This photo was taken in India, where I’d gone to meet the Chinese leather tanners of Calcutta. It’s hard to see in the photo, but I’m actually holding a week-old baby goat in my hands. I love goats. And I love traveling.
I’ve also long been fascinated by immigration and the ways that people manage to create homes in all sorts of foreign-seeming places. This is why I’m traveling to Chinatowns on six continents, and I hope this blog will help me and others share stories from Chinese communities all over the world.
Over the next year, I plan to visit Chinatowns in Italy, South Africa, Zambia, Kenya, the U.K., Peru and Jamaica, generously supported by the Mary Elvira Stevens Traveling Fellowship from Wellesley College. If you’re in one of those places, let me know and I’ll give you a holler when I’m in the neighborhood.
A bit about me: I was born in Kaoshiung, Taiwan and grew up in the Bronx, New York. After more than two decades in New York City, I moved to Beijing in 2008.
I am a freelance writer and my stories have appeared in Slate, the BBC, The Wall Street Journal, Foreign Policy, Wired, Inc., Time Out New York, and The Christian Science Monitor. Previously I was a writer for Slate and spent six years covering business and technology for Dow Jones. Please visit michelletsai.com to see some of my published work.
Got a Chinatown story or photo to share? I’d love to feature you on the site! Contact me at michelle AT chinatownstories DOT com.