Continuing the tradition of making the most out of the Twin Cities, Jennifer and I attempt to fill our weekends with interesting activities. Currently, the Minneapolis Institute of Art, a day trip to Duluth, and a visit to Minnehaha Falls remain on our summer bucket list.
Science Museum: Science Behind Pixar
With our Honduran and Hong Kong backgrounds as well as other (American) influences on our childhoods, Jennifer and I decided to share our favorite childhood foods with each other.
Note: Jennifer was born in the US and raised in a predominantly Mexican community, so the foods she choose may not reflect Honduran culture precisely but rather her personal experience and interactions with Hispanic foods.
It's always super cliche to say that time flies, but I guess it really does when you're having fun. Past Sunday marked the end of my sophomore year as I submitted my last essay for an International Studies class. And just in case you want to know, only 731 days left until my graduation! Mark your calendars everybody: May 18th, 2019 :)
Looking back on the past two years, I've learned so much more about myself and my relationships with others. I had a chance to come to terms with my upbringing and its effects on my personality as well as influence on my thinking; my fear of failure shows academically or even in any mundane context. As an extroverted introvert, I realized my strengths and weaknesses when interacting with people- great in small doses, but energy draining when I'm forced to socialize for long periods of time.
I'm extremely thankful for the professors that pushed me to write better, be assertive in my abilities, and speak up more during class discussions. In academic settings, I always feel like the "other" and I hesitate to speak up most of the time in class. At times, it's because I'm part of the minority at Macalester: Asian American, immigrant, first generation college student, Southerner. However, I recently came to the conclusion that my inner fear of failure also contributes to my timidness in class. Even though I read or know as much information as the next student, I hesitate to speak up because I worry I might analyze the information incorrectly or I hold an unpopular opinion. Now, I'm slowly learning to speak up and participate in class - even if I'm unsure of myself and am thinking as I speak aloud. The worst that can happen is disagreement or an incorrect answer; I will not be judged as a person based on my wrong answer once in an hourlong class...
My weeklong Spring Break consisted of binge watching TVB dramas, catching up on YouTube videos, sleeping, and 4 days of career networking in Washington DC. The MacConnect DC trip sponsored by Macalester's Career Development Center is only officially 3 days long, but I decided to extend my stay an extra day so that I can sightsee (it was my first time in the city!). The purpose of the trip was to do site visits to various companies and connect with Macalester alums in various fields. On Tuesday, several inches of snow caused a 3 hour delay start in government buildings and other places didn't open for business, so our schedules had to be altered...
Some of the places we visited include:
- Urban Institute
- Dexis Consulting
- The World Bank
- Congressional Budgeting Office
- ABC News Washington
TUESDAY: March 14th
Library of Congress
WEDNESDAY: March 15th
Secret service closed off Pennsylvania Ave because Trump was apparently flying somewhere on a helicopter. Those are snipers on the roof, according to a Secret Service agent. Fun fact: The White House is actually a lot smaller than I imagined. The size is pretty comparable to the large houses on Paces Ferry in Atlanta.
I actually went to the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum, but nothing really stood out... I watched a film in the planetarium, but the filming made me slightly nauseous.
International Spy Museum
The Chinatown arch in DC. I don't know much about urban segregation and history in DC, but I thought it was rather interesting that Chinatown was located right next to Gallery Place, where upscale restaurants are located. My experiences with Chinatown is usually in a more run-down minority neighborhood due to the population's immigrant background.
The National Portrait Gallery & the Smithsonian American Art Museum
For some unknown reason, "The Dreamers" is my favorite piece in the moving portrait exhibit. The large projections of people floating in water can be found on all four walls of an enclosed unlit room. Just seeing people floating in water and exhaling bubbles was oddly calming. At the same time, the unnaturalness of humans in water also emphasized the suffocated expressions that I saw on their faces.
THURSDAY: March 16th
National Geographic museum
The NatGeo museum had an exhibition of their most popular photos on its Instagram account and the accounts of various NatGeo photographers and other contributors.
