Fenshou: “He made me alive and dead” in Hong Kong

(photo by Steve Webel via Flickr.com)
(photo by Steve Webel via Flickr.com)

An anonymous woman writes of the Chinese man she once dated, “He made me alive and dead. He once left me sobbing on a hotel chaise lounge, naked and overlooking the Hong Kong skyline, and I remember thinking this was what it was like for an artist’s muse to become an artist’s mistress.”

It’s a powerful story of an all-consuming, passionate love between one Western woman and one Chinese man that ultimately burned out — but will never be forgotten.

Do you have a gripping story of passion or a guest post you’re dying to share on Speaking of China? Learn how at the submit a post page.

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I found myself falling in love with a man who amazed me. I’ll call him Richard. From his view on the world, to how he would take care of me, and how he invited me to China after only really being together for two months. It. Was. Amazing. He was intelligent, hilarious, and dressed impeccably, He had ambition that matched mine and was damn sexy. Tall, dark, beautiful. Strong, but elegant and delicate. Before this whole experience, I had never dated a Chinese man, let alone, someone who hailed from another country. I was two years older than him (26 and 24), and I was okay with it because of his deep maturity and knowledge and love for the world. All I wanted was to know more about him. Though I have been in love before, I had never felt the pure need I had for Richard. It was real and scary and intoxicating.

We met at a work party — Richard, a citizen of China, and I, a Midwestern girl. It was a whirlwind. Our first week together was spent in three different cities, jumping from hotel to hotel as we traveled with our work. His English wasn’t very good, and I speak no Mandarin. I almost liked how he struggled with the language, and how I had to simplify things just a bit. Instead of the usual nonsense I have to go through with native English speakers, he and I had to cut through all the crap and just say what we really meant.

It was refreshing.

Luckily, we found ourselves in the same city for the next month. Unluckily, our jobs considered dating a no-no, so we had to figure out ways for none of our coworkers to find out about the beautiful thing we had discovered. This entailed sneaking into each other’s rooms at night, only having midnight meals and gifts mysteriously being left in my room. One day, I had found a bottle of perfume hidden under my pillow. My good friend and co-worker, who I spent most of my free-time with, questioned where I got the scent. I struggled for an answer and internally swooned.

All of this sneaking was almost romantic, and added a sense of urgency and danger to all of our rendezvous’. It was entirely worth the rushed meal, just to be able to look into his beautiful eyes and feel the power he had over me. I still get chills thinking of our first kiss, outside of a sushi restaurant at two o’clock in the morning, no one else on the street. Our conversations were sparkling and we had this power over one another that was so electrically charged. My emotions ran so high for him, and his for me.

But still, most of our communication was via WeChat, where he was my only contact, and consisted of nearly 70% of my phone’s activity.

Just as soon as it all happened, Richard was on his way back to China. Now, being too many miles apart, things really got interesting.

The instant he landed in Hong Kong, he made it very clear what he wanted. Me. To not hang out with too many guys (but most of my friends are guys!) and not drink too much (but my hometown is KNOWN for beer!) and to text him from the moment I woke up, to the moment I went to sleep.

And I did. And he did. And we both became obsessed.

We texted from my morning, to way way into his night. I think each of us were only getting about four hours of sleep. Of course, we were still keeping things secret from our friends and common co-workers, so we had no time to Skype and could barely talk on the phone. Strictly WeChat. Our conversations were normal. Flirty, romantic, sexy. Up until a week before I was scheduled to leave.

A week before, his contact suddenly became slack. Not texting when he woke up, barely giving me details of his day. So I pulled back (with lots of struggle, of course). I was hurt and confused and couldn’t figure out where the change came from. All I knew is that I wanted to see him again so I could touch him, and kiss him, and have the bright conversations we were enjoying only a month ago.

I got angry. He got angry. And anger does not translate well on WeChat. Three days before leaving, I found myself awake at four in the morning, sobbing because he wasn’t responding to me. Richard assured me everything was alright, that he was busy preparing for my arrival. I understood.

