Feels Good to Be Home

Family reunion at Rittenhouse :)

OK, OK. Enough with the lengthy travel posts!

After three weeks of playing catch-up on August travels, it’s time to update you on life being home.

Ironically, this does mean I have three weeks of being home to catch up on, too. But I promise this is more fun to read—still long but will get shorter after this 🙂

1 — Chinese People and Their Fucking Noodles
Nothing quite said, “Welcome back to America,” as when I saw an overweight U.S. customs officer drinking from a supersized cup of what likely was soda.

Or perhaps it was when the other U.S. customs officer had the fucking audacity to ask if I had packed noodles in my suitcases. And I quote: “You must have noodles in there.”

Man, I had just flown 15 hours around the world, and you think I would bother bringing back NOODLES?? Seriously, if I were to smuggle anything, why the FUCK would it be oh-so-rare noodles that must not exist in America? Please.

I realize many Chinese people apparently can’t travel without noodles, but that officer was lucky I calmly responded with, “No. No noodles,” and walked away.

2 — Philadelphia Brunch

My parents had been raving about this hotel and its brunch, so after picking me up from JFK, we stayed here for the weekend, and my sister and I finally got to try this expensive-ass brunch.

Verdict? OVERHYPED AND OVERPRICED. I can accept $50 for such a buffet brunch—and even that’s pushing it—but a whopping 70 bucks per person?? Even Vegas’ Bacchanal didn’t have the balls to charge that much (but reviews now say prices have jumped to $70). Sure, you get a personal tour of the expansive buffet, which goes into the kitchen, and the options are indeed luxuriously plentiful, but it’s definitely not worth another trip.

The hotel rooms are also in serious need of an update. Nothing was special about the rooms, and I’m shocked at how much my parents raved about this place, only for my sister and I to agree on how lackluster it all was.

Blue and white manicure

3 — Return to Square Nails
My mom and sister weren’t fans of my long, pointy nails, so I decided to go with square-shaped tips as soon as we returned from Philadelphia. My dad says I immediately returned to looking American. I still like them long 🙂

4 — WTF: American Food Portions

Ever since coming back and eating out again, I literally can never finish any meal, because PORTIONS ARE FUCKING HUGE. The reason why 99% of Americans I see these days are obese must be because portions are absolutely ridiculous everywhere, no matter if you go to a classic American restaurant or a Korean one. In America, the portion of Korean noodles I got was literally three times that in Korea. I feel like I waste so much food.

5 — Cute Old Couple at Starbucks
Just wanted to share this adorable moment when I was studying for the GRE at Starbucks.

Cute old couple outside Starbucks

Speaking of, I’ve been trying to study for the GRE since I’ve been back, but the most I’ve accomplished is taking this gorgeous photo of the Peabody library in Baltimore.

Peabody library in Baltimore

That same day, I bumped into one of my mom’s new employees from Guangzhou who’s also working in this building. Having followed all my mom’s posts about me and my travels and work in China, she immediately spotted me and knew who I was. We took a selfie and added each other on WeChat…which I have definitely used much less frequently now with Messenger and iMessage.

Selfie :P

7 — Running Again!!

It feels amazing to be running again with blue skies and fresh air. And now that Columbia’s Lake Kittamaqundi has been developing into an even better place to run, I’ve been going there more often than Centennial Park. Sunsets have been pretty nice, too 🙂

8 — Words With Friends
Guys, play with me. Or don’t, because I’ve been seriously procrastinating on studying for the GRE with playing too many games of Words…

Words with Friends

9 — Longing for All Things Korean!

Tous Les Jours in Ellicott City, MD

Ellicott City’s Route 40 is a mecca for all things Korean, and even more Korean businesses have opened up recently, including Tous Les Jours and Caffé Bene. Of course, that means I’ve visited all of them to “study” and just enjoy feeling like a foreigner in Korea again. Although I am happy to be home, I already miss the joys of traveling. I find myself going to Route 40 multiple times a week. It helps that the best library in the county is near there, too.

Even my shoe purchase recently reminds me of Korea.

New Vince sneakers from Saks Fifth Avenue
New Vince sneakers from Saks Fifth Avenue 😀

10 — #Murica

Despite being back home, I’ve actually experienced a lot of “firsts,” such as going to a gay bar in D.C., going to my first Nats game in D.C., and even duck pin bowling White Oak.

It really is nice to be home.