CongeeMy sister is living in Shanghai on a temporary work visa. We text when she’s having her coffee and a bowl of congee and I’m getting ready for bed.

She’s staying in a 40th-floor studio apartment. She eats dumplings for lunch and dinner. She ordered a custom-made coat in red, but she may need it altered because of all the dumplings. She’s the subject of fascination among her male co-workers.

Today she found a huge cockroach and slipped it under her neighbor’s door because he is loud and she doesn’t have the vocabulary to tell him to quiet down.


Rosemary Birkholz lives and writes and walks dogs in Charlottesville, Va.

Photo credit: Anil Jadhav

5 Responses to “Congee”

  1. Lisa says:

    Hej Rosemary, I would like to publish your 100 words in our upcoming issue of NOUS.
    We talk about ‘Misunderstanding’.

    Let me know what you think?
    x Lisa

  2. Janice Lynch Schuster says:

    Well done, Rosemary. I liked this, especially the custom-made coat needing alterations.

  3. tomlinton says:

    O the unintended consequences
    Particularly in another culture
    Instead of being a punishment
    Mr Loud had it for breakfast :>)

  4. Emily Colby says:

    Rosemary, I really liked this — having spent time in Hong Kong (although I’m from C’ville, like you), I feel like I connected with this. The barriers to communication . . . Thanks for writing

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