About Me

My name is Hsin-Yi, which roughly translates to “Heart’s Wishes” in English. The Chinese believe that the name you bestow on a child will determine their fortune in life, so I guess my name was chosen so that “all my heart’s wishes would come true”. Sometimes, though, I can’t help wishing that my parents had just named me “Lottery Winner”. I mean, why be coy about it, right? ;-)

So. I guess this is where I’m supposed to tell you about myself. People always say all this inspirational stuff about their childhood and their “journey through life” and how it’s made them who they are…I don’t know – I always feel a bit embarrassed when I listen to others talk about how they always knew they wanted to be a doctor or teacher or UN ambassador when they grow up. Me? Well, all I ever wanted to be was Nancy Drew…and that was largely because she had “titian” hair. ;-)

So yeah. No grand ambitions here, I’m afraid. I tried the corporate ladder and didn’t get much further than the lower rungs before I gladly jumped off. Not that I don’t have dreams, of course. One of them is to be a published author; to see a book – a real book – on a shelf one day, with my name on its coverand this blog is partly – hopefully – going to follow me on that journey. * EDIT (Dec 2013): I’ve achieved the dream!! For more about my journey to become an author, check out this post. * (Another dream is being able to cook a meal one day without burning something but don’t worry, I won’t subject you to that lost cause.)

Mostly, though, this blog is going to be like sips from the multi-cultural soup that is my life. When people ask me where I’m from, I usually ask them, “Do you want the long version or the short version?” ;-) Because my background & history are more complicated than a Lost plotline and people’s eyes usually glaze over by the time I’ve got to my 10th birthday.

Well, to begin with, I – along with a million plastic products – have the dubious honour of being “Made in Taiwan” but I left the Ilha Formosa at 6 yrs old, following my parents’ divorce, to live with my mother & stepfather, in a succession of countries. By the time I was 10, I had lived in 6 homes, changed my first language and started a new school every year…all this change can seriously mess up a child and lead to a lot of confusion (like what uniform to wear in the mornings) but I guess I muddled through OK.

Fast forward 18 years and I’m now living Down Under, after some ‘wild’ unversity years at Oxford and a stint working in advertising in London – all this following my teenage years growing up in the United Arab Emirates which has left me with a fondness for things like tabouleh, baklava, shish taouk & shawarma….and the ability to swear in Arabic like a trooper.

And along the way, I’ve somehow managed to pick up a wonderful husband, a huge, slobbery dog, two rescue cats, an assortment of cardboard boxes and a slightly dodgy “trans-atlantic” accent.

I’ve been told that I’m a typical Aries: loud, volatile and hot-tempered, impatient and bossy; I don’t suffer fools at all (never mind gladly!) – and am an ‘eternal optimist’ (which is just a polite way of saying I have single-minded, terrier stubborness when I’ve set my mind on a goal). I’m also supposed to be a perfectionist and a Type A ‘over-achiever’ – which is another way of saying I’m a rabid control freak and I do things like drive my family crazy with detailed, self-made itineraries for every holiday, scheduled down to the toilet stops during each day’s sightseeing…

I’m a lousy loser; can never resist a challenge and add chillis to everything I eat. Oh, and I love animals (yes, even snakes & spiders, although I draw a firm line under cockroaches), am facinated by dogs, and I’m an obsessive, chain-reader. Books are my drug.

And if you’re still here (and your eyes haven’t glazed over yet) and you’d like to find out more about me and why I started this blog, check out my first post: A banana by any other name…

11 thoughts on “About Me

  1. What a special amazing story of who you are! What a special picture of a little girl! What a special girl she must have been, and I’m getting to know the special woman she became!

    Tonight I also found the picture slide shows. I did not look at all of them yet, but look forward to doing so.

    I hope you are making good progress on your book(s).

    Thank you for sharing of yourself and your experiences.

    I am touched.

