The happy family

I am a food and travel writer. Well, at least I was before my son, Isaac, was born 18 months ago.

Even as I attempt to reboot my writing career, I realize things are very different now. “Up A Mango Tree” is my attempt to make sense of my new life as mom, writer and wife.

Why “Up A Mango Tree?” As father, mother, son, we are bound together into a compact package called family. Yet we are such unique individuals–in spirit, cultural background, ethnic composition. My husband may be half Pakistani but because he was adopted he barely knows anything about his culture. We joke that he is a mature coconut (brown on the outside, white on the inside).

My family is from Indonesia but we are mostly Chinese by ethnicity and I grew up in the island state of Singapore. I have lived in various states across the U.S. for the past  15 years or so with bypasses back to Asia and Europe. Think of me as an Asian banana, a pisang Raja if you will, (yellow on the outside, paler yellow on the inside).

On our wedding day, my father recited an Indonesian proverb to illustrate that my hubby and I, who are from two very diverse backgrounds, have joined to become one: “Asam digunung, garam dilaut bertemu dalam satu belangga.” Or in English, “tamarind from the mountain, salt from the sea meet in one pot.” Don’t you just love the cooking analogy?

Now that we have started our own family, we are experimenting to see how our backgrounds come into play in bringing up Isaac. East and west, yin and yang, will conform and collide, shaping our malleable little one(s). Eventually we hope our son (and/or future daughter/son) will adopt traits and traditions from each of us, thus answering the question “who is Isaac?” for himself.

However different we three may be, we are united in our love of mangoes. Isaac shovels chunky cubes of golden flesh happily into his mouth with his stubby fingers, while my husband pierces sweet slivers with a fork and slides them past his lips. And me, I absolutely love gnawing on the slippery seed!

Please join us in our adventures as we laugh, learn, love and grow as a multicultural family. And it is my hope that we can share and learn from each other as a global community on this blog.



Email me: pat{at}ediblewords{dot}com

Or visit my other blog: and my professional Web site:


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