Booty, Bust, and the Moulin Rouge

Disclaimer: This piece may be a little bit more out there for the tame reader.

Champagne on the table and a hushed din of conversation as the lights go down and the audience turns toward the stage. It’s a small venue. A place filled with tables to sit and drink, rather than rows upon rows of auditorium seating. Everyone is ready for one of the most famous shows of all time: Moulin Rouge. Then the music kicks in. It’s hype. It’s exciting. It’s in freaking french. And while I may not have understood a single thing, it was thrilling; straight out of the play book for a perfect crowd pleasing show. Performers filled each spot on stage in their metallically sparkling silver flare pants and gogo boots, dancing along and fitting perfectly with the bubbly, feel-good vibe of the music. They turned around. They swayed their hips. They sang with a performer’s perfect cheesy smile.

Then an accent in the music. Brilliant. Quick. Strong. BAM. CLOTHES OFF. Each girl tore off those flared disco pants and slung them over her shoulder, strutting off the stage. In nothing but a thong, bra, and heels their confidence was radiant. And well deserved. Like, damn that booty though.

As the show continued, a lack of clothing was an integral part. Boobs? Out. Booty? Out. If there was more skin to be seen, they’d be naked. And although that might freak some of you out, I loved it. Maybe seeing it with my parents was a bit awkward, as pointed out when my sister leaned to me and asked, “how weird is it right now that we’re watching this with our parents?” But, despite the scandalous nature of the entire thing, I didn’t see it as something to be tabooed as the cultures I was born into do (Chinese American, two of the most tabooing nations). Instead, I saw it as a salute to the beauty of the human body. Each of those girls up there, baring it all, were stunning. Big boobs, little boobs; big butt, little butt; skinny thighs, thick thighs; none of it mattered. They were all just doing their thing in a thong like it was nothing. Because it wasn’t. And it was beautiful to witness.

Ten out of ten, would recommend buying a ticket.


Peace and Love,

Caroline Cheng

Long Time No Read

Hi. So summer, amiright?

Meghan and I have practically disappeared off the face of this website for a solid couple months, and as life continues to be as hectic as ever, perhaps that won’t change. Or. Maybe. This little catch-up will be a swing back into writing.

I’ve got some stories to relay from summer, but I’ve also still got a couple I can throw up from Spring Break in Spain, and even Winter Break in Switzerland/France (oops?). But for now here’s a quick rundown of what I’ve been spending this glorious time away from school doing.

  1. Took summer school! So exciting! Hey, at least I’ll have all my graduation credits
  2. Learned how to drive. Two years late, but who’s counting?
  3. Went to California. College visits, family, and vacation all packaged into one
  4. Did a mission trip in Northern Minnesota

So, that’s all so far. Even though (cringing as I type this) school is going to be upon us soon, there’s still a lot to come. A concert, a dance workshop, Lollapalooza…

Hopefully I remember to write about it all.

Peace and Love,

Caroline Cheng

Spain Trumps America

One thing I realized while in Spain is that nobody is in any rush to go anywhere. That song “Despacito” might be about getting it on, but that word is the way they live. Slowly.

Here in the States, we all work constantly and don’t stop until… well, until never. But over there, yes they work hard and want to live a good life, but those ambitions that drive Americans to the point of workaholism don’t stop the Spanish from living life beyond the scope of working. And I freaking love it. Students hosting kids from another country? Homework waived for the week. Lunch is at 3PM with the family? Finish the work day by 2:30PM. “Latina Time” makes sure rushing is something you never need to worry about.

The funny thing, though, is that they already think their lives are strenuous. But then again, my host dad also said that “if [he] were to live in America, [he thinks he’d] die.”

There is one thing, though, that is hurried and urgent over there: showers. Take too long and you’ll use up all of the family’s hot water for the day.

Paz y Amor,

Caroline Cheng

P.S. the original “Despacito” without Justin Bieber is the way to go


Spanish Crash Course:

“Latina Time” – dubbed by my teacher; the lengthy grace periods and delays in time

“Paz y Amor” – Peace and Love

I Suck More Than Meghan (yikes)

Before I start I’d just like to say sorry I suck even more than Meghan at running this blog. Life hits you sometimes and when it rains, it pours. I’ve barely had time to scramble through school work but I’m back and have some new stories under my belt.

Like Meghan said in our last post, I went to Spain over Spring Break and lived the hell out of that week. We went through Sevilla and then settled down in Guadix to live with students our age over there. They then hopped over the Atlantic to good old Chicago and when they left, I cried real, vulnerable tears. I’ll put out some more specific posts about the entire experience soon, but for now let me just say this:

If you have the chance to go live abroad with locals (Meghan can attest to this as well as she was living in Spain over Winter Break), do it. Book a cheap flight and find yourself a nice family to stay with, easier said than done, I know; but you’ll not only make your travel expenses lower since room and board are pretty much free, but you’ll leave wherever you are with a new family. Living with locals also gives you something being just a hotel tourist can’t: a taste of real life. You are forced to immerse yourself because you are sleeping, eating, showering, and shitting in a space with people whose lives are probably starkly different than yours, and that forced encounter makes you not only appreciate the place, but the people and their values. I’ll stop myself now because I can feel a rant coming on, but please take this advice.

