Tag Archives: America

US gymnast star wins all-around, with help from her Chinese-born coach

I admit I’ve been rooting for China during the Olympics, but one US gold medal got me pretty fired up. Gymnast Gabby Douglas won the US all-around gold, making her the first African-American woman to win the highest individual medal in gymnastics.  Gotta love the picture below, which came with the caption: “Gabrielle Douglas, the first African American woman to win the all-around gold medal in gymnastics, celebrating with Liang Chow, her Chinese-born coach.”

Liang Chow was on China’s national gymnastics team for more than decade, and was also the personal coach of Shawn Johnson, a gold medalist at the Beijing Olympics. After he moved to the US in 1990, he coached the men’s and women’s gymnastics teams at the University of Iowa. He now has his own training facility, the Chow’s Gymnastics & Dance Institute, in Des Moines, Iowa.  Chow, who is originally from Beijing, became an American in 2002.

(Thanks, RAMA!)

German man’s “fob revelations” on YouTube are hilarious

I’m sure you guys know our “Fob Revelation” series, where we muse on such topics as discovering what a “spork” is or the actual meaning of a “douchebag.”  Turns out, a German DJ named Flula Borg a.k.a. DJ Flula shares our sentiments about weird Americanisms.  His amazingly hilarious videos capture him (often chilling in a car) pondering the meanings of American idioms such as “shooting fish in a barrel”, “shoot the sh*t” and “party pooper.”

Watch his video on the meaning of “balls to the wall” (fob confession: I actually didn’t know what this idiom meant either!).

(Thanks, Katie!)

China launches its 1st space lab to “America the Beautiful”

China recently celebrated its historic launch of the country’s first space laboratory. All was perfect and glorious until a CCTV animation of the launch played “America the Beautiful,” regarded by many as an unofficial national anthem for the US. Imagine NASA launching a space shuttle to the National Anthem of the Republic of China. It’s not clear whether or not it was a mistake since the broadcaster has not commented. But I must say, that’s pretty embarrassing.


Americans catch on to the real ice cream sandwich craze


Last week, we posted about real ice cream sandwiches, which are popular in Singapore. Well, looks like America is catching on — introducing the Cool Dog, produced by Cool Foods LLC. This treat consists of vanilla ice cream in between a spongy cake bun.

Just picture an ice cream version of the American hot dog, but instead of topping it with ketchup and mustard, you finish it off with whipped cream, sprinkles, and candy! The CEO of Cool Foods, Dan Weil, once headed U.S. operations for Riso, Inc., a Japanese-owned document solutions company — it’s not surprising he’s had some fobby influence!


Love ice cream? Have you tried chocolate soft-serve poop ice cream?

Food trucks are old news to us fobs

I know food trucks seem to be a huge trend right now in San Francisco and several major cities in the US, but they are old hat to us fobs who grew up in Asia. First of all, we were pretty much raised in Singapore, a country with not only mouthwatering street food delicacies, but with strict sanitary laws which ensure you’re not eating food that’s been cooked in sewer oil. Remind me never to try street food in China.

Suzie and I attended a talk at the Commonwealth Club last night, and it was a gathering of people in the food truck industry talking about the sudden growth of the street food culture in mainstream America. Of course, Suzie and I heartily support this movement, but I must say I do have a little issue with how expensive the food is — come on, roadside food is supposed to cost about two bucks at most! But we can’t complain, because there’s nothing like good ol’ street dishes to warm and comfort the soul.

Li Ning’s shoes are real. Seriously.

OK, so I will admit that Li Ning’s logo kinda looks like a fake Nike swoosh.  But this Chinese shoe company is hoping to make genuine waves here in the US.  For any fob who has ever been interrogated by a customs official at an airport (cue AbFob girls raising their hands), Li Ning’s commercial below will be particularly cute and funny. The humorous low budget ad is apparently a take on real events, when a shipment of F2s that got stuck in US customs because the shoes, which are made almost entirely of rubber-like foam material, didn’t look real.

