Missing California

Child to Adult
Cartoon by @lianafinck

I’ve been reading and watching a lot of the things I used to grow up with. And it has made me really think about how much I miss the simplicity I grew up with in California. A lot of the things here at Swarthmore (and the East Coast) are very high pressure and it kind of made me forgot what life was like back home. Even when I’m back home during breaks, I’m still always thinking about school, I’m talking with my girlfriend whose back on the East Coast. And today I realized how it’s been making me forget about what I grew up with.

I wanted to share some of the things that I’ve watched/read recently that reminded me of home

Quest Crew – I remember back when I was growing up I was captivated by watching these guys dance. They are a group of Asian dancers (shout out to Poreotics too) in California that would go make stupid and funny vlogs about their dance practices and give me a chance to get to know them.

Burmese Food – Recently I’ve been reading the cookbook by Desmond Tan “Burma Superstar”, one of the OG Burmese restaurants in San Francisco. It’s kind of crazy how growing up I would eat all of these dishes but I didn’t really understand the history of the dishes. The book gives me the geopolitical influences and forces that shaped the popular Burmese dishes today. And studying Asian Studies has given me a deeper understanding of the way people (and recipes!) transform as they move across boundaries. For example, Myanmar is sandwiched between India and China – then bringing Burmese cuisine to San Francisco, Tan worked had to work with the American/Chinese palettes and ingredients of SF. The youtube link I linked above links to somebody who pretty much is the only YouTuber posting Burmese cooking and recipe videos; and I actually wanted to contribute to that by making some Burmese cooking/recipe videos myself.

I’m not sure if it’s the distance from home that’s making me miss it so much, but I really miss the times going out on a sunny day to practice some handstands / flips I saw on Youtube, watching airplanes take off and land by the airport, and growing up in a monastery with a bunch of other Burmese kids.

I do know that as I grow older though, I want to hold on to what I grew up with.

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Author: Sam Shih

Hi I'm Sam! I'm from San Francisco, California and am currently a junior at Swarthmore College majoring in Computer Science and Asian Studies.

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