When I landed for my three week trip, things got even weirder. I wasn’t greeted with a kiss. I wasn’t greeted with a hug, or even a ‘hello’.

“Wow that is a big suitcase.”

My first night in Hong Kong was spent kissing, then fighting, then making love, and fighting again. I felt like I was in a music video. The trip was off to a bad start and working things out was difficult. He was acting strangely. I was acting strangely, our whole vibe was different than it was before.

After a good talk and couple days of me wandering this foreign city by myself, we were better. But looking back, maybe we were faking our happiness. The controlling side of him took over, and my people-pleasing side was brought to surface. Our personalities clashed. Without the secrets, and sneaking, our ‘love’ was different than before. I thought he was urgent before to keep us from getting caught. But as he rushed me through a fantastic dinner, I saw a side of his personality that I didn’t like. And when I protested, he would call me selfish. I would fall to my knees and give in, abandoning half of my food.

We had our ups and downs, and told each other we loved one another. We fought passionately, made love passionately, and I felt pain in my gut when I made him mad. It was a dangerous relationship.

After three weeks of traveling, it was time to part. I think we both knew it was our end. When I landed, he messaged me making sure I made it home okay. I
told him I had.

And that was it.

Though the specifics in my tale are lacking, the feelings stirred up just by writing this assure me the experience ever even happened. It makes me want to message him. But I know I can’t. I know we are both better off. This whole ordeal is two months old, and I still feel like my life is lacking a certain something, something toxic.

Maybe it was the lust, the passion. The way he would hold me at night, like I was a life-raft. He made me alive and dead. He once left me sobbing on a hotel chaise lounge, naked and overlooking the Hong Kong skyline, and I remember thinking this was what it was like for an artist’s muse to become an artist’s mistress. I wanted to think I had the power, but if I really thought that I was a fool. He didn’t have it. I didn’t have it. The power was in us, together.

And I think letting go of that power is the worst thing I have ever done.

Though preferring to remain anonymous, the author is a young professional with bad luck in love.

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52 thoughts on “Fenshou: “He made me alive and dead” in Hong Kong

  • October 10, 2014 at 9:46 am
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    I love these stories, they’re always so interesting, but it would be really cool to see some of them from the male’s perspective.

    Reply
  • October 10, 2014 at 10:07 am
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    What a whirlwind of a romance! However, sometimes things end for a reason and even though it may be hard, I believe she is better off in the long run.

    Reply
    • October 13, 2014 at 1:04 pm
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      Thanks for the comment, Constance! Yes, it does sound like she’s much better without this guy.

      Reply
  • October 10, 2014 at 10:53 am
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    This reads like a Mills & Boon tale (yes, I used to read them)!

    It’s too bad about the way things ended for the author. To be honest, though, this sort of toxic relationship is what I crave because it’s what makes me feel alive — it’s what makes me feel, period.

    Reply
  • October 10, 2014 at 11:05 am
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    Wow, what a story! It really pulled me in. I’ve never really experienced that, but the writer made me feel like I had.

    Midwestern woman from a place famous for beer? Anonymous sounds like she shares my hometown of Milwaukee!

    Reply
    • October 13, 2014 at 1:06 pm
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      @R Zhao, yes, it is an incredible story. Well written and extremely compelling.

      You’re from Milwaukee? I think I know of at least one other yangxifu in our community who’s from Wisconsin.

      Reply
  • October 10, 2014 at 11:46 am
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    That was interesting! Sometimes we meet people on the way but life’s circumstances leave them behind. I was wondering maybe he had someone else? Did u stay at his house or at a hotel?

    Reply
    • October 13, 2014 at 1:08 pm
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      @Li, it’s a good question about whether he was seeing someone else. It sounds like she never did go to his house, based on the story at least.

      Reply
  • October 10, 2014 at 6:46 pm
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    What a beautiful story! sometimes, we just cannot live with our without a person. it is toxic 🙁

    Reply
    • October 13, 2014 at 1:08 pm
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      @Linda, glad you enjoyed it! It’s true, some people are just too toxic to live with.

      Reply
  • October 10, 2014 at 8:32 pm
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    It’s sad, hearing something like this story.

