Last week, I shared my experience of having a foreign man in China mistake me and my husband for being “mother and son”. (Though, it wasn’t entirely surprising because I’d once had a woman working at a cash register in the US wonder if my husband was my foreign exchange student!)
Well, readers took to this blog and social media to share their own experiences of mistaken identity as part of interracial couples of Asian men and non-Asian women (AMXF). The comments were fascinating, highlighting a number of “mistaken identity” situations that I’ve either heard of or experienced myself.
AMXF couples are still a rare enough sight in China that people often don’t assume you’re actually husband and wife when they first see you. (And sometimes they don’t even believe you when you tell them that, yes, you are in fact a couple, which once happened to me and my husband.)
Here are a few common themes, inspired by your comments. (Note: A big thank you to Ana Hudson (IG: whitechocolateplayer) for permission to run the her photo with this post, featuring models Justin Zhang (IG: NoobStrength) and Marina Bruzadin (IG: marinabruzadin). You can see more of these photos in the post 13 Sexy, Fun ‘AMXF Deadpool’ Photos to Make You Smile.)
Is he your translator?
One fellow on Facebook chimed in with what must surely be the No 1 thing that comes to mind when people in China happen to see Chinese men walking around with a woman of a different race: “I have been considered as her interpreter more than husband ????”
This actually happens all the time to me and my husband as well — so much so that I’ve come to expect it from people in China, particularly when we’re in places like banks or stores!
Is he your tour guide?
Similar to “Is he your translator?”, a “tour guide” is another form of mistaken identity frequently experienced by AMXF couples together here in China. Especially if you happen to be together at any tourist attractions in China. As a woman commented on Facebook, “When we were young people thought my husband was a tour guide ????”
Is she your teacher?
As everyone knows, English teacher is the most common profession for foreigners in China. Well, when some folks in China see a Western woman walking with a Chinese man — two people who are actually in a couple — they might assume she’s his English teacher.
That’s what happened with one woman who commented on Facebook, noting, “My husband is always asked if I’m his English teacher but actually he used to be my Mandarin teacher!”
A Chinese man and a white woman, who were husband and wife, walked into a restaurant…but – no joke here — the staff didn’t take them for a couple, as one woman took to Facebook to share: “I get this constantly when we eat out together. ‘Is this one check or two?’ – to which my response is always, ‘Since he is my husband, yes I will be paying the check for us together.’”
Then again, speaking of jokes, sometimes the best response to all of this is a smile and good sense of humor.
Have you ever been mistaken as something other than a couple?