Quin Woodward Pu is celebrating the launch of her new book, Settle Down, right here in Hong Kong where quite a few juicy stories found throughout her book take place. You can meet this “straight-A Asian-American extrovert from Georgia with a penchant for vodka, designer shoes, and older men”, have your book signed, enjoy a glass of wine (or three), and check out some featured photographs by Will Thierbach at ethos in Kennedy Town on Monday September 7th, 6:00 – 9:00 pm.
I also had a chance to speak with Quin, who is a passionate writer with a lust for life and love. She was able to share a bit more about her life, Hong Kong, dating, and everything in between.
Hearing all of your juicy stories, and your general outlook on life and love, it’s clear that you’re a very confident woman. Do you have any advice you would give to single women living in the throngs of Hong Kong?
Women with confidence are called “confident.” Men with confidence are just called men. And, men without confidence are still called men. We all have our insecurities. If you show them to people, they will capitalize on it. Hong Kong, like DC, is a busy, transient city, which can make relationships difficult. Have unrelenting belief in yourself and what you want, and don’t let one bad relationship define your dating life. Those are two big mistakes that women (and men, as well) make.
If you were given the opportunity to go back in time and change something with any of the men you’ve dated, would you change anything? If so, what? (Perhaps decide to fly to Mongolia with Cecil..?)
There’s nothing I’d change. I’ve learned a lot from my cadre of crazy exes. And while Mongolia would have been quite the adventure, my life is exactly where it should be right now. I’m also a believer in a jealousy-free life: if something upsets you from the past, amend it in your present. It’s really not that hard. In fact, it’s much harder and considerably more exhausting to wallow in your own self-disgust.
In your book, you shine a fairly pessimistic light on marriage (not that I can blame you in this day and age!). Do you see yourself settling down and getting married at any point in the future? Or, perhaps a more juicy question, are there any serious prospects currently in your life?
I certainly don’t mean to be pessimistic! Unfortunately, I have seen several bad examples of marriage in my life–in fact, almost all of them. That’s really the only experience I can write about, but I appreciate and respect the idea of marriage. Furthermore, I continually see many unaligned couples rushing down the aisle, hoping things will change. They are getting married not out of love, but because it’s “what you do” after dating for a certain amount of time. I would love to be married, and I know that I will be if the timing is right in both my partner’s and my life. As for the latter question, I’ll give a solid, Washingtonian, “NO COMMENT.” on that one.
For all the women of Hong Kong who love a good night out with some eye candy, what are some of the bars that you would recommend for a drink and the potential of picking up your dream man?
Without spouting out an eyeroll-inducing list of ex-pat bars around Central, or even some bougie cocktail lounges in Kowloon or offbeat places in Mong Kok, I’ll just give a more widely-applicable answer: anywhere! You can find someone anywhere, if your mind is open and you’re willing to walk back your idea of an “ideal” meeting. From the grocery store to the airplane bathroom line to the storefront shingle under which you stand during a summer storm–yes, I’ve had successful relationships from all of those locations–it’s all about the attitude.
You talk a bit about social media in your book, and how it affects people and what various outlets have said about you. If you were writing an article about yourself, how would you portray yourself?
That’s a toughie. I’m well aware I’m an amalgamation of contradictions. Single, but a relationship consultant. Conservative, but extreme. Independent, yet obsessed with the study of partnership. I guess the only thing I want people to ever feel around me is entertained. If I haven’t made you rethink one of your long-standing beliefs at least once, I must have been having an off day.
Share one surprising thing about yourself.
I am a prototypical nerd.
Prior to my life in the social limelight in DC, I did the usual Asian-American thing. In high school, my parents gave us home tests about Ohm’s law, botulinum toxin, and chess strategy, which were executed while kneeling on rice grains. I spelled competitively. I got a grant from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute at 18 to study telomeres and studied to go to med school. Eventually, I taught the MCAT.
Now, I sing opera. My iPhone cover is of Mozart. I judge applications for National Press Club scholarships, and continue to teach the MCAT. My Friday nights are often spent reading Montaigne,Yeats, or Montesquieu (with wine. Before going out).
So, that was a bunch of surprising things. But I suppose the most surprising of all? This sex and relationship writer chose to be baptized as an adult at 21, and is now a Sunday School teacher.
You’ve traveled a fair bit and have lived in a few different cities. Which would you call “home”?
For now and the foreseeable future, Washington, DC, though I have my eyes set on Asia down the road.
Why Hong Kong for the launch?
Hong Kong is my favorite city in the world. After three launches of previous books back in the States, I decided it was time to expand my footprint. A large part of
Settle Down takes place in Hong Kong. Having written about my experiences through college (in Nashville, TN) and DC, it seemed fitting to move the launch internationally. Will Thierbach, the breakout photographer who is showing some of his incredible pieces during the signing, is also a friend of mine from DC. Ironically, I never knew Will in DC until a mutual friend invited me to his goodbye party, when Will was making his move to Hong Kong. His house in DC is only a few blocks from me, though I probably see him more often in Hong Kong than back home!