Vila Ebel

Cozy, homey, historic, and charming, Vila Ebel is like nowhere else. It feels like going back in time in a place so aesthetically pleasing it must be straight out of a movie set, or at least one of your Pintrest boards. This coffeeshop in Korce, Albania is exquisitely, earthily picturesque and everything I’m looking for.Continue reading “Vila Ebel”

Control is a Poison

Terry Crews, at the end of a very personal, candid interview in which he described growing up with a violently abusive father, was asked what message he would like to send to young people. What do you predict he said? Was it something cliché and obvious like “Hitting is never okay” or “No matter what,Continue reading “Control is a Poison”

Perks of Living in China

Many outsiders are unaware of what life in China is really like, and some of the lame stereotypes making the rounds are just silly. Expat life there has its perks, and China does many things well. In the wake of anti-Asian sentiment and hateful, ignorant racism, I’d like to chime in and brag on theContinue reading “Perks of Living in China”

Jagalchi Fish Market

It was so rainy that day, but at least it was mostly a steady, manageable sprinkle. An umbrella would have been great. Instead of that, I had a light purple, quick-dry, button down shirt (my favorite for excursions), a pair of thin all-purpose black slacks, Chaco sandals, and hair pulled back so the raindrops couldContinue reading “Jagalchi Fish Market”

Singleness: A Woman’s Rare Good Fortune

We are the lucky ones. In a world rife with child marriage, teen marriage, and many more millions of women trapped in traditional patriarchal societies where women are expected to be household servants and treat their husband as an honored guest/helpless man-child, we lucked out. We made it. We got out. We dodged a bullet.Continue reading “Singleness: A Woman’s Rare Good Fortune”

When Strength Gets in the Way of Survival

Have you heard the (only slightly macabre) story of the Spartan boy and the fox? Some context: Sparta, that famously militaristic city-state in ancient Greece, had a rigorous system of military education. Boy children were essentially on loan to their parents from the state until the age of 7, when they had to leave theirContinue reading “When Strength Gets in the Way of Survival”

Why You Shouldn’t Settle

Because your humanity is a tantalizing, tragic, inspiring mystery, and you have the God-given right and duty to use and enjoy it. You were not made to serve; you were not put here to kneel to anyone on your level. All people are on your level, and you are on theirs. The outward stuff isContinue reading “Why You Shouldn’t Settle”

ADHD and Painful Parenting

“Your voice, it chased away all the sanity in me” – Evanescence, “My Immortal” I wish I could convey the hopelessness and humiliation of walking into the room to face a person who treats you like a behind schedule construction project. If you know, you know. Having one’s “issues” monitored and managed by others canContinue reading “ADHD and Painful Parenting”

5 Albanian Foods to Try

Albanian food is good, first of all. It’s heavy on meats and cheeses, but with Greek food alongside to balance things out. The nation Greece is just to the southeast, which explains the presence of giros as pretty much the only available “fast food”. (Hey, none of us are complaining!) This also means that GreekContinue reading “5 Albanian Foods to Try”

The Sweetness of a Sad Christmas

My first Christmas alone was the saddest Christmas I had ever experienced. That’s what makes it so special. It’s one of my golden and blue mixed memory orbs like in “Inside Out”.  All alone in my cold apartment, in the Xingxing Huayuan apartment complex, with the palm and pine and mangolia trees still green inContinue reading “The Sweetness of a Sad Christmas”