Review: ‘Squeaky Wheels: Travels with My Daughter by Train, Plane, Metro, Tuk-tuk and Wheelchair’ by Suzanne Kamata

Much like the Eiffel Tower’s dazzling light show, Paris glimmers in the eyes of many, with countless people dreaming of travel to this alluring French capital. Author Suzanne Kamata did, inspiring her to see Paris as a young woman, and now her teenage daughter Lilia wants her turn (“a girl after her mother’s heart” as Kamata writes).

But Kamata’s memoir Squeaky Wheels, built loosely around how the two eventually realize a once-in-a-lifetime mother-daughter trip to Paris, along with other travels, offers a very unique perspective. It’s one that goes beyond how Kamata is a white American woman married to a Japanese man, raising their bicultural and biracial children in Japan.

That’s because Lilia is deaf, so she communicates primarily through Japanese Sign Language, and also has cerebral palsy, which in her case has meant largely navigating the world in a wheelchair.

Like many mothers, Kamata has a fierce devotion to her daughter and she’s resolved to help Lilia realize her rosy-eyed dreams as much as possible, including travel. Getting there, however, means negotiating the less-than-ideal and even discriminatory accessibility issues that invariably arise when you have a wheelchair and sign language involved.

Kamata’s determination and sense of adventure, combined with honesty, vulnerability and a good dose of humor, make for an endearing narrator. And Lilia’s bright disposition (“She exclaims rapturously over butterflies, heart-shaped pancakes and the first cherry blossoms of spring”) shines throughout the pages. With the two together, Squeaky Wheels delivers a captivating journey that’s also eye-opening, inspiring and a delight to read.

In addition, Kamata effortlessly weaves into the narrative a fascinating look at Japan and Japanese culture, including as it relates to biracial/bicultural families as well as people with disabilities. Artsy readers will also enjoy the visits to museums, from Yayoi Kusama’s polka dot wonders to classic works by Van Gogh, Da Vinci and Rodin. And with France and Paris in starring roles, Squeaky Wheels serves up an irresistible story for anyone besotted with the City of Lights and its nation.

To learn more about Suzanne Kamata and Squeaky Wheels, you can visit Suzanne’s website. Squeaky Wheels is available on Amazon, where your purchases help support this blog.

A Trip Backwards: How People Thought of Interracial Marriages With Asian Men in the Past

People often say that to understand the present, you have to look at the past. That’s why I started my AMWF History series, to examine interracial relationships between Asian men and non-Asian women in earlier times.

So today, I’m revisiting some rather telling quotes from posts I’ve featured for AMWF History, in an effort to raise awareness about how people have talked about Asian men in interracial relationships years ago.

As I compiled this post, I found it disconcerting (but not surprising) that a number of the opinions described below still endure, including in dark corners of the internet. A lot of people still believe interracial love is wrong.

This list of quotes is by no means comprehensive. So please, sound off in the comments with your examples too — let’s continue the conversation together.


From the San Francisco Chronicle, 7 April 1883 (per Frederickbee.com) (featured in my post Sarah Burke and Wong Suey Wong, Arrested in 1883 USA (For Love)):

Sarah Burke, who has unalterably set her mind upon a disgusting marriage with a Chinese laundryman, acknowledged that she had passed a dismally and frigidly cold night in prison on Friday.

From the LA Herald piece “Married to Chinamen – White Women Who Accept Mongolian Husbands” (featured in my post 4 Stinging 1890s Quotes on White Women Who Loved Chinese Men):

The average American cannot understand how any human being, however inured by custom, can live in an average Chinatown. That white women should live there by deliberate choice seems to him monstrous, horrible.

She is but twenty-two years of age, remarkably beautiful and possessed of a voice that…would be a fortune. Yet three years ago, she met and loved a Chinaman.

It is also well known that not one Chinaman in a hundred comes to these shores without leaving behind a wife in China; so by the laws of China, the white wife is not a wife…

They have had six children, of whom five are living – bright, intelligent half breeds. And Mrs. Watson (her husband took that name when baptized) is still handsome and pleasant spoken.

From Culture Victoria (featured in my post Mei Quong Tart, A Chinese Gentleman and Leader in Victorian Australia):

Quong asked Margaret’s father, George Scarlett, for his daughter’s hand in marriage. Even though he was a friend of Quong’s, George refused. Quong Tart and Margaret waited until the day after her twenty-first birthday, on 30 August 1886, and married anyway. Quong was then thirty-six. The appearance of grandchildren eventually reconciled Margaret’s parents to their daughter’s marriage.

From Lisa See’s book On Gold Mountain (featured in my post Letticie “Ticie” Pruett and Fong See from Lisa See’s “On Gold Mountain”):

Letticie wrote her brothers of her marriage, and received a terse letter back, in which her family disowned her. How could she marry a Chinese? It was disgusting, they wrote, and she was no longer their sister. She knew she would never see or hear from any of them ever again.

From Moviemaker.com (featured in the post Cinematographer James Wong Howe and Author Sanora Babb):

Aunt Sanora told me that on one particular occasion when they were going out to dine at a Chinese restaurant, a woman had taken the time to follow them to the entrance of the establishment. As she harassed the two of them for being together, Aunt Sanora took the woman’s hat and tossed it in the gutter. Aunt Sanora remembers this woman chasing the hat down the sewer drain exclaiming, “My $100 hat!” When the miscegenation laws were repealed, it took them three days to find a judge who would marry them. When they finally did, the judge remarked, “She looks old enough. If she wants to marry a chink, that’s her business.”

From the Australian Maritime Museum (featured in the post Australian Women Who Married Indonesian Men, Supported Indonesian Independence in 1940s):

Lotte fell in love with Anton Maramis, a Manadonese petty officer, and married him with her family’s support, although she battled much antagonism from the broader Australian public she encountered. Many other young Australian women faced strong opposition from families and friends to the decisions they made to marry their Indonesian fiancés and return with them to their homes once Independence had been declared.

From the South China Morning Post (featured in the post Liverpool’s Lost Chinese Sailors, and the Families Left Behind in the UK)

Married or not, they earned a reputation in ultra-conservative post-war England as being “loose women” and, in another archive, Charles Foley found that government officials dismissed those married to or cohabiting with a Chinese partner as “the prostitute class”.

What quotes have you come across about how people in the past thought of interracial relationships with Asian men?

Eddie Peng’s Flirtatious Scarf Exchange in Longines Ad Makes Me Smile

I’m not often one to notice advertisements, but this campaign from Longines, featuring Taiwanese-born Canadian actor and Longines brand ambassador Eddie Peng, has me — and my husband — all in smiles.

First off, I love how Eddie plays this ultimate kind of gentleman — all debonair in a fine gray suit, strolling around a horse racing venue with the kind of easy confidence of someone like James Bond. Nice to see an Asian man represented in such a positive, aspirational role in a TV commercial.

But it’s the subtle flirtation between him and a white woman in the commercial that always gets me. While walking past him, her silk scarf gets blown away — only to be caught by Peng’s character in one graceful lunge. Her face lights up in a smile, and as he offers the scarf back to her, their hands nearly touch, leading to the kind of blushing faces and playful glances that could only happen when two people share a “moment”.

And as the young woman walks away, she gives him one last wistful look, as if contemplating the possibility of something with this handsome gentleman.

This commercial never fails to make me and my husband laugh. We have this inside joke that he’s the guy in the spot, giving me back my silk scarf — totally corny, I know!

If you’ve never seen this Longines commercial with Eddie Peng, take a look on Youtube:

Or, if you’re in China, see it on Bilibili.

What do you think of this Longines commercial?