    A lot of the times women are just wanting love and they think they find it, fall fast and the end result is negative.

    I hope she’s happier.

    P.S. not giving away where she might be from, but it seems she’s from the same hometown as me. (my hometown is also known for its beer.)

    Reply
    • October 13, 2014 at 1:11 pm
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      @Holly Hollins, wow, it’s interesting to see that a lot of you are Midwesterners! While my hometown of Cleveland, Ohio is definitely not known for beer, I always feel a kinship with other folks from the Midwest.

      Reply
  • October 10, 2014 at 8:44 pm
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    What a heart-breaking story. I can related to it and from experience know that she’s better off. There was something he wasn’t being upfront about, but couldn’t tell her. At 24, he could have been married or engaged. She deserves someone who treats her better.

    Reply
    • October 13, 2014 at 1:12 pm
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      @Susan, thanks for the comment! Yeah, there seems to be something this guy was hiding.

      Reply
  • October 10, 2014 at 9:30 pm
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    it’s such a sad story but I think it’s better for her – it sound not like a passionate relationship but more like a toxic relation that in the end would make her even more sad.
    I hope she’s happy wherever she is now in her life.

    Reply
    • October 13, 2014 at 1:14 pm
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      @Lina, thanks for the comment! Yes, she seemed very sad by the end. Sometimes we’re better off without someone.

      Reply
  • October 11, 2014 at 12:49 am
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    Beautiful! I think it is too bad the guy can’t make it clear to her what happened. It is unfair to make people wonder and feeling guilty.

    Never lose the sense of adventure. Hopefully it leads you to a better person and better place next time.

    Reply
    • October 13, 2014 at 1:15 pm
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      @Dan, yes it is a shame he never really was upfront with her about what really happened. No doubt the author will find her way back to love someday — with someone much better for her.

      Reply
  • October 11, 2014 at 2:44 am
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    What a captivating story and really well written.

    Maybe it was only meant to last for a short time. I agree with others who have commented that she’s probably better off without him (seeing how he treated her when they last saw each other).

    Reply
    • October 13, 2014 at 1:16 pm
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      @chinaelevatorstories, thanks and glad you liked the story! Yes, some relationships weren’t meant to last — and perhaps this was one.

      Reply
  • October 11, 2014 at 7:48 am
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    So some of you good folks hail from the town of Harley’s,beer, brats and custard. Too bad we can’t do a meet up at the one place known for “Danger, Adventure, Romance,” or else that club where spies go.

    Reply
    • October 13, 2014 at 1:17 pm
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      Ha ha! Is there really a club with that name? Gosh, I would love to meet up there! I’m probably not from your hometown but I enjoy a good beer and swapping stories of “danger, adventure, romance”!

      Reply
  • October 11, 2014 at 10:15 am
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    What a story, almost makes me nostalgic with my ex. Maybe I should write my story and send it to Jocelyn some days.

    Reply
    • October 13, 2014 at 12:55 pm
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      Rdm, I’d love to read your story sometime — you’re always welcome to submit it!

      Reply
  • October 11, 2014 at 8:41 pm
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    I feel horny after I read the story. me so horny lol. You just have to date a person for a long while to see the real personality.

    Reply
  • October 14, 2014 at 2:31 pm
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    @Joycelyn
    You might be closing Wolskis.

    R Zhao if I could just remember the password to get in.

    I forgot to comment on the post. I think it is very well written, and could be used as the basis of a great story. To the author: someone really worthy of you will come along and absolutely sweep you off your feet.

    Reply
  • October 14, 2014 at 3:01 pm
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    I’m a chinese, a typical chinese. A few years ago, I encounter a polish girl who’s doing cancer research, focused on relation between DNA and cause of cancer.

