Classic Colors: Wine Red Button-down + Black Cross-Back Dress

dress over button down outfit
backless dress outfit modest
subtle ombre wavy medium hair asian
dress over button down outfit
dress over button down outfit
gemstone necklace
Dress, sponsored by Tobi ($88) | Button-down, thrifted Primark | Shoes, Target ($17)| Necklace, street stand in Oxford, UK

"Have you been writing lately?" 

"Yeah, for my applications and thesis," I chuckled wryly.

Things have been beyond hectic lately as I tackle two theses (one in math and the other in French), fellowship applications, marathon training difficulties, a part-time job with a startup, and other unexpected challenges. I've been writing quite a bit lately, but not for leisure.

My French thesis, however, is one part creative writing and one part analytical. The creative writing will focus on my quest for the French language and my identity questions as a Chinese-American. 

Here's a little excerpt for now, until I get back to normal life blogging.

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“What do you want to eat?” My grandfather prompted me.

I felt panicky. We were at a neighborhood noodle bar in Hangzhou, my mother’s hometown. I was a high school sophomore, and it was my first trip to China in seven years. What do you want to eat? I would normally respond to such a question with unabashed eagerness, but deciding what to eat here meant reading the menu—a menu written uniquely in Chinese. The enigmatic characters danced dizzily across the pages. I frantically searched for familiar words, preferably “vegetable” and “vermicelli.” My grandfather couldn’t know that I was essentially illiterate in Mandarin. He would surely be more ashamed than I already felt. Mandarin was one of my mother tongues, yet it felt so foreign.

I found my vegetable vermicelli, and my grandfather barely raised an eyebrow. But I was solemn during the meal, and pensive during most of my three-week family trip. I had assumed that our stay would mean scrumptious street food, misty landscapes, and an inordinate number of mosquito bites. Instead, I found culture shock and uncertainty...
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