Not Gonna Get Us


Best of 2019

We’re away until January 6, but we’re reposting some of our favorite pieces from 2019. Enjoy your holiday!

Original illustration © Jia Sung.

“Don’t eat pigs,” she said. “So I can kiss you, if we meet again.” That was how she said it, in Mandarin. Pigs, not pork. The line went dead. I was out of calling-card credits again.

We’d met a year earlier, in 2002, at the Shanghai Municipal Physical Sports School. She was fourteen, I was fifteen. She played soccer, I played softball. She was a Uighur Muslim who’d never heard of metropolitan Singapore, I was a Straits Chinese atheist who didn’t know pastoral Xinjiang existed.