Middle School Nostalgia as a Foreigner


Coming from a small town, being on display is nothing new to me.

It seems that everyone else is secure in who they are to the outside world. They know their place, where they are, and what it means to be South African. I’m still discovering what it means to be American, and yet I’m not just on display, but I’m also a window into the USA.

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6 RMB for the Greatest Dumplings of Your Life


The first of what will inevitably be many posts praising the Shanghainese food scene…

With a smiling face, dough-caked fingers, and a quick invitation for you to sit down, the waitress at my local steamed dumpling joint is better than yours — not that it’s a competition (and if it were, there wouldn’t even be one).

That said, it’s probably impossible to get a bad meal in the entire city of Shanghai.

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A Quick Thanks


Now that I’ve settled in and gotten my bearings, I can’t help but think about what it took to get here.

It took quite a bit of time, energy, paperwork, and a 14-hour flight to get me to this very spot. Not least of all, it took the efforts of professors, mentors, family, and friends to help me understand the role I want to fill in the world.

For that, I owe them quite a bit of gratitude.

So thanks for the honest truth. Thanks for being in my corner. Thanks for having a hand in all this — this predictably unpredictable journey. It was a twist of fate that spun the world under our feet exactly enough for us to coincide, and it will be another unfathomable turn of events that will cause us to reconvene.

I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Connected Remotely


The past few days have been a whirlwind of so many things happening at once.

There has been a lot of anxiety about when I get there, and how I will be able to find internet, phone cards, even drive a stick for the first time on the opposite side that I’m used to. But on the outside, the world is busy.

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Pre-Departure Traffic


I’ve waited for so long to receive this little sticker in my passport, and now that I have it am I ready?

I’m currently sitting at my dining room table in my humble abode in California. Next to me sits my passport with a freshly stuck visa for South Africa. The feelings are mixed, but I’m more than ready to jump on the plane for a 20+ hour flight to my new home.

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