Category: Grief, Life, Love
On a gloomy August morning, I walked to a public Portuguese clinic armed with my EU residency card, a screenshot of Portuguese Immigration saying my expired card had been temporarily extended, and a letter from Finanças (the Portuguese IRS) confirming my third address change in one year. My purse held prescriptions for several different antibiotics. I was headed to the clinic to get a public … Read More Health and Language Barriers during COVID
When friends back in Asia ask me what the dating scene is like in Portugal, I don’t know what to say. Fine? Active? Normal? It’s not that I don’t see a difference between dates in Bangkok and dates in Porto–I definitely do. It’s more that I didn’t know how to describe it. Then a friend posted this to Instagram: For months I couldn’t get this … Read More Dating in Bangkok and Portugal: From Salsa to Guacamole
When people asked why I was going to Germany for five days in late November, I had a few standard replies: I’m going to see where I used to live; I just want to go to a country where I speak the language; cheap tickets. I only told a select few the truth: I was going to find my dead father. Three years ago, during … Read More Traveling to Embrace Loss
There are many things to regret about dating a gaslighter. You regret being naive, you regret selling yourself short, you regret the years you probably took off your life from the stress of someone continually making you question your own mind. When I first met the Gaslighter, I was swept off my feet. He was charming, funny, and seemed as interested in me as … Read More When a Gaslighter Improves Your Standards
Last night at 4:30 a.m. I sat in the back of an Uber listening to my date talk about the differences between football and futsal. He held my hand, tracing swirls between my fingers and palm. It was our fifth or sixth date. We’d just spent the evening in downtown Porto grabbing drinks and dancing at a local club. Exactly two years before that, … Read More An Anniversary
Last week I moved from Bangkok, Thailand to Porto, Portugal. This marks the 19th move of my life, a number which includes moving state-to-state, country-to-country, and just from one neighbourhood to the next (I only did that once; every other time I’ve at least moved out of state). Each move is relatively the same: right before I leave a place I suddenly look at … Read More Leaving Bangkok: Thank You, Next
For the past few years I’ve listened to friends choose ‘anchor words,’ which they use to ground themselves for the New Year. They choose words like “courage” to remind them each month to be brave, or “persistent” to encourage them to strive for what they want. Since being surrounded by wordsmiths in graduate school I’ve thought about choosing my own anchor word, but never … Read More Welcoming 2019 with Tenacity
The blue destination dot on Google Maps seemed far away as my two friends and I crawled out of the minibus at the Kanchanaburi bus station. It was nearing 8 p.m. We’d left Bangkok around 4:30 p.m. The driver shut the door and drove off, leaving us standing dumbly in the street. My two friends, one a fellow expat also living in Bangkok and … Read More Broken Hearts and the Power of Women on the River Kwai
My first professional publication was an essay about how I am unable to ask for help even when I need it. In the essay, I took a 12-hour long ferry from the city of Lerwick on the Shetland Islands to Aberdeen, Scotland. A typhoon had just passed over the North Sea, creating waves so large that it felt like our boat was at a … Read More Sick in Bangkok: Old Habits Die Hard…Until They Kill You
I keep going back and forth with this post. On the one hand I’m like: “It’s been one year since your life collapsed. Look how far you’ve come! Write about it!” Then I start writing and I think: “Goddamn why are you still SO SAD?” Then I cocoon myself in between blankets and pillows, put on my dad’s dogtag, and watch comedy shows on Netflix.
On May 5th I got a tattoo of a semicolon.
I am crap at ordering street food. Bangkok is practically bursting at the seams with food stalls, food carts, and foldout tables laden with 25 Baht banana leaf wrapped goodies, and yet I rarely order anything more than a coconut or iced coffee. This has nothing to do with sanitary worries or being picky about food; it’s all to do with my embarrassment at … Read More Your Visa’s Not Valid: A Trip Through Language Barriers
When I came to Bangkok, I planned to keep dating around and enjoying the single life just like I did back in the U.S. Obviously every time I write about my ex there’s still some bitterness and anger there (Ross, if you’re reading this, just like you’ve apparently been looking at my LinkedIn profile, fuck you) so I think it would be unwise to … Read More Dating in Bangkok: (Definitely Not) A Love Story