Whatever happened to Alternative Ann?

Compliant me, defiant me I have a friend who used to call me “Alternative Ann” back when we were in high school. I’m actually not sure why, because I’ve always seen myself as a compliant, wallflower sorta gal. Yet I’ve become aware over the last year or so that I actually possess a (frustrating and often ridiculous) contrary streak. I hate hype, celebrities and the … Continue reading Whatever happened to Alternative Ann?

The real reason I speak Spanish: how trifles can transform your life

People are often surprised and curious that I am fluent in Spanish. It is a random language for an Australian – let alone an Asian Australian – to dedicate themselves to. We’re a multicultural but otherwise monolingual kinda nation and learning Spanish presents you with just the one job prospect: teaching Spanish. I enjoy surprising and impressing people with this. I enjoy that it’s a … Continue reading The real reason I speak Spanish: how trifles can transform your life

The H is silent

My first name begins with a silent letter so alliteration exercises in primary school weren’t fun. “Happy Hsu-Ann” doesn’t alliterate and “super Hsu-Ann” looks like it doesn’t alliterate even though it does. Yet the silent H is a familiar and essential part of who I am. (So is the awkward pause and ensuing mispronunciation every time someone realises they’re going to have to read my … Continue reading The H is silent

Nomad no more

Australians boast the inglorious irony of being the best off people in this pandemic and yet we’re potentially the most resentful about travel restrictions. Gap years are standard before and after uni, many of us look forward to our annual overseas trip and retirement will often consist of cruise ship hopping. But before COVID-19 derailed everyone’s travel plans, I was already wrestling not so much … Continue reading Nomad no more