I was eleven years old in 1951 when this story happened. My mother, Lum So Wah, was a small-framed woman, five feet three, 105 pounds, with greying black hair and considered pretty by all who knew her. She immigrated to … more »
Trigger warning: eating-disorder behaviours
When I was eleven, my mother would often feed me sinigang. It was my favourite food — the puffy rice; the mounds of soft spinach; the flesh of a tomato, in shreds, as bright red … more »
I am the only boy in the neighbourhood to have a wooden duckie. This yellow duckie quacks and rolls when I pull it along on a long string.
Boys and girls everywhere come and look at my yellow toy. They … more »
Nobody Chinese—well, hardly anyone Cantonese—says “bak yren” to identify a Caucasian. “White person” is too descriptive, obvious, and bland.
In Cantonese, the idiomatic expression “fan gwei lo” is given to Caucasians in the United States and … more »
“The future will be fine,” my next-door neighbour said through her mask as we ended our brief conversation at two-arms-length distance on a garbage collection day in April.
Back in the house I resumed indulging in … more »
“Vimla, quick! Bring the tray here!” Ashi madam screeched from across the dining room as Vimla ran helter-skelter all over the unvarnished kitchen floor trying to fix breakfast. It was a lush, hectic morning as usual in the Talwar household. … more »
There are times I am convinced Anna’s mere presence activates my gout. Other times I wish to hug her. She is taking over my kitchen – my Indian restaurant. She wields her knife like a Shokunin chef, commanding the respect … more »
April is nascent and the air is thick with morning dew. Ears agonizing, like you’ve just removed headphones that were wrapped around your head for too long. Legs aching as movement reintroduces blood back into your veins after a plane … more »