A Belated Valentine’s Day 2021 Card

Violence against Asian-Americans is from fearful ignorance

Photo by Miha Rekar on Unsplash

Okay, all-time best burger for myself? For special occasions and when all is forgiven? (Take notes, Honey!).

It’s all about the beef. 1/4 lb. at least (and I have a lot of toppings to go on top — it’s all about sauces and toppings here).

Then, > A whole wheat bagel — toasted (or everything bagel or brioche!); > With melted butter and mayo (or definitely an herb aioli); > 2 strips of bacon (gotta be crispy, no wimpy soft bacon); > Avocado & rocket (I love the taste of my vegetables); > NO tomato (makes it all too watery)…

Ex-pat Life

Relocated flats within a foreign country

Photo by Inside Weather on Unsplash

I can finally proudly say that, despite still some remaining finishing details that irk me if I let it, I feel I have brought the new flat into a respectable and even impressive space after 2 months of moving in (3 months in total with planning), using all secondhand furniture, which drained me of oodles of time and effort but only consumed a fraction of the elusive cost that seems to be so easily wasted on the same thing when spending on the brand-spanking new.

For several weeks — cleaning, unpacking, searching, coordinating with sellers and buyers, then collecting, dismantling…

Ex-pat Life

Moving from a long rental

Photo by Nazrin B-va on Unsplash

I am most certainly, now officially, down about moving. I wasn’t at the very beginning, a few months ago, because I was in survival mode. I had shut off my emotions and tasked myself at finding apartment options due to our unexpected situation. Thankfully though, we negotiated a short settlement in which we stayed on a few months longer including a rental discount, and the landlord would reconfirm his intention to sell at the end of our newly negotiated extension, which we were up to at this point and it had finally been confirmed now that he is going ahead…

A Mother’s Day 2021 Blessing

So, would I ever be as strong?

Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash

I can’t remember where I had read it, but it was a long while back in some news article about a woman in India who was married off in an arranged marriage and subsequently abused by her husband.

It was awful sexual abuse — the reason I remembered the content but not which newspaper it was in — as she hid in her in-law’s closet bleeding from her husband having stuck a curling iron into her vagina. …


A shared sport in rainy May

Image by author

Glazed like slippery mirrors that slosh,
squish-squash, on sneakered courts;
Is it ‘dribble-dribble’ because of engraved
leather drops that drip and bounce, rebound,
slip-slap — pit-pat — pitter-patter,
in-between the backboards of wet flowy nets?

Or because of the dash of gloss that’s painted by
Nature’s dribbles in May showers?

Glass and shined as an artful lake with a deceptive
surface — flat but too shallow to dive;
Demarcated lines are outlines to Day’s panels of its
graphic novel that changes by the hour and cover of clouds.

It’s a jointly-made perfect puddle to reflect
Sky’s passing game of Her dribble-dribble.

Copyright © 2021
Élan-Writer. All rights reserved.

Ex-pat Life

Foreign snobbery is universal but ‘words can never hurt me’

Photo by Artem Page on Unsplash

I have rarely ever cried or shed tears in front of my partner. Intentionally, I have avoided appearing weak; I am known between us and among family not to be the most squeamish, delicate kind, generally speaking. I used to think gender shouldn’t preclude one from doing work considered tough or inglorious nor prevent one from attempting business generally reserved for a specific gender or group, but after some time now outside the bubble of my home country (Western and highly developed), I have come across an entirely different world out here that operates under completely separate and unfair rules…

Ex-pat Life

Appearances are deceiving as our insides are totally different

Photo by Matthew Fassnacht on Unsplash

The past few days have been a terrifying and interestingly escalating ride of sorts — physically and emotionally. I have been fighting a bug affecting my voice, my energy levels and my sleep (and the bugs here are just way stronger than home) which after the second visit with the doctor in 2 weeks has officially put my singing dreams on the back-burner (no singing for a while on doctor’s orders).

A sore lump was forming again that I thought for sure would lead up to the searingly painful throat and the wheezing cough that I had just barely fought…

Ex-Pat Life

Especially in a foreign country

Photo by Sean Foley on Unsplash

I live a strange life. I don’t know if I intended it or if I am building it out of a defense mechanism for myself, but I have built some kind of bubble around myself. I don’t join the droves of rush-hour commuters in the morning or evening to scramble to and from a stressful desk job; I don’t eat out often (I save my money and cook several healthy meals for myself everyday); I don’t watch TV or go to the movies; I don’t also often meet up with friends unless it is for an event or special occasion…

Grandma says

The sweet pith of grandma’s defusing wisdom

Photo by Sharon McCutcheon on Unsplash

The New Year weighs in with a slight heaviness. There is the fear of not securing a regular job and the feeling of being forgotten by society and the corporate world at large.

However, interestingly enough during my time-off from regular work, I have had a much tighter bond with my mother which could not have happened if I was still at my job. Being there for Grandma’s funeral and being morally and physically supportive in her home country for my own mother brought us really close. …


The literary world is so underprivileged without your laudable virtues

Photo by Christian Gertenbach on Unsplash

Dear Bombastic Managing Editor,

I was so wastefully humble and grateful when you promptly sent me a “preliminary acceptance” letter for my well-crafted article when in fact it should have been more aptly named “prank assessment”.

The fact that you had responded within 6 days of my submission gave me the greatest “preliminary” but false faith in your touted established magazine credentials which its ultimate misrepresentation actually “guarantees” my disdain of your so-called “sensibilities” that you so proudly state in your mission statement.

You wrote me saying,

“At an initial read, we are interested in your article”; “…an editor will…


Writer, born adventurer, intuitive introvert, creative and admirer of art | There’s always way more to the story, so read on…

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