AMWF TEDx Talk on Why Asian Male/Western Female Couples Are Rare

Wang Jia, who blogs about culture, race and relationships at WhyAMWF.wordpress.com, has just uploaded his TEDx Erasmus talk titled “Western Women, Eastern Men” online and asked me to share it with you. Here’s the scoop:

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Originally from Beijing, Wang Jia has lived in The Netherlands and Germany for 15 years. He always wondered why it is rare to see AMWF couples. Only a year ago, he started to look into this topic seriously. He holds a Ph.D in chemical engineering from TU Delft, the Netherlands. (That probably helped him in structuring his thoughts and research.) As he has a passion for public speaking and communicating ideas that will influence people’s lives, becoming a TEDx speaker became one of his dreams. [FYI for people new to TEDx:]

What is TEDx?

The TEDx Program is designed to help communities, organizations and individuals to spark conversation and connection through local TED-like experiences.

At TEDx events, a screening of TED Talks videos — or a combination of live presenters and TED Talks videos — sparks deep conversation and connections at the local level. TEDx events are planned and coordinated independently, under a free license granted by TED.

He wanted more people be aware of the AMWF topic through the TEDx speech. On 24th Oct 2015 he realized this dream, delivering a speech titled “Western Women, Eastern Men” for TEDx Erasmus University (you can also view the talk on Youku). Do you think this speech can make a high impact?

Those 11 minutes were a fantastic experience for Wang Jia. He never felt so good under the spotlight.

TEDx speakers 2

In the speech, Wang Jia drew on his personal experience to explain the reasons behind the West-East relationship imbalance. It’s a lighthearted speech that will leave you with a smile. For anyone who is struggling with the West-East relationship barriers, don’t miss it.

So what happened with Wang‘s dating life? It’s a surprise and not a disappointment.

Wang couple 2

Wang Jia finally formed his own AMWF relationship and still lives in the Netherlands. If you’d like to learn more about his insights into culture, race and relationships, visit his blog: whyamwf.wordpress.com

Guest Post: “Chun Was Someone I Never Thought I Would Meet”

Unless you’re like my husband (who lucked out and ended up marrying his one and only girlfriend), chances are you’ve had your share of relationships or crushes that didn’t work out — perhaps even ones you might regret. I know I have.

Which is why, when Holly of From My World To Your World decided to share the tale of what happened between her and Chun, I was nodding my head the entire time I read it…and thinking of that one guy I never should have fell for, but did.

Do you have a story about love gone wrong or other guest post you’d like to see featured here on Speaking of China? Check out the submit a post page to learn how to get your work published on this blog.
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(Photo via http://ent.cnwest.com)
(Photo via http://ent.cnwest.com)

It is really hard for me to write about this only because this is something that happened recently with someone I thought was going to be a big part of my life. But, he stopped contact with me. A small part of me wanted to know why he decided to stop talking and the other part just doesn’t care anymore. For this, it’s almost a long story, which goes back last year.

I’ll start in the beginning on how we met.

Chun was someone I never thought I would meet. I always believed people were destined to meet and I thought this was the right moment. But once again, I was wrong. Last year we met at a time in my life when I still was a very emotional person and still searching for a relationship. I really thought everything was perfect when I met him.

Late September, last year

It was a good Monday evening when I was asked by a friend if I wanted to go eat dinner. Let’s call her Ying. So when I arrived to the restaurant, Ying introduced me to the other two guys that were sitting and eating dinner with us. The three of them are Chinese and were speaking Chinese. I could understand as much as I could at the time. But, there was something about Chun that I was attracted to. He was tall, had a broad chest, black hair, funny, and just kind of my type… a bad boy. And I was really physically attracted to him.

Chun was the type of guy who didn’t finish high school. He dropped out of school and never even bothered getting his GED. He and his parents worked at a Chinese buffet or restaurant somewhere in my city.

After dinner, Chun said he almost forgot it was his birthday the next day. So we decided to all go for hookah that night. On the way there, Ying and I were in her car. I asked her if he was single. She said she thinks he might be. That night I got to know him a little bit more, still very much curious about this guy.

The following day he wanted to go bowling, but no one wanted to go. At the last minute I decided to go. He picked me up at my house since at this time, I didn’t know how to drive. When we were bowling, we had this deep discussion about life, love, happiness and more. There were some things I told him that I thought I wouldn’t tell anyone. We talked about the tattoos on his body, the scars he received on his arm, why school wasn’t for him. I was nothing but comfortable with him since meeting him even though he had this bad boy mentality.

October, last year

Just that coming weekend, it was my birthday. In fact it was my twenty-first birthday. The day after, on Saturday, he took me out downtown to a bar and bought me a few drinks. I had gotten a little drunk, but I remember most of that night. I remember dancing with him and then him telling me he doesn’t like to dance. I remember gulping down three or four glasses of water before walking downtown and then discussing a potential relationship.

I told him I was starting to fall for him a bit and that I liked him. He replied that he liked me too, but wanted to get to know me more before pursuing a relationship with me. At the time, I thought this was the right moment to tell him my deepest secret: being autistic. When I told him, his arm was still around me, holding me as we walked. He said to me, “Don’t worry, everyone is different.”

After he dropped me off home late that night, I had liquid courage. I reached up and kissed him. It wasn’t a deep kiss. Mostly it was light kissing. I said bye to him and parted ways.

Who would’ve thought that after that night that everything would go downhill?

A few days later I met with Ying and told her what happened. She told me she talked to him and asked if we had fun that night. His excuse was, “I don’t remember much.”

My heart sank. Was this really true? Did he not remember? How could he not? He barely drank that night, or at least I thought.

The week after my birthday, I invited a lot of my friends out since I had to work on my twenty-first. I invited him out as well. He came a little later and immediately headed to the bar. I went up to him and asked him if he remembered what happened. He said he didn’t remember at all. This made me angry. Just after he had a few drinks, he suggested we all go to a different bar. We agreed to try to bar hop some. I still was upset with him and slowly that night I became devastated. How could he be so cold and barely talk to me that night?

After my party I tried to message him a few times, but he wouldn’t reply as much.

Every time I saw Ying, I felt so bad because all I would do is talk about him.

November came and I saw continued sadness in my life, I was so upset that he wasn’t replying when I tried to contact him. December came quicker than I expected. This was when I decided to call him and ask why he stopped talking to me. But, I was going to have to wait until after finals.

