This is Sarah, the life-confused recent college graduate who’s become the driving force behind this whole blog endeavor. As you may already know from our About page, we’re a pretty close-knit family of four who haven’t been seeing too much of each other in person over the last two years.
It’s kind of strange, how you gradually move farther away from your family, until one day, you find yourself out in the world, nowhere near where you started or who you got started with. And in a lot of ways it’s great…being so independent and everything. My sister and I are young and free to make our own choices–eager to take the world by storm. And my parents are empty nesters, happy to travel and work wherever the wind blows.
But at the same time, you realize that you’re having trouble remembering the last time you were all in the same room together. I think my biggest realization of this came during my last year in college. I was at school in New York, my sister was in the midst of her freshman year out in Pennsylvania, and our parents had just moved to Beijing. We all had busy lives, with schoolwork, activities, jobs, navigating new cities, and meeting new people. Every so often we would have time to Skype, but most of our communication occurred in short emails or messages (usually something like: *What did you have for dinner?* *Haven’t eaten yet. What did YOU have for dinner?* We can be relatively single-minded, as you can see).
This seemed sufficient, and it reduced our need to talk face-to-face and deal with poor wi-fi signals, Skype face freezes, and audio delays (when everyone starts inadvertently talking over each other, and you end up having no idea what anyone’s saying).
One day, I was in the library cramming in last-minute revisions for a paper when I got a call from my dad around 3 PM EST (which would mean it was 3 AM in China).
“Isn’t it a little late for you to be calling?” I asked.
“No, I’m in Helsinki. It’s 10:00 over here,” he said.
Apparently, he’d been in Finland for four days on a business trip. And then it just hit me. There I was in New York. My sister was hours away in Pennsylvania, my mother halfway around the world in China, and my dad deep in Scandinavian territory. Four broad points on the globe, three time zones. Me sitting in the library, whispering on my cell phone. My dad eating dinner in a hotel room. My sister probably rushing to her next class. My mom, asleep in the new Beijing apartment.
The year before my sister left to begin her very own college odyssey, we were still a relatively average nuclear family. I would come home from school relatively often to visit on the weekends, and we actually ate dinner at the kitchen table together every night. It was crazy how much had changed in such a small amount of time.
After I graduated, I got a job in Beijing and went to work there for about a year. My sister was the only one of us in the U.S then.
But now I’m back, living in the house I grew up in and figuring out what to do next.
This website started out as a project to take down all of our favorite Chinese recipes. But with all of these developments happening across the map…college, first jobs, and new cities, what better way to keep up with each other than to blog about it for all the internet to see!?!?!
Regardless of who does or doesn’t read our blog, we know it has at least four readers:
There are the progenitors. My dad knows how to roast a chicken to juicy perfection on a spit with nothing but a couple of sticks and a box of matches (seriously, come on a camping trip with us. Your mind will be blown by the caveman brilliance of it all).
My mom is our resident China expert, having spent her first 16 years in Shanghai and Hubei.
Both of them have an impressive mental database of Chinese recipes.
Then there’s the sister. Hugely annoying at times, as only sisters can be. Delightful at others. You can be the judge.
And there’s me. The 23-year-old who is having a lot of trouble figuring out this whole “adulthood” thing. But I bake/cook when stressed, so this is a good solution for me.
Gastronomy, travel, culture and the answer to the ubiquitous “What did you have for dinner?” question are some of our favorite things. We’ve tried our best to provide some of that right here. Feel free to let us know if we’re succeeding or not.
(Be gentle, though, Internet. Be gone, haters and trolls! Or better yet, get out of your mother’s basement and maybe see a therapist).
Want to find out more about how this whole thing started? Visit our About page!