    I had a crush on her after had some very prelonged chat, starting from some random chat, then the conversation just goes on and on and on……She’s pretty by western standard(you know, east european girl are generally looks ok in chinese point of view), but not ‘sexy’ in western standard.

    what attacts me is her little nerdish, and what i find turns me on is that she crack jokes about her work in lab very often, and sometimes it took me a few seconds to understand, and try to figure out how to tease her to have a bit laugh. a little brain exercise makes chinese man exciting about. from the prelonged conversation, I find out she was brought up in a big, healthy and postive famliy enviroment, that tells me someting about her parent’s edcuation level although they are not rich. The most importantly I learn something from her.

    unfountatly, she was in an relationship with somebody else, and seems stable at that time, so I just gave up thought of flirting with her too much. But keep FB contact occasionally, just in case, just in case….

    Reply
  • October 15, 2014 at 3:19 am
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    @ Miss Anonymous.

    Wow! What a story! It sounds a like a true roller coaster ride for you. I definitely think he was hiding something and therefore he did not want to escalate beyond a few sexual conquests and flings. I am convinced that the end of this toxic relationship was for the better and not for the worst.

    Your story is somewhat akin to the one by Susan Blumgerg Kason who dated and eventually married a dishonest Chinese man. If you read her book, you will see that her ex-husband Cai had a lot to hide by travelling to the mainland in China while leaving her behind in H.K. after he had his way with her in H.K.

    I wish you well in fining a good man. We men often complain about the shortage of honest decent women. It was interesting to read a woman’s point of view.

    I wish you all the best.

    Reply
  • October 17, 2014 at 8:55 pm
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    I have got my story but its rather shocking to other people. It’s a long story involving a Caucasian girl form the down under, I would like to call her N. She is in my memory forever. Every once awhile she pops up in my mind…

    Reply
  • October 18, 2014 at 6:03 am
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    @ TLAG.

    I presume that you are an Asian male based on your comments. Perhaps you can share the details by submitting your story to Jocelyn. I look forward to reading here on this site. Thanks.

    Reply
  • October 19, 2014 at 4:16 am
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    @Fred

    I am thinking whether I should share this. There might be too much violent content in the story. I am not sure if Joselyn will approve it, LOL.

    Reply
  • October 20, 2014 at 12:52 am
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    The story just did not end very well!!! At the end, I was force into fights. And my life of was threaten by the people who don’t want us to date each other.

    I won all the fights but I lost her forever!!! What can I do!!! Such is life!!!

    Reply
    • October 21, 2014 at 12:31 am
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      @ TLAG. No worries as I am certain that Jocelyn will approve of the content even though it will be violent so long as it is the truth. So, let’s hear the story, bro!

      Reply
  • October 22, 2014 at 5:18 am
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    Still would have thought violence will be rare in Australia…then again there was an epidemic of vilience against Indians five years ago. On a trip to Queensland five years ago, someone pointed me to an attractive white Aussie woman in Gold Coast…they told me that she encouraged a couple of guys to beat an Indian guy up and turned state witness against the two guys and walked….so I do believe what TLAG is saying. However, if it happens in Australia, it will happen more often than not in the US South…I am asked about white privilege…white privilege is the privilege of white men, for instance from Australia, to land in Hong Kong looking for Chinese women to hook up with, while they deny reciprocity to Chinese men trying to hook up with white women in Australia…or get violent when someone like TLAG is found with a white woman.

    Reply
  • October 22, 2014 at 7:20 am
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    @ David and TLAG.

    Perhaps the incidents of violence were just isolated and not the norm. Then again I do not know because I have never lived been to Australia or the Southern USA. Among the very few Australians or Southerners that I have met to date, none of them was prejudiced towards me. Then again I have never tried dating an Aussie girl or a Southern girl.

    But I am interested in hearing about TLAG’s experience with the white girl and the violence attendant to dating her. Were these incidents in Australia?

    Fred

    Reply
  • October 22, 2014 at 10:30 am
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    TLAG,

    Sometimes, it’s good to use violence to stand up for yourself. You can post here if you want to. It’s a healing process. We will support you all the way. I said it before that asian men should express ourselves more often.

    Reply
  • October 22, 2014 at 10:35 am
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    David, TLAG and Fred,

    Are white men more violent or asian men? Usually asian men won’t show violence because of our beliefs.