When finals were done, I decided that it was time to call him.

No answer.

I left a voicemail, even though I knew he wouldn’t listen. After this voicemail, I messaged him on WeChat. I said to him, “I called because I wanted to ask you something. But I guess it is pointless now. I tried hard enough. And you haven’t bothered replying. I don’t know what’s going on in your life right now, but you’re ignoring me for some reason…it hurts me. It’s been a long time since we last talked.”

Finally after a few months of no responses, I got a reply. He told me that he didn’t want to talk to anyone because he was planning on moving to a different State. I decided that this was it, which I didn’t care anymore…or at least I thought. Deep down I still cared.

The next day while driving with Ying to go downtown to bar hop, we were talking about something and brought up Chun. This was when she told me something I never knew.

She said to me, “He’s so stupid, I didn’t tell you this because I didn’t want to make things worse. But I wanted to tell you that he had this girlfriend.”

I looked at her, so confused, “What do you mean?”

She replied, “This girl, I know her, she is kind of crazy, She’s a Chinese girl. She doesn’t really care much about anything. They were on and off dating, just kind of like friends with benefits, but whatever.”

I wondered if this is what stopped him from talking to me?

“When did he meet this girl? Was it around the same time I met him?”

“Yeah, I believe so, but they were just friends before it happened. Sorry I didn’t tell you before.”

I stopped for a moment, letting this sink in. It made sense…another girl was in his life so that’s why he probably stopped talking to me.

I told Ying I was grateful and smiled, realizing that Chun was not supposed to be in my life…or so I thought.

About 7 months later, late July, this year

Out of the blue, I received a message from him on WeChat. I never bothered to really remove him from my life anyway so I decided to just keep him on social media. Just a few months before I saw that he was back in my city for the summer. Chun asked me what’s up. I told him that I was going to the mall. He said that he could meet me there. This was strange since I barely talked to him since December. And I was wondering if I was prepared to meet with him.

I told him what time I would be there and he met me. The entire time I barely wanted to look at him, still remembering about what happened in the past. My main destination was Victoria’s Secret. He followed me into that store. The entire time I felt like I was teasing him. We got into a small argument what my actual bra size is. I told him teasingly, “Why? Do you want to see me in these bras then?”

His response, “Yes, I actually do.”

Throughout that day at the mall and spending time with him, I never thought I would get some closure. He offered to drive me home. On the way I was talking about how we first met. I unexpectedly got an answer I was looking for.

“How come you don’t remember that time we went bowling?”

“Well, to be honest, I was high a lot. I was smoking weed before I saw you or anyone else. That, or drunk. Or both.”

I was a little relieved in some way. Because telling him I was autistic was one of my biggest worries and I was so scared that this is what made him stop talking to me.

“I also heard you were with this girl too?”

“Yeah, that’s true as well, but she was crazy. And she lied to me. I felt badly about it later. But I took her virginity. She never told me before. I thought she wasn’t a virgin and was angry she didn’t tell me.”

I really didn’t care about that. I just finally was able to know some of the truth.

“You really upset me at the time. I hate to blame, but a part of the reason I am like this is because of you.”

I think these words did make him see that he truly screwed up. And I luckily got an apology.

When we sat in the driveway for a few moments, he asked if I wanted to go somewhere else with him. I agreed and then we were off to play mini-golf and ride go-karts. Next thing I knew, it was around nine at night.

“It’s getting late and I’m kind of hungry.”

“What do you want to eat?” he asked.

“Uhm, I’m not sure, I’m not picky.”

Chun decided that we could just go to the grocery store and then cook back at his place. I said sure. But, I didn’t realize his place was farther from mine, about a twenty minute drive or so. When we got to his place, he told me his situation. Chun was living in the living room since there were only two bedrooms and his parents have a friend staying with them. So his parents and little brother occupied one room while their friend had the other. I told him not to worry. Ten minutes later, his family arrived. His parents mainly ignored him the entire time I was there.

Time was going by slow and it was already ten-thirty at night when we started to eat dinner. He suggested that I just stay the night. I asked if that was okay with his parents and he said they didn’t care.

So I spent the night. And things happened.

At the time I was so happy. Everything was perfect. We talked a lot that night. I told him that I am happy how things worked out this way. Mentioning of course that I don’t want a relationship at all.

He said he was happy too and that he wanted me in the same way I wanted him. We talked almost that entire night. About how he was in trouble with the law and how his parents didn’t recognize him as their son now because he said he has disappointed them. Part of me was feeling really bad for him.

But after that night I didn’t see him for a while. He got busy with work and so did I.

A few weeks after seeing him, I managed to convince him to come over. However, he messaged me and told me not to think anything of us and that we are just paoyou (炮友), or friends with benefits. Why would you send that when we already defined the relationship between us two? I snuck him into my house that night, but my brother came home to sleep that night. My older brother was barely home at this time as well. So, overall the mood was ruined.

This was when I asked him quietly, “Why did you have to remind me that we’re just paoyou?”

Chun wasn’t happy I brought it up, “Because I wanted to remind you.”

“No, seriously, please tell me why.”

He paused for a few seconds, totally not expecting this response.

“I feel like I’m not good enough for you.”

I looked at him, “Why do you think this?”

“When I see you, I see myself. I see how I used to be and I how much I changed. You deserve better. Now, enough of that. But promise me something.”

“Hmm?” I inquired.

“If I disappear from your life again, don’t get sad.”

Still a little confused, “Why do you say that? I already had you gone from my life once, I’m sure I can get through it again.”

I snuck him back out after this big conversation of ours. That last kiss, that last hug…I never thought it would’ve been the last of it all.

Early September, this year

School started for me and I was really happy to be back at school. One day after I was finished with classes for the week, I texted him. The message wasn’t sending on WeChat and it was saying I had to add him as a friend. Confused, I looked him up on Facebook. Chun also removed me from there as well.

I was furious. So I messaged him on Facebook telling him, “We’re better than this. I don’t know what’s going on but it would be nice for you to talk to me instead of just removing me from your life. Please call me when you get the chance.”

No phone call.

No response.

No text messages.

Silence.

I talked to Ying just a few weeks after it happened. She told me that one of her friends went to hang with him and they got stuck on the highway. This friend of hers said that Chun was agitated because this one girl wouldn’t stop talking to him. And also that he didn’t really want to talk with her a lot and it was becoming annoying.

Immediately I knew that was me. I wasn’t really talking to him every day, I made sure of it. But, when I heard all this, I sighed some relief.

I began to not care about this situation because this wasn’t my problem. Deep down I knew that this was possibly going to happen again. I knew that he was going to stop contact with me again.

Somedays I have some regrets about letting him back into my life. I wish I had been wiser about things. But we learn from our mistakes and learn to accept them. This is just another life lesson that was learned the hard way. I’ve accepted what happened and even though I want to regret, I cannot. This situation shaped me into who I am today and helped make me stronger.

Holly resides in Michigan, where she writes about her novel, Destiny Across a Thousand Miles, and her life at http://frommyworldtoyourworld.wordpress.com.
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Speaking of China is always on the lookout for outstanding guest posts! If you have something you’d like us to feature, visit the submit a post page for details — and then submit yours today.

The Love Stories of East German Women and North Korean Men in New German Documentary “Loved, Engaged, Lost”

Loved Engaged Lost German DocumentaryWhen North Korea sent some 357 men over to the former East Germany in the 1950s to train them, the two countries also unexpectedly set in motion some of the most dramatic and bittersweet stories of forbidden love that I’ve ever encountered.

For example, consider the case of Renata Hong, who waited for 47 years before reuniting with her husband in North Korea:

Renate returned to Germany on Tuesday after a 12-day reunion with her long-lost husband in North Korea – a highly unusual episode given the Communist government’s policy of keeping most of its people without mail or telephone links to the rest of the world, not to mention the Internet.

Traveling with Renate were their two sons. Peter Hyon Zol was 10 months old, and Renate was pregnant with Uwe, when the family broke up in the vortex of the Cold War.

Renate Kleinle and Hong Ok Geun met in 1955, when they attended the same freshman chemistry class at Friedrich Schiller University in Jena, East Germany. Hong was a humorous exchange student from North Korea, then East Germany’s Communist ally.

They fell in love. Because both governments frowned on marriages between North Korean students and East Germans, the couple married in 1960 in a rural town where the local authorities were unaware of the national government’s policy. There were no guests.

The couple’s happy time lasted only one year, however. In 1961, the Pyongyang government recalled all 350 of its students in East Germany, a measure believed prompted by a few North Korean students’ defections to the West. Hong was given 48 hours to pack.

Holding 10-month-old Peter, Renate bid a tearful farewell to Hong at the Jena train station.

I’m tearing up just imagining that scene for myself.

Well, German filmmaker Sung-Hyung Cho stumbled upon Renate’s love story and it inspired her to discover more of these couples, ultimately leading to a new documentary film released in June 2015 titled “Verliebt, Verlobt, Verloren” (“Loved, Engaged, Lost”). Here’s the trailer on Youtube for the documentary film, presented in German (folks in China, you’ll need a VPN to view it):

I’ve also discovered an excellent interview with Sung-Hyung Cho about the film. Here’s a snippet:

DW: What was the idea behind the film?

Sung-Hyung Cho: The story of Renate Hong was very popular in South Korea. In 2006, her story became the talk of the town after a South Korean historian – who had conducted some research in Jena about the relationship between North Korea and East Germany – met Renate Hong by chance.

She narrated her story, and he propagated it on the Internet. The response was overwhelming. The Koreans were blown away by the sad but beautiful love story.

Most Koreans, myself included, know the story. Moreover, I was greatly interested in knowing and better understanding former East Germany. I also wanted to know more about North Korea, even if only indirectly.

Have you ever heard about this fascinating chapter of AMWF history between Germany and North Korea? And, for those of you who have seen the film, what did you think of it?

P.S.: Thanks to Ruth of the wonderful blog China Elevator Stories for tipping me off to this!

Guest Post: How an American Woman Exchanged Rings, Bows and Hearts with Her Amazing Taiwanese Husband

It’s amazing how the smallest decisions in our lives can change everything. A few years ago, American Anne stepped into a Western restaurant in Taiwan, never expecting that evening’s dinner would come with an introduction to her future husband. 

Do you have a serendipitous love story or other guest post worth sharing on Speaking of China? Visit the submit a post page to learn how to have your words featured here.
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AEM_1A little over two years ago, I exchanged rings, bows and hearts with my amazing Taiwanese husband. It’s incredible to think about all the changes and twists our lives have taken since our fateful meeting over three years ago in a small city in Taiwan.

I had been teaching English in Taiwan for about four months when one evening I decided I really wanted some western food from one of the only western restaurants/bars in the city. It was a 45 minute walk away. The only people I knew at the time were simply interested in going if we shared a taxi, and on that particular evening everyone opted to just stay home. Whatever. I was going to order a freaking quesadilla! I enjoyed a nice walk to the restaurant and as my dinner was delivered on my table by the foreign restaurant owner (also an American) he introduced himself and we exchanged pleasantries. Maybe because I was a random and uncommonly lone western girl outside Taipei or maybe because he was just that good at reading my character he called someone into the restaurant that was walking by the entry door. That person would someday become my husband. He just happened to live in the apartment complex above the restaurant and had slowly development a friendship with Ernie, the restaurant owner. Ernie made some introductions. I think we were both a bit hesitant with the introduction but we were secretly happy to have chance to meet someone, even if it was just a friend in a safe environment.

He was introduced as Aitch (like the letter H) and told me later he never would have talked to me that night if it wasn’t for the fact that a third party introduced us. He believed it would have been quite rude if he had just started talking to me while I was at the restaurant by myself in the middle of eating my dinner. I’ve had some uncomfortable or just awkward first meetings with Asian men in Asia (having also lived in South Korea for nearly two years) so we were both a bit grateful for some common ground to start off with. We are a strange and unique combination of traditional and independent in each of our separate cultural norms, so the blender of that night worked.

AEM_2

He was still in the military when we met so we decided to officially date after his retirement from the military. We soon realized we shared true feelings and connected with real morals and integrity. If we forgot, we took turns stepping up for our values showing we respect ourselves as individual people just as much as a couple. I think what really set us apart from a failed relationship was our wiliness to communicate and make compromises from our old lifestyles, and to feel that those changes could be positive and not just a necessary evil.

