I came from a beautiful island in Malaysia -- Penang. Its beaches and the hilly terrain attract many tourists. Penang Bridge measuring 13.5 km connects Penang to the peninsula. One can also opt for ferries to travel between the island and the peninsula. I used to love taking the ferry when I was little. I was particularly thrilled to see jelly fish floating just under the water surface.

One of the biggest attraction of Penang is FOOD! Penang literally has its own unique cuisine named after it. Being a cultural mixing pot, Penang offers a myriad choices of cuisine, and an assimilation of chinese, indian and malay cuisines. Hawker food is especially interesting. Food stalls are either set up in stores or by the road side. It is common sight to see crowds standing by the road side slurping down noodles or dessert. In fact, food is probably one of the biggest tourist attraction! It is also one of the biggest driving force for Malaysian students studying abroad to flock home at every available opportunity to eat their fill.

Most of my immediate family are at home. My dad retired from Disted-Stamford College in Penang where he held multiple roles and positions, more than I can keep track of. He was the principal of Chung Ling High School, Penang, for over 20 years. My mom has always been an excellent home maker. My older sister is a nutritionist working with Mead Johnson while my younger sister is a medical doctor. My brother obtained his doctorate degree in Mathematics from University of Illinois, Urbana Champaign in spring 2003.

A sad update: My beloved father left this world unexpectedly in summer 2005. He is very sorely missed.

More updates: My brother was at UC San Diego as a visiting assistant professor but is now back in Chicago. My elder sister has left Mead Johnson to join force with my brother-in-law in food-tech related entrepreneurship. My little sister has extended her medical training in North Yorkshire, UK.

From left, clockwise: My brother at graduation with my sister-in-law. My parents, my sisters, my niece and I. My cute little nephew.

And of course my sugar dog -- Mai Mai. Mai Mai came from Chiang Mai, Thailand, hence her name. She is also affectionate known as "Yo Yo". She is quite an expressive big doggie who adores sugar and affection. She has literally travelled with me to many places. Many times, she sat on my lap in the plane because she wouldn't want to be checked in with my baggages and because she could eat up my dessert. Here is a picture of Mai Mai hugging her older brother Gigi:

I have many other friends, especially my loyal ducky that has been following me since I was 5 or 6. Maybe I will dedicate a page for them later.

What about myself? I finally earned my doctorate degree from the University of Chicago and got married in the summer of 2004.

I am now a visiting assistant professor at the University of Arizona in Tucson. I live in Tucson with my husband Shankar (a.k.a. Cat) and the jewels of our lives -- our bunny kids: Brian and Sabrina. Brian, the brown and white dutch, is adopted when he was roughly 2 years old, on October 30, 2002. On April 2, 2003 after going through 2 trips totalling 11 dates, Brian selected the minilop Sabrina to be his bunny girlfriend. They are both adopted from Red Door Animal Shelter located at 2406 W. Lunt, Rogers Park, Chicago.

Visit Brian's and Sabrina's homepage:

Ours is a vegan household. I unexpectedly turned vegan at the beginning of year 2002, after a student of mine came to office hours and happened to stumbled over the topic of animal cruelty in american industrial farming. I did not consciously decide to become vegan. I just couldn't get myself to buy anything non-vegan anymore.

Leading a guilt free lifestyle is surprisingly fullfilling. It's strange when my friends and family often feel sorry for my "missing out" when here I am, healthier than ever. Being vegan is not about "restriction" or "missing out". It's an adventure to discover what one can do without animal exploitation.

Visit my vegan page to learn more about my adventure: