- My old last name was utterly unpronounceable – 12 letters long and about 2/3 of them consonants (I thought about including it here, but googling my old last name will only lead to embarrassing piano recital videos, so I’ll refrain)
- We were just about to become U.S. citizens, so there was something right in the timing.
- I never quite liked the way my first and last names sounded together (I know we can’t choose the last names we’re given, but the doesn’t mean we can’t complain about them).
- For one, my current blog name never made sense
- Eating wheat makes my throat swell within minutes and the name Pasta Republic is a reminder that I’ll never have regular pizza again (or if I do, it’ll be the last thing I eat).
- I’d like to buy a domain name for my blog and it seems a bit silly to buy ‘pastarepublic.me’ when this isn’t a cooking site (also, someone bought pastarepublic.com last October).
- Truthfully, the last name name was a spur of the moment choice, and I feel like I can do better.
In the next few days, I’ll be re-branding as Skipping Customs. I’ve been thinking about this for a while, and haven’t been able to come up with a name that I liked, simply because while somethingShanghaisomethingsomething seems like too an obvious choice. I won’t be here forever (I hope).
But Skipping Customs somehow makes sense. It makes sense because I’ve been having a hell of a time getting through TSA checkpoints because of my new hair color (It would be nice if TWB – traveling while blonde was an actual TSA term for these difficulties). I got extra screenings returning to the U.S. and leaving the U.S. and the Chinese passport control agents made me pull all of my hair back from my face to prove that it was indeed, me (trust me, if I were faking my identity, I wouldn’t have chosen the crappy passport photo I have circa 2007, which is incidentally when I changed my last name).
On another level, Skipping Customs also relates to my difficult relationship with my own culture, in terms of skipping cultural customs and the ways I’ve been trying to balance my Russian/Middle Eastern identities while living in China.
So yes, this is a fresh start. I’ll miss my old name, but I’m sure, as with my new blog layout (which is from last September and not new at all), this will soon feel right too.