It will change your life.

Peace and Love,

Caroline Cheng

Choosing A Temporary Spouse

At this point in my life, I have not been on a trip where I was able to choose person for person who I was with, where we were going, and what we were doing. But, I have insane aspirations to go on trips and adventures of my choice with friends (prime example being Meghan DeJong) and my sister (just the two of us). Picking someone to travel with is a big deal. You’re going to be spending a lot of time, energy, and money with this person, so it’s best to have some criteria.


Criteria One:

Be able to come to a consensus as to where you want to go.

For example, with my sister, we both want to fly from Chicago to Iceland, stay there for a few days, and then go to Europe to just hang out and see what there is. With Meghan on the other hand, we’ve decided that Southeast Asia is more our vibe.

Criteria Two:

Be able to get along with that person. No matter what.

If you find yourself getting on edge near that person, don’t travel with them. If they make you stressed, don’t travel with them. If you can’t see yourself spending nearly every waking moment with that person for at least a couple weeks, don’t travel with them. It’s like picking a short-term spouse, except without the wedding.


That’s it. Those are my two criteria as to who I would travel with. It’s short, yes. But it gets to where is matters. These two rules will mean your buddy is passionate and excited about your travels, as well as being someone that looks forward to experiencing everything life has to offer with you by their side.

Choose well.

Peace and Love,

Caroline Cheng

The Price of Beer

This past winter break, I visited Switzerland and France with my parents and sister. We flew into Zurich, Switzerland; took a train to Paris, France; and then caught another plane back to good old Chicago, USA. Both Zurich and Paris are stunning cities, so why did I enjoy the Swiss segment of my winter break better than my Parisian segment? I have no idea. And I’m not saying that I don’t love Paris. I definitely do. Paris is a beautiful city full of experiences unlike anything else in the world. The cafes, architecture, and culture are incredibly unique and I completely understand why the city became romanticized by the entire world. But at the same time, I didn’t yearn for the Champs Elysees the way my family did once we returned to Chicago. What I did miss though, was the colorful buildings, the sound of a German accent, and the way the Swiss Alps was one of the most beautiful views I think I will ever see. I missed the calming vibe of Switzerland as a whole and the fact that it was minimally saturated with tourism.

I fell utterly in love with Zurich, but if I were to return to one of these two cities and settle in for a while, I would pick Paris. What? Didn’t I just spend this entire damn blog post gushing over Zurich? Yes. I did. But I think that one of the waiters we met working in our hotel, Erik, said it best. Erik is from Berlin, Germany and moved to Zurich a few months back. When asked how he liked Zurich and what he thought of it in comparison to Berlin, he said that Zurich was beautiful and good at the start, but after a short while it got boring, as there is minimal to no high energy excitement. And, here’s where money comes in, Switzerland is expensive as hell. In Erik terms: one beer in Zurich costs roughly what three or even four beers could potentially cost in Berlin, depending on where you went. In formal terms: Zurich has high salaries, but also high living costs.

Paris and Zurich are both lovely and I would readily return to either, but the moral of this post is this: If you ever have the chance to go to Zurich, do it. Eat chocolate, pastries, and sausage. Learn how to correctly say “Danke Schön.” Take a day trip, or plan a trip within a trip, and see the Alps. They honestly look the way I could imagine heaven looking. But, at least in my opinion, it is probably not the best place to go for the long haul. Paris on the other hand, has the perfect mix of tranquility and “big city” vibes. If for some reason you’re contemplating both Zurich and Paris, here’s my advice:

“Vacation in Zurich. Live in Paris.”

Peace and Love,

Caroline Cheng

Hi. I’m Caroline.

Hey, everybody! My name is Caroline, although I’m more likely to be called Cheng or smol or one of the other fifty nicknames I somehow managed to acquire through the years. I’m the one often behind the camera making grunting noises while lifting my legs (I’ve been dancing all my life and it somehow feels weirdly natural to kick them up).

What else is there to say?

I’m the easily excited, small boobed, never salty (but often internally salty) girl pictured doing an awkward squat on the side of a Chicago River bridge in the image above. I like cats (especially naked ones) and befriending the Oberweis night staff. I’d like to say I’m decently smart and reliable. But don’t get me wrong, I can be the biggest idiot in the world sometimes.

I’ve glued my sister’s eyelid shut putting on false lashes (she’s totally fine. I promise) and gotten a concussion but not gone to the doctor for it. I’ve shit myself in Coronado, CA and accidentally melted a giant piece of chocolate to my butt and legs on a plane ride back from Italy. I’m a real struggle but I hope you’ll find my derpy awkwardness amusing and entertaining.

Peace and Love,

Caroline Cheng

if you want to get in contact (or befriend me) you can find me here:

instagram (ronda 1): @car.cheng

instagram (ronda 2): @heresalife

twitter: @car_cheng