    Reply
  • October 22, 2014 at 4:50 pm
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    @Fred, Bruce & David

    I think and think…… If I was to write about this story, I can write a 5 pages essay on it.

    This happened in one of Australia’s biggest cities. This story will be so negative and there are so much violence involve in it to the point where it will be a big shock to any normal person. So many people got injuries and the authorities turn a blind eye to it for a long time.

    I have overcame those people and survived it. But it has seriously changed my views on some people and Australian society as a whole.

    I must say, after this episode, I have realised the worst in some people. And I can’t help but to abandon some of politeness in Chinese culture. Because, been polite just doesn’t work with some people. These people are full of HATE!!!

    Many violent incidents happen in Australian cities have never been exposed. And those ones do get exposed on the news are just tip of iceberg.

    You might think I sounded very negative on this issue and might not even believe what I said. Many people don’t believe it until they encounter it themselves.

    I fully understand why Joselyn and John want to trade in their American dream for the Chinese dream. I totally understand!!!

    I think the story is just too negative to share!!! And we don’t want to be too negative on this forum.

    I sometimes feel the anger but I know I have to control it and not let it get out of hand.

    Finally, I think we should be more positive and keep improving and making advancement on all the girls we like.

    I realised I must try if one don’t try then one can never get girl’s attention.

    FAILURE IS THE MOTHER OF SUCCESS!!!

    Reply
  • October 22, 2014 at 10:18 pm
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    @Bruce

    In my humble opinion, the Caucasian men are definitely more violent than Asian men.

    I said this because I live in different countries for period of time. I can compare.

    I mentioned, Caucasian men are less patient than Asian men.

    The is particular true when they are dealing with Asian people. Many of them consider Asian people soft targets.

    And thats why I said I relised I have to abandon politeness in Chinese culture when I deal to people like this. Because you can not be polite to violent attackers whose sole purpose is to attack people.

    Reply
  • October 22, 2014 at 11:03 pm
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    TLAG…you have confirmed that the incidents happened in Australia and I am guessing it is Brisbane or Perth (may be Gold Coast?)…white people in Adelaide and Hobart are racists but they are soft racists…type who will not like to be around you but wont use violence against you. I lived in Adelaide during the southern winter of 2007. I also believe that some white South African expats of the Afrikaans kind were involved in the violence against you…more often than not, they were involved in the Indian student beatings and threatened my former Singaporean boss’s niece all the time in Perth because she was rich Chinese married to a white Aussie…she and her daughter always received death threats but they did not make many threats against her white Aussie husband.

    If Asian males are as racist as white males or white females, they will beat up every other Asian woman-white man couple in China, Taiwan or Singapore…at least as far as racial violence is concerned white males clearly lead the way followed by black males…Asian males are far behind. I still insist that Alfred Wright in Jasper, Texas was murdered by a bunch of whites because he was married to an attractive white woman…as far as violence by white women are concerned, the only incidents I have heard about are in New Zealand…however, many are soft racists…who will probably say ew or in the extreme cases throw up at the sight of an ir couple…..

    http://thisiseverydayracism.tumblr.com/post/75727855515/white-new-zealand-woman-attacks-asian-woman-with-a

    Reply
    • October 23, 2014 at 12:41 am
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      @ David.

      Wow! This video made me sick and I could feel the bile coming out from my stomach.

      Reply
    • October 23, 2014 at 1:14 am
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      Happened two days ago.

      Taking a left turn into 35 miles limit road after seeing 3 cars passing by. The first vehicle is Audi 5 doors and Asian girl was driving. She turned her face and looked at me while I was waiting. She’s a Chinese girl. There’s two other cars driving behind. One is Honda SUV and the other is Ford.

      I took the left turn and followed them. Suddenly the speed becomes slow, I don’t know what happened, and I started hearing “honking” in front. Then traffic resumes. So I hit the gas pedal.

      At the next traffic lights, I stopped for the red light for another left turn. The car in front of me was Audi 5 doors. Looks new, cool.

      The traffic turns green. She took the left turn, while completely ignoring those vehicles coming from the opposite directions. There came massive Honking afterwards. I stopped and let those vehicles pass because they have the priority by “Rules of Driving on the road.”