Almost exactly a year after we started dating we were back at our favorite restaurant where we met. He proposed to me just like in all the Hollywood movies by secretly placing a ring at the bottom of my glass. The night we met he ordered me a strawberry margarita, and I guess I should have thought something was up when I saw the same drink placed on our table because I don’t order it that often. In addition, I really had no clue this night would be special because I was developing a cold and we decided we would take a visit to the doctors after we finished dinner — so romantic. I’m a notoriously slow eater and I remember swishing the straw around because all the berries would quickly collect at the bottom. I’m sure watching that was pure torture for him. As I finished my drink I promptly stated “ok, let’s go” not realizing the important contents still in the glass. As I got up he quickly declared “wait, I think you forgot something” and he proceeded to pull the ring out himself and bend down on one knee.

We married at the Shilin court house in Taipei September 28th, 2013. We were both happy and thankful we had a small wedding as I’ve always dreaded the stress of the wedding day and the stress mountain of coordinating and planning for it. We were sure lucky our parents understood and supported a small wedding. Honestly, we decided four days before the date that that was the day to do it. Only enough time to get the witness registration paperwork ready. It was thankfully so relaxed we even took a nap after lunch when we got home!

AEM_3

I would say marriage to someone outside my cultural group was one of the hardest and one of the easiest things I’ve ever done. We’ve both learned so much about ourselves, the world, and what we find the hardest to accept about our past conditioning and what is truly important for our future. Communication is crucial, and it will always be a challenge- we have very different communication styles! I consider myself fairly indirect via American standards, but I’m utterly outspoken to him, and he’s ok with that.

We’ve often talked about how many subtle events had to line up in order for us to meet, and I feel so honored and lucky to have snagged this one. Had I not, I most definitely would have returned back to Michigan after completing my first year contract. He appreciates my personality, values and simplicity, while I in turn love his loyalty, drive and compassion. He makes me feel valued for who I am- not who I was or who I’ll be tomorrow. Though we don’t know where we will plant our feet in the future, we have very recently moved to Singapore and are in the process of learning more and more about ourselves and our relationship in a global community. Happy anniversary, I continue to look forward to walking this path with you!

Anne Elizabeth Moss is a newly established Bellyfit®, Bellydance and Yoga instructor in Singapore. You can find her at https://www.facebook.com/riksardance.

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Speaking of China is always on the lookout for outstanding guest posts! If you have something you’d like us to feature, visit the submit a post page for details — and then submit yours today.

Why Did I Assume I Would Stay Single in China?

Earlier this month, Rosalie (the blogger behind Rosie in BJ) publicly explored some of her own prejudices in a post titled, “Why Did I Assume I’d Never Find a Man to Date in China?

As I was reading her article, I suddenly realized that I too had a pre-China backstory worth sharing – one of relationships that never came to be, and what ifs that point to my own prejudices. So here goes:

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In coming to China, the last thing I expected was to end up dating a local guy, let alone marrying one (as I ended up doing with John, pictured here with me). Why?

“You don’t have to worry about the students falling in love with you.”

Before I embarked on my first trip to China, where I would teach English at a college, I met up with one of the former teachers several times for dinner or drinks. And when the subject of student crushes came up – something he had been forced to navigate very delicately – he negated the possibility of anything similar happening to me.

Of course I didn’t question his words. Hadn’t I already envisioned my year-long assignment much like a vow of chastity? I spoke to friends of my interest in studying Tai Chi over there and visiting some local temples, as if I were about to spend my months as a nun instead of an English teacher. It was an opportunity to travel to a new country, a way to postpone my post-graduate dilemma regarding career decisions, and nothing more than that.

Or so I thought.

Then I moved to Zhengzhou, China – and found myself with a crush on one of the first guys I met there, a former student from the program I would teach for. Over a month later, he introduced me to his friend, a guy who was also a former student – and would become so much more to me in the weeks that followed:

Yao came into my life, in all of his sleek, sexy and sullen James Dean perfection, dressed in a black leather jacket as dark as his mysterious melancholy. When my heart raced after our first dinner together, I thought it was just another adolescent crush. Embarrassed, I wanted to just box my feelings away like all of the Barbie Dolls and little girl hairclips of my past.

Then he took me to that teahouse one Sunday afternoon. Over two Taiwanese bubble teas, the truth bubbled through to the surface of my own heart — I loved him with an uncontrollable depth that plunged far beyond the bottom of my tea cup. And, I began to realize, so did he, because he overflowed with confessionals that he had never before poured over with anyone else.

Not long after, our our passions percolated over into romance — a real boyfriend/girlfriend love that translated into steamy weekends at his apartment, hand-in-hand walks around the gardens of Zhengzhou University, and the occasional afternoon out at the Taiwanese teahouse, his favorite in the city. Bubble tea never tasted so sweet.

In his arms, it was so easy for me to forget that I had once secretly declared this year a lonely one without a single chance for dating. And it was also very easy for me to turn a disdainful eye to my female coworkers at the school, all Americans who had no interest in the local men.

I couldn’t help but wonder, why did I assume that I would be single in China? Why did I think I would never date Chinese men? Was it merely that I grew up in an incredibly white middle-class suburb (I could count on one hand the Asian men I knew from kindergarten to high school graduation)? Was it the overwhelming absence of positive images of Asian men in the whitewashed world of American popular culture?

I think back to my college years, a time when I met many foreign Asian men – including Japanese and Cambodian. I called many of them close friends, yet why did I never let them get any closer to me? Why did I always immediately relegate them to the “friend zone” and nothing more? Why did my white girlfriends and I only giggle over white celebrity heartthrobs in high school, like Tom Cruise?

It’s just not right.

All I know is this — in China, I found the sexiest and most amazing men that I had ever known. I ended up marrying one and I’m still crazy in love with him. (Thank you, John!) It took crossing an entire ocean and time zones to realize that my assumptions about dating in China were a lie.

Guest Post: That 4th of July When I Met My White Girlfriend’s Racist Grandpa

A few weeks ago, I sent out a call for guest post submissions from Asian men. Well, my first guest poster who responded also happens to be one of my new favorite bloggers — Big Asian Package (Hung Asian Man Talks Sex Politics – Straight Up). So excited to run this post!

Do you have a great story or experience you’d love to share here at Speaking of China? Check out the submit a post page to learn how to get your writing published here!

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The blogger behind Big Asian Package (https://bigasianpackage.files.wordpress.com)
The blogger behind Big Asian Package (https://bigasianpackage.wordpress.com)

I’m an Asian American man. I started writing my thoughts to contribute my point of view to the social environment that injures me through stereotypes and racism. It hurts Asian men, our friends and families, and it hurts our partners. The predominant public commentary is critical of me and everyone who looks like me; they belittle me (why, even?). So why wasn’t I hearing from more Asian men?

I think I felt tempted too… it’s social withdrawal. Put it this way, how rational would it be to participate in a social system that starts you at the bottom, keeps you at the bottom, and laughs the whole time doing it? I think Asian men have seen enough to know that they’d be painted into another angry minority caricature (“angry black man,” “bitch feminist,” &c.)  I suspect this is a major reason for the lack of Asian male voices.  In the end, the racism in the echo chamber of the Internet proliferated, possibly exceeding overt anti-Asian sentiment displayed publicly. It’s too much already.

In the context of the Asian Male White Female (AMWF) relationship, something unique has emerged. As AMWF couples encountered unique difficulties, ones stemming from prejudice, the women started speaking out in large numbers. They told their stories, shared them, and built a community of support and celebration around one thing, and it wasn’t Asian men, it was love. It was being allowed to love in the way they wanted, to love whomever they wanted… however hot and sexy this Asian man might be!

This experience is one of the events that led to my unease when I’m invited to a family event with a… well, more conservative family. They’re tricky places to encounter hostility because around folks I know, family, I’m usually relaxed, not on guard, and trying to have a good time.

(Photo from the US National Archives via Flickr.com)
(Photo from the US National Archives via Flickr.com)

It couldn’t have been a more poetic holiday for this memory. It was Independence Day in Ohio, the Fourth of July, and my girlfriend, who was white (Czech, Polish, and German heritage) brought me to her family’s barbeque and picnic in their newly completed solarium. There was potato salad, macaroni salad, and a number of other misleadingly named things that cause heart disease by the mountainous bowlful. The Stars and Stripes were gratuitously displayed. Kids risked fingers with low-grade explosives. It was a good time. The centerpiece to the whole affair was the barbeque which they managed to overload with some forbidden pyramid of smoking meats. I used to work at a grill, and even I thought that was an obscene amount of meat.

Well, I’m a vegetarian (yes, vegetarian grill cook, I know) so when I was offered some, I politely turned down my sector of the pyramid. Whoops. People looked over at us.

I learned that, at least in the 90s, this was an American social faux pas on par with sneezing in someone’s face. There was murmuring. I heard an aunt exclaim, “How?…What?…”

I tried to redirect and talk about how good all the salads were, but this was like trying to wipe the sneeze off of their collective faces with my bare hands. I could feel people’s eyes still on me. It was too late. I had declined the centerpiece of the American Independence celebration.

“I have to go to the bathroom,” I said. I put my red, white, and blue plate down on a small table and strode over to the bathroom, shut the door, and breathed again. I’m a teenage boy so it’s not like I have a whole lot of composure to begin with, but I muster together what I can, and go back outside. People had resumed doing whatever they were doing and I wasn’t noticed. I picked up my plate, ate a few bites of the potato salad, and went back to the tarp covered table for more.

Potato salad (Photo by Christina via Flickr.com)
Potato salad (Photo by Christina via Flickr.com)

“Are you happy about those secrets?” said a voice from beside me.

“What? I’m sorry?” I said. It was my girlfriend’s grandpa.

“The nuclear secrets. I know you came here to steal from us,” said her grandpa,

“I go to school…” I say, protesting.

“You’re Chinese, I know you are,” he says quietly, triumphantly, like he’s got me checkmated.

“Yes,” I say, now seriously confused, not quite believing what I’m hearing.

And here’s where having a lady with a sharp social sense comes in handy. Because where I might turn to look at a guy friend and receive some eyeshot that says, yeah, pound that racist, I got an arm around mine, a brisk walk out to the street, and a fresh piece of cake for me to eat as she drove us home. What a sweetheart.

We didn’t talk about Grandpa Bigotnasty much after that. She apologized for him; I told her not to, and we just went home. I never saw Grandpa B. again either. My girlfriend was mortified by her family and understood I wouldn’t go anyplace her grandpa would be. I guess you could call this an incident of social rejection. I think I like the term social withdrawal better because it implies that it was more of my choice. It doesn’t really matter in in the end. I’m not there at her family events anymore because we broke up.

If I’m in an interracial relationship now, I sometimes try to talk to my partner about this anxiety over family gatherings. Sometimes I keep it to myself though…and hope that next time around, there won’t be a Grandpa Bigotnasty at the table.

I’m an Asian American man in my 30s living in the U.S., Northern California. I was born and raised in the Midwest and in a predominantly white community that seemed to embrace every stereotype ever heard about Asian folks. I write about my sexual experiences and the politics of sex for straight Asian men. Don’t get a little bit of the truth, get the full package – http://bigasianpackage.wordpress.com.

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Speaking of China is always on the lookout for outstanding guest posts! If you have something you’d like us to feature, visit the submit a post page for details — and then submit yours today.

Guest Post: Everything Happens For A Reason (Even Finding Love + A New Life in Taiwan)

Sometimes, when I think about how I grew up in a very average, very white, very Midwestern suburb in the US, never dreaming that I would eventually find my future husband and a totally new life in China, it blows my mind that here I am in Hangzhou. And yet, at the same time I firmly believe (like many of my husband’s friends) that destiny had a role — that somehow, this was all meant to be.

That’s why I love this guest post from Constance, who blogs at Foreign Sanctuary and writes today about how her unlikely journey to Taiwan (where she met her Taiwanese husband) was anything but an accident. (Enjoy the striking photos as well, a delightful sampling of Constance’s own photography.)

Do you have a story you’d love to see featured here on Speaking of China? To learn how, visit the submit a post page for details.
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If someone had to tell me twenty years ago that I would be living in Taiwan and married to a Taiwanese man, I would have laughed in their face and then, well, I would have probably grabbed my atlas, turned to Asia, and then tried to find the location of where most of my childhood toys were made. Yes, that was probably the extent of my knowledge of Taiwan when I was little – a far away place where people hammered and sewed and assembled the toys that I played with and then stamped ‘Made in Taiwan’ somewhere on the box or toy.

A Selfie with the Chinese New Year Decor
A Selfie with the Chinese New Year Decor

Fast forward to now and I am a firm believer that everything happens for a reason. If it wasn’t for that casual conversation with friends over a glass (or two) of wine one cold night in January of 1999, I would have never considered teaching in Asia.The thought never, ever crossed my mind until that point in time.

One of my favorite pictures of us - Paris, France
One of my favorite pictures of us – Paris, France

My fortitude and tenacity was tested to the max when it took me nearly an entire week to get to Taiwan, a nightmare that I recently relived while writing my book. I thought about giving up on my dream to move to Asia so many times that week and if it wasn’t for my recruiter, who gave me the extra reassurance that everything was going to be OK, I probably would be in living and working somewhere in Canada right now.

Hiking in Canada
Hiking in Canada

My thirst for adventure and for experiencing new things led me to sign a third contract at the school where I worked at, which extended my time in Taiwan for one more year. And if it wasn’t for that, I wouldn’t have been out celebrating with a group of friends the night my husband literally danced into my life. However, if it wasn’t for his quick thinking and cleverness, he would have not gotten my number that night and we would not be together right now.

2014 Taiwan Lantern Festival
2014 Taiwan Lantern Festival

Four years later, my husband and I decided to get married. I always knew he was one (nearly) right from the beginning. We shared the same interests such as travel, we had so much fun together, and he always gave me ‘that feeling’ which never dwindled with time. When the newness of the relationship wore off, the feeling of ‘puppy love’ was still there. I was and still am a better person because of him. He is an optimist who dares me to take chances and to dream bigger. I am a realist who keeps him grounded (with regards to certain things). We complement each other. We are better people because of our relationship and each other. We may have grown up on different sides of the world but that makes life interesting.

Sun Setting over Alishan, Taiwan
Sun Setting over Alishan, Taiwan

On June 10, 2005, four years to the exact date that we met, we got married at the court.According to the lunar calendar, it was a perfect day. Probably too perfect! It was definitely a wedding to remember, all for the wrong reasons. Luckily, we had our Canadian church wedding and reception a few months later which was perfect – well, except for me putting the ring on the wrong finger. Plus, we had our reception in Taiwan where we celebrated with our closest friends.

The Beautiful Beach on Jibei [one of the many islands that comprise Penghu off the coast of Taiwan]
The Beautiful Beach on Jibei [one of the many islands that comprise Penghu off the coast of Taiwan]
Then, we come to the house which we actually purchased three months prior to completion. If it wasn’t for a series of events, this house that we bought over five year ago wouldn’t have been ours. It was the first house we looked at. My husband knew it was the one but I wanted to look at more. It was actually purchased by our neighbor who opted to buy another one. And if it wasn’t been for the poor state of the economy at the time, it would have been sold immediately at a higher price. The house was meant to be ours.

Constance
Constance

Which brings me to now! If it wasn’t for that heartbreaking news that shook me to the core and tested my hope and strength two years ago this month, but had a happy ending, I wouldn’t be the person I am today. That incident reminds me each and every day of all the good in my life and to appreciate the now, the present!

That is why I am a firm believer that everything happens for a reason.

Constance is a Canadian expat who currently calls Taiwan home. She blogs about her travel experiences as well as her personal reflections about expat and married life on her blog, Foreign Sanctuary. Photography is one of her passions and she shares photos from her [Photographing 2015] project daily on her Facebook page. She is also an aspiring writer with a memoir in the works.
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Speaking of China is always on the lookout for outstanding guest posts! If you have something you’d like us to feature, visit the submit a post page for details — and then submit yours today.

Guest Post: “I don’t look at my daughter as Indian or Canadian. I look at her soul.”

Alexandra, the white Canadian blogger behind Madh Mama, thought all of the ignorant comments about her marriage to a South Indian man would end once they had a child. But they didn’t, and it has been one of the biggest challenges for her — especially as hearing things about her daughter hurts her deeply.  

Have you heard something about your interracial relationship or biracial children that you’d like to write about for Speaking of China? We welcome all kinds of guest posts (including love stories) — check out the submit a post page for details.

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I often forget that my husband and I are from different cultures. We have so much in common, so many shared interests. We are going on our 9th year together, and I could trace every freckle and scar on his body with my eyes closed. The kind of familiarity that you have with someone you know inside and out.

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In reality, we are from vastly different cultures. I was born and brought up in Vancouver, Canada, by a small tight-knit family with European ancestors. My husband is from Hyderabad, India, and descends from the most conservative and devout Indian clans – the Tamil Iyengars.

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I always dreamed of having a child with him, in a romantic way. I wanted to expand our family and raise kids together in a way that combined our similar values. I wanted to grow myself by becoming a mother, and I wanted our bond to deepen even further by becoming parents together.

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Being a rare mix, we have had a hefty share of ignorant comments. At first, it was people saying things like we “just want to try out a different race“, then it was “he’s only with her for a green card” (I’m not an American, so I don’t even have a green card), then it was “she’s corrupting him with her Western values“, then it was “they’ll never make it to the altar“, then after we got married it was “how can they function with all these cultural differences?” Supporters and believers in our relationship were few and far between. We became desensitized by these kind of comments and learned to expect them. For a long time we didn’t even know that other couples like us even existed, so any negative experience just brought us closer together, since we were the only two people who understood what we were going through.

I thought all of that would end once we started a family together – that by having a child, people would realize that we are committed for life. Especially to other Indians, who assumed that by me having white skin, it automatically meant I was not cut out for motherhood, have no family values, or that I would divorce him.

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When we had our daughter, it was the happiest moment of my life. It was incredible. She looked like every single person in our families – combined. Watching her grow up and see how her personality has developed has been astonishing. She is nurturing like me, quick like her dad, a great dancer, and eats any cuisine. She is the most global child I have ever come across. She is classically beautiful and looks like she could pass for any ethnicity. She is adventurous and loves to travel and do new things.

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I think the comments started when she was about 6 months old. One of our Indian relatives asked me if we intended to raise her “Indian or American” – as if we had to choose. Then, I got a few comments from white Canadians about how tanned my daughter is, with a weird side-eye glance to prompt me to tell them her ethnicity. When we were visiting Italy last year, everyone thought she was Italian. So much that one old Italian lady pointed to my husband and asked “Is he the father?” when he was standing right in front of her. We have stepped inside an Indian restaurant where every table looked at us with disgust, so much that it scared my daughter. The latest comment we got from an elderly Indian relative was when my daughter was feeling shy. She said, “Maybe she doesn’t like Indians“. Appalling, since she certainly adores her father and many other Indian family members. It stung a lot.

