From the Archives: Love, Money and Practicality

(photo by Rob Jewitt via

While I’m engaged in some more “practical” pursuits these days (translation: still on deadline and still busy with assignments), my thoughts turned to the practical side of love in China — and inspired this list of entries I pulled from the archives. Enjoy! And I’ll return this Friday with new content.

Marriage in China is Home, Car, Money? Home. Car. Money. I first heard these words strung together — fangzi, chezi, piaozi — around 1am in July 2007, while loitering on the stairs outside a Holiday karaoke bar in Hangzhou with my husband and his friends.

Of Love, Money and An “Unsettled Relationship” With a Chinese Man. When I asked my husband about why he took out a loan to treat me on our first “official date,” the answer — which said a lot about how he viewed love and money — surprised me.

Saying “I love you” with a toilet: of indirect displays of love in Chinese families. In Chinese culture, “I love you” is an unspoken phrase that finds its voice in the sumptuous feasts that fill the dinner table, the hongbao stuffed with crisp, red RMB bills, the boxes of green tea and smoked tofu that friends and relatives forcibly stuff into every last empty corner of your luggage.

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