Liverpool’s Lost Chinese Sailors, and the Families Left Behind in the UK (AMWF History)

Liverpool, England, is home to one of those shameful, forgotten chapters in history — when the UK suddenly deported Chinese sailors, who had bravely served during World War II, devastating they families they left behind.

In the early 1940s, the British Merchant Navy recruited some 20,000 Chinese sailors to assist in the war efforts. And of them, an estimated 300 had relationships with British women (either through marriage or cohabitation). As the SCMP reported:

Many of the women who set up home with Chinese mari­ners and started families did not formally marry, either because, like Grace, they were under 21 years old and couldn’t get parental consent or because, in the 1940s, when women married foreign nationals they surrendered their British citizenship and assumed the nationality of their husbands.

Married or not, they earned a reputation in ultra-conservative post-war England as being “loose women” and, in another archive, Charles Foley found that government officials dismissed those married to or cohabiting with a Chinese partner as “the prostitute class”.

“I was very angry when I read that,” Foley says. “They obviously hadn’t met my mother.”

While Britain had initially welcomed the Chinese sailors, things changed after they had a strike to fight for higher wages in 1942, as reported by the BBC:

These men were in demand and so they won, but were considered to be “troublemakers” from then on, according to shipping firm Alfred Holt’s documents at the Ocean Archive.

After the war, British authorities moved swiftly to force the Chinese sailors out of the country. The BBC noted that a UK Home Office document from October 1945 cast the sailors as “an undesirable element in Liverpool” due to an alleged “1,000 convictions for opium smoking” in recent years. However, as per the BBC:

…Belchem says that was an unfair analysis. “There were one or two with criminal records, but the government used this minority to stigmatise the whole Chinese population.”

“If you look at the way most people see it, they would be absolutely model migrants. They were respectful, well-behaved, believed in education, weren’t violent, looked after their wives, looked after their children.”

Adds the website Half and Half:

This statement by the Home Office directly conflicts with report after report, letter after letter from the Liverpool and Birkenhead Chief Constables. Going back to the early years of the century they repeatedly praise the law-abiding nature of the Chinese.

Nevertheless, the reality didn’t matter to Britain. The country also didn’t care about the loved ones left behind, either as the BBC reported:

…during a series of police swoops on the Liverpool dock area, deportation orders were served on the Chinese sailors.

“He just went out to the shop, and my mum was waiting for him to come home, and he never came,” Linda Davis said of her father.

And as the SCMP noted:

Officials argued that no Chinese seaman married to a British-born woman had been forcibly repatriated – the legal situation was complicated and the government did not want to appear to be splitting up families – but Charles Foley has seen evidence that this was not true. At least one married man, with three children, was “rounded up” and deported.

And for the unmarried fathers who were sent home, some did not have time to say goodbye.

It’s heartbreaking to imagine what these families had to go through. Some of the children of Liverpool’s lost Chinese sailors have spent much of their lives searching for their fathers — see the BBC story Looking for my Shanghai father.

To learn about the whole dark episode, you can also visit the website Half and Half, where you can also help the families by contacting them with any information about these lost Chinese.

Additionally, an article originally written by China Daily and reprinted by the Telegraph includes two stories from Chinese ripped away from their lives in the UK.

What do you think about Liverpool’s lost Chinese sailors?

Guest Post: I Love How This Young Chinese Man Treats My White American Daughter

Today, I’m sharing a short story a reader shared about her white American daughter Jessica, who she introduced to a lovely young Chinese man that has brought happiness to the both of them.

Do you have a story about love or anything else you think would fit this blog? Have a look at the submit a post page and then contact me today with your ideas or draft submission.


My daughter Jessica is as American peaches and cream as you get, and James, who has been in the U.S. for two years, is shy, a little awkward, respectful, brilliant and just a bit goofy. He and my daughter share a love of cats, music, Volkswagen Beetles, and all things anime and “cute.” They text off and on all day and never run out of things to say.