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The thing is – I expect comments about myself, but when it is directed towards my child, it hurts me deeply. And it surprises me, because I forget that we are an intercultural family, raising a biracial child. We live in such a multicultural world. We celebrate all festivals and holidays, even ones that don’t belong to our respective cultures – like Chinese New Year and Greek Easter. We have lots of intercultural friends. It’s only when we get ignorant comments that it occurs to me that the multicultural world we live in – is one that we have constructed for ourselves. That the majority of people out there do not mix, that they tend to stick to their own culture, and either out of fear or ignorance – and they do not step outside it. That global families, such as ours, are a minority. However, I hope that my children and grandchildren’s generations see love before color. Because that’s what the world needs – more love…a love that transcends borders and limitations.

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My daughter is only 2.5 years old now. I haven’t really figured out how to tell her that sometimes people might question our family – more than others – because we are different. I know I will tell her that doing things differently doesn’t mean we’re wrong, but just that a lot of people won’t understand us. I want her to be confident in who she is. I want her to not be scared of this diverse world we live in, to see the beauty in being different and blaze the trail from there.

I don’t look at my daughter as Indian or Canadian. I look at her soul. I look at her as my child. The child that God sent me to raise. She is both cultures; but at the same time – she is everything. She is anything she wants to be.

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Alexandra Madhavan fell in love and married her soulmate. Then she inherited a big, fat South Indian family. She shares her unfiltered view of what it’s really like to be a Firangi Bahu at Madh Mama.
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Speaking of China is always on the lookout for outstanding guest posts! If you have something you’d like us to feature, visit the submit a post page for details — and then submit yours today.

Guest Post: “He Feels Horrible About Me Being The Breadwinner”

A few years back when I co-wrote an article titled Western Wives, Chinese Husbands (exploring what it’s like to date and marry Chinese men), we touched on the subject of money — specifically, that sometimes Western women end up being the breadwinner in the family.

I was reminded of that when I first read this post from Judith (who blogs in Dutch at Judith In China). She’s from the Netherlands and currently dating a Beijing local (who she considers her perfect match).  But, “Even though I don’t earn much at all, own a house or car, or have savings worth mentioning, I am much more economically stable than he will probably ever be.”

Do you have a love or relationship story or other guest post you’d like to see on Speaking of China? Check out the submit a post page to find out how to get your writing published here.

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Judith, the author, and her boyfriend.
Judith and her boyfriend.

I grew up in a middle-class family in a small town in the Netherlands. My two siblings and I basically had everything we could wish for. We went on modest holidays within the country once a year, got nice birthday gifts and our parents supported us throughout our studies. My boyfriend was born a one-child-policy son and grew up in Beijing’s hutongs. His parents are real lǎobǎixìng; his mother used to sell bus tickets and his father worked as the repair man for a large hotel. Although his parents cared for him much, they lived in one room without private sanitation. Some days all his father could afford for lunch was to share a pancake with his son.

Although our backgrounds couldn’t have been more different, we really are a perfect match.

I have been interested in Chinese language and culture since I was a little girl, and he has been crazy about Western music and culture since he first encountered it in Beijing’s early nineties. I have never had a preference for Asian men or an interest in the AMWF community, on the contrary: if you would have told me a few years ago that I would end up with a real Beijing boy I probably wouldn’t have believed you. When we met, my Chinese wasn’t that great and he didn’t speak much English, but we have been in a loving relationship for over five years now. He is very caring, makes me laugh, and makes me feel like the most beautiful girl on the planet despite being so much whiter, taller and larger than those cute Chinese girls. Most of all, he makes me feel safe.

There is one thing that keeps coming up in our relationship though. I wouldn’t call it a problem, but it is definitely something coming from our different backgrounds that will probably always linger right below the surface. Even though I don’t earn much at all, own a house or car, or have savings worth mentioning, I am much more economically stable than he will probably ever be. His attraction to Western music made him choose to become a professional musician. And although I really believe he is one of the most talented musicians in China and truly has the talent to make a stable income from his profession, it’s not easy in this industry and especially not in China.

When we met, my boyfriend was the member of a rather famous band, but he quit shortly after we became a couple. Since then he has been working on various projects on and off, some of which are more profitable than others. This means that his income was quite OK for the last two years. Although he didn’t earn millions he had frequent gigs, and combined with my stable salary I felt we were quite well off. This year however, there have been some changes in the projects he has been working on and he has barely made any money. At the same time we are looking to get married, but the only thing holding us back is not wanting to spend all my savings on an (even simple) wedding.

In some ways my boyfriend can be very traditional. As the man in the family, he feels horrible about me being the main breadwinner, and this year even supporting him to a certain extent. He doesn’t want to speak about it too much and doesn’t want to let me know how he feels, but I sense it more and more. I don’t mind sharing my income with him. We’re a team and should he one day become world famous I’m sure he would share his wealth with me just the same. But if I offer to buy him new clothes as a present, nicer lunches for him when we don’t eat together or suggest to go on a weekend trip, he says he doesn’t need it. He prefers to wear the same old shoes, eat a 10 kuai bowl of noodles for lunch and not travel much.

I feel this also has to do with a Western approach to finding a good balance between saving and enjoying your money, while he feels that we should not spend much until we’re in a better financial position. And then things such as marriage and buying a house would come first. Whereas I feel that although we shouldn’t spend all our money on an expensive holiday abroad, we can allow ourselves to enjoy an occasional weekend away within China, for example. He doesn’t want me to spend that kind of money for the both of us if he can’t contribute much or anything at all. Which means that I visit friends in other cities and he doesn’t join me, or that I go to a café to work while enjoying a latté and a sandwich while he just eats his bowl of noodles for lunch. He simply does not want to join me, even if I explicitly say I want him to.

I feel bad for him feeling this way, because I don’t see his financial situation as a problem. I fell in love with him because of the man he is, not because I thought that one day cash would come flowing in because of his profession and I wouldn’t have to worry about money anymore. I guess this is a very different perspective compared to many Chinese girls, as they often think in practical terms first when it comes to relationships (such as Ted highlighted in his excellent guest post on this blog titled “What I’ve Learned from 15 Blind Dates in China”).

I hope my boyfriend will someday get used to how I feel and that he can find a way to accept that his girlfriend’s income will probably always be more stable than his.

Judith lives and works in China and blogs about her daily life and the special things she encounters at judithinchina.com (in Dutch).

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Speaking of China is always on the lookout for outstanding guest posts and love stories! If you have something you’d like us to feature, visit the submit a post page for details — and then submit yours today.