      There are a few incidents that directly happened to me with vehicles driven by my friends’ father from China.

      I’m Chinese, I’m ashamed to say that. But when it comes to driving, those from China still don’t quite grasp the idea of “Rule of Driving” yet.

      So I need the full story of that road rage with a screwdriver.

      Reply
  • October 23, 2014 at 12:29 am
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    TLAG, I believe you because you have nothing to gain here and you’re talking to me as a highly smart person in societies and in people. Yes, you don’t see much violent Asians on the news around the world and our culture is always about “no violence and show respect ” so they think we’re easy target. I always tell people that I’m a violent person when someone threatens me or my families. TLAG, you need not to think about those incidents and move forward with your life and your new woman. In life, we must forgive but not forget . Hating someone everyday is more miserable and painful.

    Reply
  • October 23, 2014 at 12:37 am
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    TLAG, start writing your 5 + pages! Only way for healing is to express it out and tell your stories. We always talk about love here but how can there be more love if we don’t talk about some violence in the past first so everybody will know why some AMWW couples don’t work out. Yup, White men can hook up with Asian women but they don’t want white women to go with Asian men. Strange right? It’s somewhat true. Those same white men could be the same people,too

    Reply
  • October 23, 2014 at 12:58 am
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    Thank you guys for the support!!!

    I lost a bit of control and post a comment in the ‘Do Some Chinese Men Really Feel Inferior to Western Women?’ post.

    Rdm has got a big problem with my comment. I replied to Rdm but my reply is apparently awaiting moderation!!!!

    May be Joselyn is getting involve??? I hope my reply get through and get display.

    I am really not sure if Joselyn is ok with violent content!!!

    Reply
  • October 23, 2014 at 1:04 am
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    I don’t have a problem with your comment. I do have a problem with someone touting online how they can kick other people axx.

    Reply
  • October 23, 2014 at 1:34 am
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    Ok Rdm, don’t get offend.

    If only you experienced what I went through then you will start to understand what I am talking about!!!

    I bet you might not be able to control the anger if you know and survive what I went through.

    Don’t make assumption about people when you don’t know the situation!!!

    Do you know what UNPROVOK ATTACK and DISCRIMINATION mean?

    There are idiots out there will attack other people for doing nothing wrong. These idiots are FULL OF HATE. They don’t talk to you and there is no communication at all. They just attack you because they don’t like your look or don’t like you are dating or both!!!

    Needless to say, you have to encounter one of these episode to fully understand why I post the KICK ASS comment previously.

    I am not trying to said I am tough. I am trying to tell you the truth of my experience. Because, if I did not kick their asses, I would not be alive now!!! Let alone posting comments and communicating with you and other people on this forum.

    Reply
  • October 23, 2014 at 1:42 am
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    I NEVER MAKE TROUBLE TO PEOPLE!!!!! I WAS ATTACK BECAUSE I HAVE A CAUCASIAN GIRL FRIEND AND OTHER REASONS.

    I RISKED MY LIFE MORE THAN ONCE TO PROTECT THE GIRL I LIKE AND END UP LOSING HER!!!!!!! I SEE AND EXPERIENCED THE ORDEAL MYSELF. IT MADE ME MORE MATURE IN A WAY.

    Reply
  • October 23, 2014 at 1:52 am
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    “White men can hook up with Asian women but they don’t want white women to go with Asian men. ”

    Listen to some of this and you can put it in perspective:

    Loads of white Brits in Dubai…and some of the most fervently anti-moslem and support the UKIP.

    White Brits want the right to work in Asia but dont want Asians in their country.

    White Aussies sit on fat salaries in Asia but discourage Asians from working in Australia

    Therefore, white men (and women) want a one way street whether in dating or occupation…they like their privilege and expect everyone to kowtow to them, but dont want to reciprocate…that is what we call White Privilege 101.

    Of course, the Singaporeans have caught on now and have the same attitude…some of the most fervently foreigner Singaporeans live and work abroad or have immediate family members working abroad.

    Reply

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