Crazy Rich Asians has been a huge success in the box office by any standards. In the three weeks since the movie hit American theaters, it has grossed over $100 million. Not bad for a film with a modest $30 million budget.
But more importantly, the movie has united the Asian American community. Finally, we get to see a movie that resonated with us.
I've gone to more than my fair share of American weddings, so I thought I'd be a professional wedding guest by now. Nonetheless, I was ill prepared to attend this traditional Polish wedding. It was a special event that required me throw out any preconceived notions I had about how much I could eat, drink, and dance.
Four meals, countless times on the dance floor, and who knows how many vodka shots later, I finally hit the sack at four in the morning. I'm just glad my commute to bed only consisted of a short elevator ride.
I got married! Well, I kinda did.
I finally got to check off one of my main goals during this year's extended stay in Taiwan: to host a wedding banquet for my family, especially my grandfather.
After almost canceling the event, I can finally take a deep breath, knowing that the celebration went as well as it could have.
In Chinese culture, paying respect to ancestors is a pretty big deal. In fact, we make a national holiday out of it. Every April, people in China and Taiwan celebrate Tomb Sweeping Day, a day when family members get together at the cemetery, clean up the weeds that have accumulated in the past year, and share food and drinks and paper money with the deceased.
A marriage proposal is supposed to be epic, right? Us guys get one shot to propose, and we better pull it off flawlessly if we don't want to be incessantly teased about how "you had one job!"
Well, hardly anything ever works out the way you envisioned it to. I've heard plenty of personal stories about mishaps, ruined surprises, and the most dreaded "I'll think about it" answer to a poor guy popping the big question in front of his friends.
Wow. What a year it has been. It feels like I fit a decade's worth of experiences and emotions into just one year. Here's a recap of my 2017 year in review.
I quit my finance job, gave up my apartment in Hollywood, and sold my sports car. Instead, I traveled the world with my girlfriend Joanna on the cheap, organized the Work Anywhere Summit, started teaching English online, and launched this blog.
Life will never be the same again.
Here's to 12 months worth of jubilation and frustration, ups and downs, laughter and tears.
Most importantly, here's to doing (most of) it all over again in 2018.
My first Oktoberfest lasted less than 24 hours, but it is one I'm never going to forget.