because MM “was never a good boyfriend to [me].” I was very surprised when he told me this—our short relationship was one of my favorites. Since I am not a very emotional person, maybe his distance made me like him more. We could have conversations and go eat without the urgency or necessity you find in relationships with emotional people. “You don’t want to eat dinner with me? So you don’t want to see me?!”

The conversation ended without a complete explanation on either side, but it has driven me to collect my thoughts.

With him, I would have never broken up if I knew he could follow me. But, I know he is not the type to do that. I have difficulty explaining for my reasons, other than that I have always planned to be in a location. That added to my disbelief in a soul mate—I think I would be perfectly happy spending my life with a small percentage of the population—means that I would love it if I found someone to come with me around the world, but no matter how much I love someone, they will not stand in my way of achieving a goal.

MM is the type--like everyone I ever dated in the US--that is rooted to home. Car payments, cell phone bills, pets, apartments, family--an entire web of obligations and connections like strings of lead holding them in place. They are either unwilling to struggle away from the web, or unwilling to sever it and have to reconstruct. For the same reason, few people I know from the US are willing to visit me here. "China is so FAR! It's so EXPENSIVE to visit. You want me to put my life on HOLD to visit you in China?"

This type never understood my desire—my plan.

Then there are those that are willing. These people have the mindset, “Yes, I can.” This confidence is mainly related to experience. Those who have traveled and lived abroad—started life anew in another country—are usually the people with this confidence. Only after I went traveling by bus through the villages of China in the Summer of 2005 did I come to this realization. Now I am a markedly different person. I know that if I left everything and got on a plane to Moscow (or Brazil or Cambodia or...) I would be able to survive.

I once asked JT, during the period when I was trying to seduce him, if he would ever consider moving permanently to another country. He responded without thinking, "In a second." Then, I pursued JT fiercely. I was never successful, but I had a chance. There was a chance I could get him to go with me around the world. There was a potential for a long term relationship where we could share all our experiences.

MM never quite understood why I liked JT. I still don’t believe I have captured quite the correct idea. Even those who know they can go anywhere may again become content with their sedentary lives, or have no desire to travel.

I will find my ideal home, settle there, and use that as a hub to see the world. I am not sure of my next stop, but I know it will be a major city farther West than China. This has always been the plan for my life. I told MM my next stop may be Paris, and his response was he would have considered moving with me there.

I doubt he actually would have, but it is a nice thought.



Yesterday I spent over $100 buying alcohol for Christmas Drinks with Drew party (aka my birthday celebration). It should be nice. As soon as I bought them, I went back home and got myself drunk trying different chocolate mixes. Quite delicious indeed. After a little practice, I may just find the perfect nightcap.

Friday the Maltese and I will have a pre-party kick-off where I will get to practice trying to look sexy while mixing drinks. After that, even if I can't mix drinks well, all I will have to do is make two rounds of decent drinks before no one can tell the difference.

In other news, this week I worked on the client side, and it makes me want kill myself with chopsticks. Besides the squatter toilet and the lack of mirrors (how do I fix my hair?), I also have to deal with a one hour commute. I am not being paid enough to deal with smelly buses and subways (yes, I have to take the subway then switch to a bus).

Something has to be done, and now I am having second thoughts about the Barbie Dreamhouse Tally and I are planning to rent. Would I be happier in a place by myself closer to work? A 10 minute bike from work would be ideal.



MM: I've been reading your blog... and I want to know about the Maltese

Even though it is an AIM conversation, knowing that my previous boyfriend is concerned about other guys I meet simply made my day. It reminded me of something I might do. Often, I keep silent tabs on people important to me. Then, when something significant happens I say hello.

Now I'm all warm and fuzzy.

Truth and Lies

Last Thursday I did something I've never done before. A visiting German expressed interest in meeting, so we went out for food, then he asked if I wanted to hang out in his hotel room. Him being a rather well built bottom, I was intrigued.

One movement later and our clothes were off. I was surprised by how clean he was. As soon as everything was over with we immediately tidied up. Cleaning is my second favorite sexual activity.

On a side note, I still consider myself sexually inexperienced, regardless of how sketchy one or two circumstances have been. I'd need to do a lot more than sleep with a German to make up for a life of prudishness. Sometime I'll tell the Maltese--not about the German, but about the prudishness.

Speaking of Maltese...

I told my Minnesotan friend I am kind of dating a man from Malta. He is fine with it, although I suspect when push comes to grind he's going to feel guilty. Without an exclusive definition from the Maltese, I will not conform to couple rules.

Does, "Wait for me," constitute a request for exclusivity?


How to be a bastard

Example 1 - today's text message conversation

Romanian: Happy Thanksgiving!
Drew: Thanksgiving is a North American holiday.
Romanian: God u're so dry. frankly I couldn't care less about thanksgiving, but as u r north american u were on my messaging list 4 this holiday. no worries.

What I almost texted in response: Please don't belittle my holidays by pretending to appreciate them.

I really dislike this Romanian, but he's the Maltese's best friend. You can't go around pissing off people when you want to sleep with their friends. [Socialite rule number 69]

Example 2 - Christmas Vacation

I am planning to stay with a former cuddle buddy from Minnesota when I return, rather than spend 24 hours straight with my family. As a former cuddle buddy, he's interested in me sexually. We've chatted extensively on the matter.

Meeting the Maltese has thrown a wrench into the works. I have yet to decide how to deal with this--whether I should ask the Maltese if we are exclusive, or if I should tell Minnesota boy the whole situation and possibly screw up my chances of a free place away from my mom. Not to say he's trading his room for sex, but I think he's really hoping for it.

Sexual opportunities from more than one person. Who knew I'd even be that popular?