Li Ning’s trying hard to break into the lucrative US market, with NBA star Baron Davis modeling their shoes (check out Baron’s signature shoe on the left).  What do you think — will the Chinese sports brand make it here?

(Thanks, Hubie!)


I think we’ve got a soft spot for fobby shoe gurus.  Check out one of our early Fobby Heartthrobs of the month, Tony Hsieh of Zappos.com!

15 million fobs hope to strike gold in greencard lottery


Wow, I mean I knew living in America was a privilege, but apparently 15 million other fobs heartily agree and want “in” as well. According to the Wall Street Journal, this year saw a record number of foreigners applying for the greencard lottery, an immigration lucky draw for those hoping to attain permanent resident status here in the US. That’s 25 percent up from last year’s drawing.

Funny, I was actually talking about this with someone on Saturday night at our AA +A Bloggers’ Mixer, which Suzie and I organized. Even though the phrase, “America is the land of opportunities,” is trite and all, it still rings true for us and the immigrant hopefuls. To me, it’s a country in which an individual can succeed through hard work and merit, which isn’t really the case in countries like Japan, where hierarchy is still very much deeply rooted in society.

I can go on about the reasons why I love living here, but I want to hear from you — do you consider yourself lucky that you’re living in the US and what do you love about it?

For more on immigration, read about Arizona deporting fobs,a young guy putting on an old man’s mask to enter Canada illegally, the startup visa for entrepreneurial fobs, and giving greencards to international students to amp up innovation.

If Obama isn’t Forbes number one most powerful person, Hu is?

It’s none other than Chinese President, Hu Jintao. It’s no surprise Hu holds the number one spot. The dude controls a country that oversees $2.65 trillion of the world’s reserves ($1.5 trillion of which is in U.S. dollar holdings). Not to mention China also has the world’s second-largest economy, and a population of 1.3 billion people.

As for Obama, some contend that the power of American Presidents is limited by the various forces of accountability in the democratic system.

When “Made-in-America” companies are now owned by the Chinese, you know times are changing.

Do the Forbes results surprise you?


Fobby Must-Haves: Yakult, the yummiest bacteria drink

I recently found that my local grocery store sells Yakult. . . yay!  Not only that, but come 2012, Yakult is going to build its very first US factory in Southern California.  I LOVE Yakult and have been drinking these tiny bottles of goodness since I was a kid back in Singapore.  Unfortunately, they only sell the original flavor here — I used to love the multi-flavor packs when I was little.

Yakult’s big selling point is that it’s supposed to be good for digestion.  It’s packed with the friendly probiotic bacteria, Lactobacillus casei Shirota, a special strain of live bacteria that a Japanese scientist, Minoru Shirota, discovered back in 1930.

I’ve noticed that Yakult has been airing a cute commercial on TV here recently.  It looks like this delicious fobby health drink is making its way into mainstream America. Holla!


Fobby hottie of the month: Charice Pempengco

We received some some pretty angry comments on our last Charice post, which was about her getting botox. The truth of the matter is, we love her over here. I mean, Charice Pempengco, 18, seems to be the only fob artist to actually crack the American entertainment industry — she’s the first one to make it to the top 10 of the billboard charts. Utada Hikaru, Boa and Coco Lee each tried their luck over here, but sadly didn’t amount to much.

I’ve been a big supporter of Charice ever since I spotted her YouTube videos a few years ago. From singing on stage with Celine Dion to being trained by David Foster (now her godfather), she sure has come a long way in her career. However, her early life wasn’t very smooth sailing. Her father was abusive and, at one point, Charice saw him aim a shotgun at her mom. Charice participated in singing competitions just to make enough to eat. Having gone through so much adversity at too young of an age, she certainly deserves her success.

Speaking of Charice, I’m uber excited for her upcoming role in Glee as the Filipina exchange student, Sunshine Corazon!