I was born in Xi'an (西安), a medium sized city of 8.8 million people. Medium by Chinese standards. Ironically, as the capital of 13 dynasties, the city has a historical name with the literal definition of "Perpetual Peace".

I grew up watching Huluwa (葫芦娃) aka "Calabash Babies". This was Chinese cartoon series about superhero babies born out a tropical fruit. Everyone watched it. Below: the family.

I owe my illustrious imagination and social skills to China's one child policy at the time. My dad left in 1992 for study in Germany while my mom was frequently away for business travel. I learned to quickly make friends and find joy in the small things. Below: me running like I stole that balloon from a Chinese wedding.

In 1995, my mom and I went to the UK where my dad was pursing this doctorate. Aboard my KLM flight packed with blonde giants, I experienced my first touchless bathroom facuet. The memory was my first concious awareness of Western technology. Below: arrival at Heathrow. 

All said and done, little did I know my entire life was about to change.