Category Archives: Asia

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Country set in: India

Summary: American call-center manager Todd (Josh Hamilton) is shocked to learn that his company is shutting down and moving its operations to India. He is told that he will be heading the transition team and training his counterpart in Mumbai — a task he dreads. While initially baffled by Indian culture, Josh eventually begins to get along with his new coworkers, and, with the help of female staffer Asha (Ayesha Dharker), he learns to appreciate his new surroundings.

This is a film that I watched when it first came out and loved it from the very beginning. India has always been one of those destinations that utterly terrifies me, but the older I get and the more I want to spread out and try new places the more I am itching to give India a go.

If I was going to sum this film up I would say this film is a must watch for ANYONE that wants to go to India. I believe the writing and acting is on par.

Culture Shock is real, but while the traveler may be the one culture shocked, the native is too. A prime example of this was when the main character Todd said he was not married, the host said she should be a grandfather by now. It made me smile.

I also loved how Todd changed and grew while he was in India. I am a firm believer that travel makes you grow, especially when you travel to a location completely out of your comfort zone. Travel makes you grow and throughout the events portrayed in the film he grew.

I love this film and I can watch it over and over again.

Plus you get to see Holi in all it’s glory! How awesome is that?

Karate Kid (the new one)

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Country Set in: China
Summary: Work causes a single mother to move to China with her young son; in his new home, the boy embraces kung fu, taught to him by a master.

I am a fan of this series, I have one friend who refused to watch this movie, but I have always had an obsession and deep desire to go to China. Beautiful landscapes, ancient cultures, giants temples…. I really can’t explain how much I want to go to China. I am really hoping to get to China in the next couple of years but for now I will have to settle with films and books.

True story when this film came out I was scheduled to spend 17 days in China. I cancelled. It is by far my biggest regret in life. I did not go and it is ok to call me an idiot over that decision.

I found this movie fascinating and very cute. I could not imagine having my life up rooted and moved to such an exotic and different country at a young age. As an adult I would find that exciting but as a child I am sure it is overwhelming.

I found myself in love with this story, I could not stop watching. I wasn’t sure if it was really the story or my deep desire to go to China. It runs deep and still to this day I have no clue why I backed out of my trip of a lifetime.

Scene after scene my wanderlust for China was fueled and I can’t wait to finally experience my own China story.

I know the original Karate Kid has fueled a lot of people to not see this film but I urge you to watch it if you have not already, because it is giant insight to a country that had their borders closed for years, and still has a magical quality to it.

Go watch it now and imagine what your Chinese adventure would be like.

Soy Sauce for Beginners by Kirstin Chen

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Country Set in: Singapore
My Rating: 4.5 stars

Summary: Gretchen Lin, adrift at the age of thirty, leaves her floundering marriage in San Francisco to move back to her childhood home in Singapore and immediately finds herself face-to-face with the twin headaches she’s avoided her entire adult life: her mother’s drinking problem and the machinations of her father’s artisanal soy sauce business.

Surrounded by family, Gretchen struggles with the tension between personal ambition and filial duty, but still finds time to explore a new romance with the son of a client, an attractive man of few words. When an old American friend comes to town, the two of them are pulled into the controversy surrounding Gretchen’s cousin, the only male grandchild and the heir apparent to Lin’s Soy Sauce. In the midst of increasing pressure from her father to remain permanently in Singapore—and pressure from her mother to do just the opposite—Gretchen must decide whether she will return to her marriage and her graduate studies at the San Francisco Conservatory, or sacrifice everything and join her family’s crusade to spread artisanal soy sauce to the world.

Soy Sauce for Beginners reveals the triumphs and sacrifices that shape one woman’s search for a place to call home, and the unexpected art and tradition behind the brewing of a much-used but unsung condiment. The result is a foodie love story that will give readers a hearty appreciation for family loyalty and fresh starts.

I love soy sauce in fact while reading this book I found myself craving Asian cuisine.  I have never had artisan soy sauce but that being said I would be willing to give it a try and now I am really wanting to go to  a soy sauce tasting.

In short, I absolutely loved this book. When I read the reviews I was concerned I may be on the ones who didn’t like this book but I wasn’t.  I found Gretchen very believable, I felt she was someone that if she was real I would be her friend.  She is going through real situations and they have an effect on her decisions every day and untimely her choices lead her to take a new path in life.

This story was not a story where the main character has a perfect existence she has real struggles, she has real dilemmas.  She felt very real.

I also loved how this book was not about the main character finding love it was about her finding peace in life.  I am finding that lately books are all about a woman finding love and that is what makes her happy not making decisions about her life that lead to her happiness.

She has problems with friends, family and her relationships.

She was flawed, she was raw she was real.  I don’t think I can stress this enough the fact that this character was not perfect is why I love this book, I love the book even more because it wasn’t about her pining over a man.  A

Actually I take that back, she did have some issues she wanted to get back with ex husband but I think that was because she wasn’t ready for change not because he existence was about a man.

I think this book is for anyone struggling to adapy to change and for those that love to eat.   All the talk about soy sauce will make you crave Asian cuisine.

Happy Chinese New Year!

Ah China, the country that has been numero uno on my bucket list since I was young.   I keep telling myself that I am going to go to China to celebrate the year of the dog, but that isn’t to 2018.  Patience is not my strongest virtue.

I am starting to think I am over this waiting game but that is a post for another day.

It is the the year of the Sheep (or ram or goat), and the year that is predicted looks amazing!

Ps google Chinese New year events, people near you might be celebrating in fun and unique ways!

I am personally celebrating by visiting the mom and pop Chinese restaurant down the street from work.  I am also going to make Chinese for dinner.   I may not be Chinese but I love Chinese New Year!

Dragon art  at Alcatraz
Dragon art at Alcatraz

Are you celebrating Chinese New Year?