  2. Ooh, just found this…. I love stumbling onto new things to read!

    Great summary of your complicated life, Hsin-Yi! I laughed out loud at your driving others crazy by scheduling vacations down to the second…. I do the same thing :-). Planning is my natural inclination anyway, but now that I also do it for a living I just can’t seem to turn it off!! Wish I could, but being spontaneous isn’t in my skill set…. I’m also right there with you about books — can’t live without ‘em! Can’t join you on the chilis, though…..my tastebuds are wimps.

    Thanks for putting up the slideshows too! I was fascinated by the number of doggie strollers in Taiwan….. even for a Chow!!! I’d better not ever let Grendel see those pics…. though I don’t think they make the strollers in SUV-sized models :-P

  3. Hi! Just wanted to let you know that I am enjoying your personal blog! Your “About me” was interesting and fun to read. Glad to know a bit more about you. Btw, I´m one of your “Honey” readers.
    Keep on writing!

  4. Hi Hsin-Yi, it’s so nice to find out more about you. Much more interesting than most ‘About me’ sections too – I never know what to write in them! Really enjoying being able to follow both yours and Honey’s blog and I look forward to reading your book one day

  5. I think you and your blog are great and am passing along an award! Head over to my page for details – http://thepathny.wordpress.com/

    The guidelines for accepting this award are:
    1. Copy the Beautiful Blogger Award logo and place it in your post.
    2. Thank the person who nominated you and link back to their blog.
    3. Nominate 7 other bloggers for their own Beautiful Blogger Award, and comment
    on their blogs to let them know.

    Please keep writing and sharing.

    • Oh, this is just a free WordPress blog! If you go to http://www.wordpress.com – you can use their software to set up a site too. There are loads of designs to choose from – and some of them you can upload custom headers (like I did here). You can even set it up to have a Homepage and static pages – rather than like a traditional blog. That is what I have done with Honey’s blog – which also uses WordPress software.

  6. OMG … ME TOO …I’ve been told that I’m a typical Aries: loud, volatile and hot-tempered, impatient and bossy; I don’t suffer fools at all (never mind gladly!) – and am an ‘eternal optimist’ (which is just a polite way of saying I have single-minded, terrier stubborness when I’ve set my mind on a goal). I’m also supposed to be a perfectionist and a Type A ‘over-achiever’ – which is another way of saying I’m a rabid control freak and I do things like drive my family crazy with detailed…. BUT I DRIVE everyone crazy… but i think that great but only thing is sometime i drive myself crazy too then that not good ! and my big bad thing is dont do well with people, but animals love to death !
    I think your great with all that … that what made us and i would have it any other way! ..i dont have many friends mostly because they cant take my mouth ….i tell them if you dont want to no what i think DO NOT ASKED ME..and then get mad because you didnt like what i said SORRY! but my real friends no me, and that what they loves about me! and my family go thew time where they dont no me …but i no they love me and that all that matter !

    I think your great with everything you do ! So you keep being you!
    PS.That book your working on ….IT WILL BE ON THE SELF I JUST NO IT !

    Love Toni… :)

  7. I couldn’t find you on facebook. I went to facebook and typed in Chinoandchopsticks and it sent me to the regular site I have always gone to that was a web page. I was not able to like you like I can on Honey’s site. Did you mean for me to like you on Honey’s page? Help!
    Dawn, Mikey the Grey HOund

  8. I enjoyed reading through your blog on compliments, and think back to my own childhood, listening to my parents do the same thing to us. Luckily, I was able to understand where they were coming from culturally, and was able to “laugh” it off. Reading the dialogues in your blog was perfect! As a mom and a grandmother, and being “more” westernized, I think I try to balance out my compliments and say them to my children and grandchildren faces, but when I’m with my “older” friends, I find myself, not “putting them down” and not crazily singing their praises untruly, but a little bit of both. One of these days, I’d like to find out from them if they saw differently! :) Thanks for being so articulate and helping people see why sometimes we are and do what we do. :)

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