How “Crying in H Mart” made me cry for reconciliation

☕️ For this book, my coffee table was an unusual mess.

Never in a million years did I imagine I would cry while doing leisure reading. For a few days in a row, I found myself totally losing it reading Crying in H Mart on the couch, in the comfort of my home. As I reached Chapter 10: Living and Dying, my sob was as loud as a three-year-old’s. I was shocked at my reaction to a memoir written by an indie rockstar — a personal literary pilgrimage to honor her mother who passed away due to cancer. The New York Times bestseller was more than a rockstar non-fiction.

As a…

And how it shaped my worldview

Photo by Johannes Plenio on Unsplash

I woke up to a pleasant surprise this morning. Finally, with a bit of luck (and was still confused about how the system works), I received the notification about my first COVID-19 vaccination that will happen this week. It took me a while to register what this could mean. I called my father and shared the news with him. He was elated for me and reminded me (like an experienced pro) to eat and sleep well for this week, bring the necessary items to the vaccination center, and go early if anticipating the difficulty…

Manifestation of a forbidden but captivating 19th-century romance

A beautiful story adapted into the big screen

The World to Come is a story about the experience of women living in a time of few options. Without giving away the details of the film, which was based on a short story written by Jim Shepard, I write this to sift through the fallen leaves of a forbidden tree and validate some sophisticated emotions felt from consuming the movie-book bundle.

Long before the film premiered at the 77th Venice International Film Festival, the audience was aware of its LGBTQ theme. However, it was the timing (set in 1856) of the romance, the environmental and societal conditioning of that…

An ideal and idle year so far

Look for the unicorn that does not exist, we shan’t. (Photo by Mo on Unsplash)

For the first time in my life, I realized that the second half of a year has an advantage of 3 days compared to the first half (181 vs. 184). How significant can 3 days be? What does it mean if even a month (30 days) seems deeply hollow from the surface? Are we still looking for a sparkling unicorn in our solemn backyard?

When “Ideal” Overflows

Most days of my 2021 so far were spent cooped up indoors alone. Right at where I live, with a case every two weeks since 2020, I would avoid…

After I failed to rest on my rest day

Photo by Gustavo Zambelli on Unsplash

Today is my long-awaited rest day. I skipped checking my email inbox, which is something I usually do at 10 o’clock in the morning. I allowed myself to wander around in the small living room with only food and books on my mind. I sank into the rattan chair at the balcony and listened to the wind for 30 minutes in the morning. Then I turned on my live NBA and watched 2 hours of playoff game while playing with my mobile phone and swallowing my breakfast. In the afternoon, I…

I mean, thank you.

It’s a different kind of blue today.

I am vaccinated. It was the first dose of COVID-19 vaccination and it felt like an injection of hope. I could not be lamer than describing it as hope but I bet some of my fellow countrymen would agree. Immense gratitude is what I have, even though it is our right to receive it.

My father was also vaccinated this morning at a separate location, about 500km from where I did. At his age, he has appeared to be more positive anticipating the vaccination. I felt relieved hearing how he and my mother have taken turns…

It takes years to become an overnight success

In the NBA Western Conference Semi-Final Game 6 vs. the Utah Jazz, Terance Mann’s shocked the world of NBA with a scintillating performance. Crazy, shocking, historic. These words show you the kind of effect his performance had on NBA fans and how basketball viewers around the world perceived it. The team’s overall performance was also uplifting to watch and experience. They put up a 37 points turn-around in the 2nd half after falling behind 25 points behind at the break.

Big Night

The stake was so high for the LA Clippers, in which…

Kahlil Gibran’s timeless meditation

- The first time I put my thoughts on Children -

On my birthday this year, I decided to start designing a library of my own. I hope it is a physical place that houses books that changed me. Ideally, as I am used to a yearly or bi-yearly animal-like migration, my library should be compact enough and smells of classical and contemporary literature. The first book recorded on the classical list is The Prophet from Kahlil Gibran.

When they made parenting look like scenes in Black Mirror

I was introduced to one of his poetic essays in this instant classic due to a Taiwan Netflix mini-series, titled On Children. The English title (Your Child is not…

“Because I can”

Photo by Erik Mclean on Unsplash

The big idea of self-help hints at the possibility of self-driven changes without the help of others. So often, we read self-help books to better understand what we are lacking and how we can hack our imperfect systems. One of the most talked-about “weaknesses” in mentoring sessions falls on the tip of the procrastination iceberg.

What we know so far

“I always put things off because I procrastinate.”

“Because of procrastination, I feel that I am not responsible.”

“I am wasting my time here. I know I am going to burn the midnight oil as the deadline draws closer.”

We are hovering at the tip…

A TV series that is relatable for everyone. Good feel only? Not really.


I held back from streaming the first season when my peers raved about Mae Martin, particularly on how alluring she is. Part of my jadedness was due to the praises from TV series viewers focusing solely on the charisma of queer characters. It’s a plain truth that some of these human beings are too hot to handle. The thing we failed to discuss more though, is how close the TV series has come to depicting the reality of the LGBTQ community.

Slowly but surely, I mustered the…

Yong Yee Chong

I am a sport scholar who writes about personal stories and intersectional identity.

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