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…


Thanks for being the midnight sun.

Emma spoke to the press after the game as Emma Raducanu. Yes, being herself. (Image courtesy of US Open)

When my tennis 🐐 Roger Federer missing out on his favorite Grand Slam, the Wimbledon 2021 and now on a prolonged rehab to get back to the Game he has graced, I was fearing the worst for him and for myself 😕. As I had come to love this sport because of him, would I still be interested to watch any tennis, at all?

And here I am, cheering for you, with a 12-hour difference in timezone, a tropical country that did not see our tennis players playing in a Grand Slam (I might be wrong❔). I had tuned in…


How Sandra Oh brings comedy to the table with thought-provoking charm

Fans of Killing Eve would laugh at this scene and gasp for air: “Tallulah Shark!” (Screenshot from Season 3 of Killing Eve)

“If they don’t give you a seat at the table, bring a folding chair.” — Shirley Chisholm

I’ve watched a lot of Sandra Oh in the last three years. It seems obvious from where I inhaled most of the nourishment. A mixture of scintillating acting and intriguing plots in Killing Eve earned Oh a seat at the table. This is, of course, not her first great act. Her presence has been long established, beginning when Cristina Yang walked into Seattle Grace Hospital as an intern on Gray’s Anatomy. The act that “sealed” it though, was playing the lead role as…


But where is “heaven” for those who do not belong?

“When it’s all over, we will reach a place, somewhere or something we could never reach without having gone through everything we’ve gone through.” — Mieko Kawakami

We all imagine heaven differently. It can be an actual place or a metaphorical state. The only thing for sure, we’re supposed to feel the perfect happiness as we get there. Perhaps this is how I made sense of Mieko Kawakami’s Heaven. I was trying to give the journey of suffering a meaning that it deserves. At least, this pain and suffering lead us somewhere.

‘I can bear any pain as long as…


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…

Yong Yee Chong

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

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