Around the World in 80 Days: Asia Edition

Since my Taiwan job was a big ol’ bust, I headed off to Singapore.  Have you guys listened to this podcast?  I listened to the ENTIRE THING on my flight.  I never do that.  Usually I nap or watch trash TV episodes I’ve saved on my laptop.  I highly recommend it…. The Dirty John podcast… and watching the Kardashians at 30,000 feet.  Somehow being up in the air makes them more palatable.  Or maybe that’s the free white wine talking 😉


It was a balmy 80 degrees with 87 percent humidity in Singapore.  It’s like a free facial, except you want to punch the aesthetician Mother Nature in the face.  Also, I had to google how to spell aesthetician.  Shit.

I LOVE the Singapore airport.  I’m pretty sure everyone does.  Look at those non-immigration lines!  *insert heart eye emoji here*

I had to prep for my job when I got to my hotel.  Here’s some actual steno talk for ya.  This was all a brand new world to me when I moved to Asia, and don’t think this type of work exists in the United States outside of maybe high profile murder cases.  And even then I’m not sure.

I’m sent my documents which are on an FTP site.  I download them and make a glossary.  I then write my steno next to each glossary term.  This can be many pages long, so on the day of the job I place it out in front of me like a poster so that each time a proper noun is used, I can quickly look down (or hopefully I’ve memorized a lot of them so I don’t have to) and see my steno, and voila, perfect realtime.  We also have a three-hour turnaround for the final transcript, so an editor sits next to me with my laptop in front of them, editing as the day goes.


A room service burger helps steno prep.  It’s science.  (Yes, I am a burger scientist)

I get this question a lot, and it’s definitely one I had when I moved here:  What the F do you do if they say a word not on your glossary?!  FINGERSPELLING is your friend in this job.  It is of utmost importance to be able to fingerspell like the dickens!  It’s like stitching, except it comes out without the hyphen.  Of course there’s a big chance I’m not spelling the unknown noun correctly, but it’s better than random steno coming out on realtime to a room full of people.  After I fingerspell once, auto-brief comes up with a brief for me.  It’s seriously live-saving.

Lovely Singapore and me.  That sweater I’m wearing isn’t doing me any favors, but I love my dress from Banana Republic!  That’s most of my work clothes.  We don’t have them in Hong Kong, so every time I go home I go in and buy out the freakin’ BR store.


I can’t take photos inside the courthouse, but Google it if you get a chance.  I’d post a photo from the Internet here, but I’m not sure what’s legal to post and what’s not; if I just need to give credit or what.  Much blogger, very write.


Me enjoying my free facial while waiting for a taxi.

My Singapore tripped was short-lived as a day of closing submissions was confirmed for a case I was on for two weeks in November in Beijing.  From 80 degrees to 30 like that!  Back on the plane I went, this time for six hours.  I normally don’t have flights that long  for work!


I thought it was HILARIOUS that this plane had chatrooms.  Maybe they all do and I just never notice.  I decided to be creepy and go in a “Movies” chatroom and ask people if they liked scary movies


Unfortunately, no one else entered the chatroom.  Probably because it isn’t 1994.


Enjoying the morning paper at breakfast.


Rare photo of me not sweating.

I had a full day of closing submissions, one side giving their submissions in Mandarin.  I wear headphones and get interpretation via a man sitting in a booth in the back.  I don’t know how they do it!  I’m sure they think the same about us court reporters 🙂

I headed home to Hong Kong the next day.  Thank Buddha!  But not before… IT SNOWED!  I was WAY too excited.


People were taking photos of me because I didn’t have a jacket.  I thought it felt good outside, ha!

Not happy to be back on a plane, but happy to be going home.  This lady’s ensemble was speaking to my soul.


I read this book the whole way.  I AM LOVING IT.  It is a true crime novel written by Patton Oswalt’s wife, who died last year 🙁 A friend of hers finished writing the book and it just came out.  I’ve finished half of it in two days.  I must read everything by her after this!


It was so nice to take the weekend to do NOTHING.  Got a week of depos ahead for me, and then back to Taiwan next week.  Though I’m sure that plan will change approximately 38.2 times before then 🙂





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