Fenshou: “Playing With Fire” In An Office Tryst

I, MarcusObal [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/)], via Wikimedia Commons
I, MarcusObal [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/)], via Wikimedia Commons
An anonymous Chinese Singaporean man writes, “We became an office tryst. Nobody knew what was going on between us. I liked the fact that secrecy added fire to our sex.” This story takes you into the world of a hidden love affair between two coworkers that didn’t last, but left lasting memories for the writer.

Do you have a hidden love affair or other guest post you’re burning to share on Speaking of China? Head on over to the submit a post page to learn how you can have your words featured here.
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A vivid memory of your skin under the sunlight,

With your blonde hair,

Matching the sun’s glare, 

I appreciate the way you gently disappeared out of my sight.

After all, I “thank you” for having met you in my life.”

You know how the story ends and yet you read it to the end. You know what happens in the movie and still you wanted to watch it once more to experience the energy, feelings, empathy and joy all over again – all the things you hold so dear in your life. This is the story of a relationship that ended, one that I still hold dear in my own life. It is a story that I cannot stop reading in my own mind.

Part I

It all started on the day when the weather was perfect. The work ambience was quiet. I walked into my office as usual, with the feeling that it was going be the same old work environment. I still couldn’t forget the vivid beauty of that scene, with the bright sunlight coming through our transparent glass window, grazing her face while she was intently looking at the computer screen.

I instantly thought, “She’s new here.” She took a quiet glance as I was walking. I couldn’t believe what I saw. If I could have just asked her, “Would you hold that for a second?” my phone camera would have definitely snapped the moment. But I didn’t ask and she didn’t hold. We proceeded towards our chores.

The whole day I couldn’t get her out of my head, I kept thinking about where she’s from, what she’s doing here, or if she has a boyfriend. As crazy as it sounded, I chided myself, “It’s just a glance, what’s the big deal?”  I tried to stop thinking about her. Never did I ever ask myself,  “Dude, you’re crazy.” instead I kept asking, “What makes her attracted to me?” The thought replayed in my mind multiple times until I was satisfied with my answer. At the end of the day, I felt pretty confident that it was this: “It’s her manners. It’s the way she carries herself.” On the one hand, I told myself, “You’re crazy.” On the other hand, I thought, “Well, it’s free for fantasizing, you don’t have to pay.”

The next day we both bumped into each other at the corridor. She is about 5’8’’ tall. I could still remember she was holding her winter jacket in her arms, with her neatly combed hair. I wanted to smile at her. But I didn’t. We both just stared at each other and I said to myself, “You’re an idiot.”

As the days, weeks and months passed by, I found myself struggling with my emotions. We both just stared at each other, but didn’t even smile. I didn’t know what was holding me back. I guess she also didn’t know what was holding her back then. I then thought, “If it’s meant to be, it’s meant to be.”

Part II

It just so happened on that day. She caught a cold and I couldn’t hold myself back any longer. In an effort to be a good co-worker, I asked if she needed any help with the meds. She said fine and we talked for a while. We exchanged numbers. Needless to say, the night of that same day, I asked for her address by text, drove to her apartment and we chatted for a moment after I dropped off the cold meds.

She was new in our office for a year on training from Europe, which is where her home country is. I’m a Chinese Singaporean here in the US. She sometimes learned Mandarin from me.

We became an office tryst. Nobody knew what was going on between us. I liked the fact that secrecy added fire to our sex. One time we were in the elevator standing close. We’re staring at each other for minutes. Then the coworker came in, and we just automatically looked away from each other. We stifled our laughs. She also seemed to like that we were enjoying ourselves instead of going public in the work environment.  We joked, we laughed. We shared our moments. Ups and downs meant a lot to both of us. Downs were usually when both of us were trying to figure out our mutual sentiments. Ups were usually when we both enjoyed each other’s presence.

Every time after I finished my workout, she greeted me by text. Every time before she left the office, I texted her to if she wanted to have something to eat with me. Sometimes we went out of town for dinners together. Usually the meals she ordered ended up being in my plate and the meals I ordered ended up in her plates. I still remember the time when I asked if she wanted to have some drinks. She said, “I only eat water during my meals.” I laughed. She asked why. I took up a glass full of water, and guzzled it down my throat. She still didn’t get it. I told her, “That’s how you eat water.” She was mad. I laughed. We both went back to our apartment and enjoyed our lust.

Part III

I knew that she’d be leaving any time soon. A part of me wanted to figure out a way to work this out. A part of me also knew that those would just be the moments that lasted in our memories. One day I took her to a nearby waterfall at night. She asked me why. We kissed, sitting in our car, listening to the sounds of the water from the falls, I told her I liked her. If things worked out, I had planned to pop the question later. She blushed. She smiled. What she said to me was something I couldn’t deny. “Thank you.”

I was speechless. I was frustrated. I sank in my emotional devastation. I couldn’t believe my ears that I heard her say “thank you”? She smiled at me again and told me, “Yes because you said you like me.” I drove back. Silence reigned in our car. We stopped talking for several weeks. We intentionally avoided each other at work. My brain kept telling me, “You’re an idiot.” My consciousness kept replying to me “Thank you” for weeks. Those were the days I thought my whole world was upside down. I was not into anything, anything at all. I knew that I was playing with fire — the fire that was burning the brightest before it was going to fizzle.

Part IV

The day before she left for Europe, she asked me if I could spend the night in her apartment. I told myself, “You’re an idiot, you’re being used. YOU ARE BEING USED!!!” I told her that I would rather stay alone, knowing that she was leaving for good. She told me that she was going to “eat water” if I wasn’t coming. It was a joke that only the two of us understood, a joke about sex. I drove down to her apartment and helped her pack. After the packing, she whispered in my ears the sweetest words I was longing to hear: “Silly, you know that I love you too.”

I knew that the things that you want and things that you must have in life are different. We knew from the beginning that we would have ended up apart. But the temptation was so strong. It could have been more wrong if she had said, “I love you too.” We would be so obsessed with our fantasy instead of being yanked back to our reality. Now that I think about it, I am really thankful for what she did.

Part V

That was two years ago, while I was 27, and she was 25. She took all of my feelings away; childhood fantasy, adulthood reality, and such. I’m not sure I can ever find another woman to love.
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Speaking of China is always on the lookout for outstanding guest posts and love stories! If you have something you’d like us to feature, visit the submit a post page for details — and then submit yours today.