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I’ve been working from NC these past couple of weeks and spending some long-overdue time with family and friends.  Being back in the states has made me realize that there are are few things that I really miss about living in the South (American south):

1. Really, really, really friendly people. Seriously, I forgot how good it feels when strangers smile at you on the street and ask you about your day, or when people strike up random conversations with you in line at the DMV (by the way – waiting in line at the DMV is NOT something I miss about America).  And I’m not gonna lie – I appreciate a cat-call every now and then.

2. The music scene.  Specifically hip-hop. Every once and a while Singapore will deliver, but honestly, one can only listen to so much pop/house/dance/techno before one goes insane.  I love my Singaporean and European ex-pat friends, but really guys – let’s get it together on the music front.  Check out this great band below, Eyes of the Elders, playing at The Black Flower in Raleigh this week (sorry for the video/sound quality…it was loud in there):

3. Driving.  You mean I don’t have to walk in the blistering sun to the MRT (subway)?  I don’t have to stand on a packed bus for 45 minutes?  It’s 2:00am and I don’t have to pay for a taxi home?  You mean, I can just get in the car and go wherever I want?  For free? No ERP? Awesome.

4. Shopping.  I’m no longer taller, wider, or curvier than the general female population, so everything fits: shoes, pants, bras, bathing suits, you name it.  And no one is trying to sell me products to make my skin whiter.

5. Breaking the rules.  It’s healthy to be a little rebellious once in a while.  And it feels good to spit gum on the street, jaywalk, smoke a cigarette in public, and run a red light when no one is looking (just because you can!).

This trip home has been a good battery-recharger.  And now I’m ready to take on Singapore again – all shiny and happy!  See you next week, y’all…

I may live in Asia, but the world’s best sushi is still from Shiki!

(Note to most excellent friends: you’re welcome for this most excellent photo of yourselves)

No cover.  Ever.

With a Skinny Bag of Sugar and some Soul + Funk.  Yeahhhh

The Station, Carrboro

From left to right: 1) Gamla Stan, Stockholm; 2) Swede shades; 3) A Carolina-style rehearsal dinner; 4) Swedish pastries; 5) the Summer Church; 6) Feet in the Ume river; 7) Berries in the market; 8) Ready for a wedding; 9) Stockholm from the water; 10) Mazel tov!

People in Stockholm are so fashionable (and tall, and blond, and ridiculously good-looking). But if you want to try and blend-in you should wear stripes. We’ve been playing Where’s Waldo (where’s Sven?) all week..

From my hotel room on the 12th floor, overlooking the center of Umeå and the Ume river.  It’s cool and sunny – otherwise known as perfection!

On a separate note, everyone looks like me.  This is rather surreal – coming from Singapore – where I stick out like a sore thumb.  Unfortunately, everyone also expects me to speak to them in Swedish.  I’ve been giving a lot of blank stares…”yah, sure? you betcha?”

I’m headed off to the land of Ingmar Bergman for the wedding of my favorite blond bombshell, and to be reunited with dear, close friends!  Overdose of daylight-hours and H&M shopping sprees to be followed by a few weeks respite in … wait for it …

…Americaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa! (The Old North State, to be exact)

Singapore – We’ll tango again in September.

Well, press pass on Patong Beach at least.  In any case, S and I managed to have fun as usual – despite a whole lot of rain and a whole lot of sketch.

My vote?  If you want Thai beaches – stick to Krabi.

Miss Miumiu on the beach

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