Once again, a mantle of gray clouds the heavens, which have been steadily “weeping” all day, dispelling thoughts of hiking or picnics.
Yes, we’ve entered southern China’s monsoon season, that time of year when the humidity reaches 100 percent under a curtain of rain as everything from hiking to even hanging laundry out to dry becomes impossible. And don’t even get me started about the mold that creeps into the corners of your rooms and closets indoors.
So how can you survive?
As someone who has experienced many years of monsoon seasons south of China’s Yangtze River, I would like to share some of the ways I’ve learned to adapt and even thrive:
Date Night China, which features stories and conversations about dating in China, interviewed me for the most recent episode of their podcast, titled Meet The Foreign Wife of a Chinese Man (Yangxifu 洋媳妇). Here’s the summary of the episode:
In this week’s episode, we talk to Jocelyn, an American woman who is married to Jun, a Chinese national from Hangzhou. We discuss her experience as a “yangxifu 洋媳妇” (the foreign wife of a Chinese man), stereotypes of being in a WWAM (Western Women Asian Men) relationship, and how she found community with other foreign women who are married to Chinese men.
Here in China, we’re experiencing the worst nationwide COVID-19 outbreak ever since the pandemic began.
Of course, “worst” might be subjective for those of you who live in a country that has been continually ravaged by COVID-19 since the pandemic first swept across the globe.
As I write this post, in China we’re seeing around 1,500 to 2,000 new confirmed cases and over 2,000 asymptomatic ones across the nation per day. That’s in contrast to what previously used to count as a “severe” outbreak — around 100 to 200 confirmed cases daily nationwide.
A heavy “goose feather” snowfall had dusted the landscape outside our window, drawing my husband out of bed with a childlike thrill as he stood there, aiming to capture the magic of the moment in the lens of a camera.
And of course, he couldn’t help deeming it a propitious thing, with that traditional Chinese saying: 瑞雪兆丰年 (ruì xuě zhào fēng nián) — auspicious snow heralds a good year.
Such a warm embrace of snow deep into February would surely find a chilly reception in my hometown of the Cleveland, Ohio area in the US.
With the Winter Olympics set to kick off in Beijing in less than a month, the Games have become a hot topic on China’s TV networks, often spotlighting the brightest hopefuls in the run-up. And on team China, the Chinese-American freeskiing wonder Eileen Gu is among the biggest and most anticipated superstars for the competition.
Love across cultures and borders can be a powerful thing, including when it leads to a flourishing international business. Recently, CCTV news reported on Anita from Kazakhstan and Yuan Chaohui from China’s Inner Mongolia, who met in Xi’an and went on to create an international trade business that relies on the China-Europe freight trains to ship goods to countries outside China, including Anita’s home country.
According to Anita, the normalized train service has cut their logistics costs in half and doubled the speed for shipments. Yuan added that, wherever the trains go, they will sell there.
Hallmark, which has long been derided for its very “White Christmas” when it comes to representation, has started improving the diversity of holiday movies and programming. And while it still has a very long way to go, at least this season the Hallmark lineup happens to include a few Asian men and White women in love.
The movie “Christmas for Keeps“, which recently debuted, includes among its ensemble cast a married couple with kids played by Cardi Wong (Noah Wong) and Ashley Newbrough (Sarah Jones-Wong). See the two in this trailer on Youtube:
Meanwhile, a Hallmark commercial for its keepsake ornaments features a darling family with an Asian dad and White mom and their precocious little boy (who can’t help sharing with his parents just how much he knows). See the commercial on Youtube:
Here’s wishing you a very Merry Christmas, and a Happy New Year (with, hopefully, more diversity and inclusion in the mix)!
An upcoming season of the “90 Day Fiance” franchise will spotlight a China-US romance through Ella, from Idaho Falls, Idaho, USA, and Johnny, from Ji’nan, China.
Their appearance will mark the first time for the reality TV show — which focuses on Americans who have or are planning to apply for a fiance visa to bring their overseas partners to the US — to feature a China-US couple.
Ella, a country girl from Idaho with a self-proclaimed obsession with Asian culture, met Johnny — her “Asian prince” — on a social media platform exclusively for Asian men and white women. Once they started video chatting, they realized they’d found their soul mates in one another. The pandemic has made it difficult for them to meet in person, and China’s borders remain closed, but after a year and a half and a number of false starts, they’re finally preparing for Johnny to visit Ella in her hometown and get engaged. Despite having video chatted “intimately” over the past few months, Ella’s history with rejection from past romantic interests due to her weight has her worried about what it will be like when she and Johnny are together in person. Still, they’re both ready to prove that their love can conquer all, if they can overcome family skepticism and pandemic barriers.
According to a post on Screenrant, Ella and Johnny’s relationship — which appears genuine based on clips — could satisfy fans hungry for more authentic relationships on the show, which in past seasons has seen returning couples as well as plotlines and drama that don’t square with reality (despite it being called “reality TV”).
Season 5 of “90 Day Fiance: Before the 90 Days” will premiere on Dec 12. You can see Ella and Johnny, along with the rest of the couples cast in the season, in this trailer on Youtube:
Photo credit: Screenshot from Entertainment Weekly post at https://ew.com/tv/90-day-fiance-before-the-90-days-season-5-cast/
I’ve already made my list and checked it twice－my shopping list, that is, for Singles Day, which traditionally falls on Nov 11 each year.
While some have compared Singles Day to Black Friday and Cyber Monday, it has since eclipsed those two to generate more sales than both combined, becoming the world’s largest shopping event. It is also the most wonderful time of the year for many shoppers like me, with 2021 marking my eighth consecutive occasion to take part online through Alibaba’s Taobao platform.
After so many years of participating in the shopping spree, I’ve witnessed and experienced how it has evolved over the years, for the benefit of consumers like me.
P.S.: To those of you participating in the shopping festival, wishing you a very merry Singles Day! 😉
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