Life has been hectic and stressful, and I went through another phase of "mid-college crisis" when trying to rethink my academic goals and interests. Aside from all of that (which I will probably mention sometime in a future post), here are some photos over the course of the past month that I have collected...
Extra Hong Kong photos!
Jacky Cheung is one of the Four Heavenly Kings of Cantopop. While he is mostly unknown in the Western world, his legacy as a singer has influenced multiple generations. He is known for his upbeat dance songs but mostly for his love ballads. His 2016/2017 A Classic Tour alone has 20+ stops in Hong Kong (all sold-out) and another 100+ stops in various cities across Mainland China and the rest of Asia.
When I first found out about the tour in September, all of Jacky Cheung's shows were already sold out. Scalpers were reselling tickets at over twice of the original price, and it was ultimately not worth it to buy them. At least that's the story that I originally told my mom...
What I told her was true; however, I Skyped and Whatsapped Uncle Anthony and Aunt Bryony and told them my dilemma. Jacky Cheung is one of my mom's favorite Cantonese singers, if not THE favorite. (I later learned that my uncle is a huge fan of his too; he knows the lyrics to every song) In early October, my uncle found an announcement on Facebook from his company label that announced the addition of 3 more concerts in Hong Kong: Dec. 30, 31, and Jan 2. The tickets would be released for sale on October 14 at 10am Hong Kong time. When the time arrived, my uncle and aunt sat in front of their phones and computers in an attempt to get through the server. At last, 4 tickets were bought.
This secret was kept for two whole months, all the way up until 2 hours before the actual concert itself. We debated over various ways of surprising my mom: surprising her on the plane, dropping hints on Facebook, telling her the day before the concert... In the end, we decided to surprise her over dinner before the concert. With Jennifer's (yes, my roommate) drawing skills, I managed to craft a surprise card to give to my mom at the dinner.
There was a bit of emotion, tears that nearly spilled (but didn't), and happiness, so all of us declared the surprise a success! It's a rarity because my mom despises surprises 99.9% of the time. It probably goes without saying that we thoroughly enjoyed the concert.
A neighborhood winter festival!
Endless food pics in 3... 2...1...
The musical was held at the Lyric Theatre of the Hong Kong Performing Arts Institute in Wan Chai. The theatre was amazing and the musical itself was identical to the Broadway production. Heading into the musical, I already knew most of the music numbers; however, I didn't know the plot, so it was a great experience for me to watch the story unfold. In all honestly, I felt that the plot itself was extremely relevant to modern society and was an indirect critique of societal views and norms.
Day 9: 14th Hong Kong Mega Expo (第14屆香港冬日美食節)
The Mega Expo included an entire exhibition hall of food, and another exhibition hall filled with food, home appliances, cars, toys, and everything you can imagine! Of course, the food exhibition hall was the busiest. I ended up spending around $120 HKD (~$22USD) just trying a bunch of different foods :D Other than that, I also bought some socks (they're super cute) and they were a total steal at $10HKD a pair.
Back to the Australian Dairy Company for dinner!
Day 10: Coco Ichibanya lunch, Deluxe Daikiya dinner, 3D Pulse Light Show
I didn't learn of Coco Curry until my favorite Youtubers, Simon and Martina, mention about the Japanese curry restaurant chain. They always rave about the amazing food there, so I thought I would try it in Hong Kong. Apparently, there was a location nearby, so all of us went for lunch. I ordered the tonkatsu (pork cutlet) and vegetable curry with less rice and medium spicy. It was so good (and spicy)!
The 3D Pulse Light show was pretty cool by using this wall on the Tsim Sha Tsui promenade to project a short and simple light show. The show was a short story about an elf that wanted to perform in Santa's talent show. Lucky(?) for me, the 8:45pm show ended up being in Cantonese so I had to translate the story in real-time for Adrienne.
Day 11: Adrienne leaves Hong Kong
college student. junior. international studies major. over-the-top foodie. I clean when I'm stressed. I blog for fun.
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