Ordinarily I’d be a little reluctant to let my daughter, who is in her late teens, get close to someone four years older, but James is as innocent as she is (they’ve both never dated anyone before), and I got to know James pretty well over the past couple of years and actually introduced him to my daughter.

Right after I introduced them, a group of us went to dinner for my birthday. Jessica was very shy and withdrawn. And James, knowing that Jessica’s favorite music group is Owl City, arranged with the restaurant somehow to play only Owl City music the entire time. A couple of weeks ago he bought her Hello Kitty Converse shoes, and Jessica reciprocated by giving him no-bake cookies (which I got to make, since Jessica tends to burn things up when she cooks – LOL). Next came snacks from the Asian market that James determined were all “cute,” and banana bread (baked by me, of course) was Jessica’s next thank-you offering. I’ve told her it’s okay to accept these things from James as long as she remembers to show him kindness as well and not just accept gifts as her due.

I have no idea what will happen in the future, but I love this young man and how well he treats both me and my daughter.

I wish I could tell every young Chinese man out there, both in the U.S. and in China, not to give up hope; that there are, indeed, lovely young American women who think Chinese men are desirable and fun, girls who think these young men are exactly what a man should be. Girls who are wise enough to look at a person’s heart and character instead.


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.

Nobel Prize Winner Roger Yonchien Tsien and Wendy Globe (AMWF History)

Since the Nobel committee introduced this year’s prize winners in early October, it’s the perfect time to salute Nobel laureates in AMWF history.

Today, I’d like to spotlight the late American biochemist Roger Yonchien Tsien, who won the Nobel Prize in 2008 (along with two other scientists) for his brilliant work in with the green fluorescent protein:

Combining his deep skills in chemistry and biology, Tsien found ways to make GFP glow more brightly and consistently; then he created a full palette of fluorescent proteins that scientists could use to track different cellular processes at the same time.

His remarkable scientific career took him to some of the most celebrated institutions in the world (Harvard, Cambridge University, University of California – Berkeley) before ultimately settling in as a professor at University of California at San Diego. And in particular, Tsien’s time as a post-doctoral research fellow in Cambridge University expanded his knowledge – and his love life:

…Tim [Tsien’s collaborator] and his wife Norma invited me to their Christmas party in 1976, where I first met their sister-in-law, Wendy. Soon I was spending every weekend visiting Wendy at her house in North London. When Tim and Norma found out several months later, they were quite astonished at the effectiveness of their entirely unintentional matchmaking. Wendy (Figures 3–4) is still the love of my life.

There’s something delightfully touching about a scientist who weaves his wife into a Nobel autobiography, in figures no less. 😉

Additionally, his autobiography offers some fascinating tidbits about himself and his past. For example, he wasn’t really named after his older brother’s childhood playmate, as he had originally thought:

Much later, perhaps when I was in college, I quizzed Dick about this mysterious namesake. Dick confessed that he actually named me after Roy Rogers, the famous cowboy actor.

Also, he described himself as “mystified” over his first prize win at the Westinghouse Talent Search, now the Intel Science Talent Search, which ultimately led to an additional unexpected benefit, beyond the $10,000 scholarship:

One of the most satisfying compliments I received was that the developer who had not wanted to sell a house to Mom and Dad in 1960 now used my photo in one of their advertisements as evidence of the quality of the local school system.

Tsien passed away in 2016 in Eugene, Oregon at 64 years of age, while on a bike trail. His wife called him “the adventurer, the pathfinder, the free and soaring spirit” and said, “He will not be forgotten.”

What do you think of Roger Yonchien Tsien and Wendy Globe?

Photo credit: By Prolineserver (talk) – Own work, GFDL 1.2, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=5398582

Nobel Prize Winning Physicist Samuel Chao Chung Ting and Susan Marks (AMWF History)

Since the Nobel committee introduced this year’s prize winners last week, it’s the perfect time to salute Nobel laureates in AMWF history.

Today, I’d like to give a nod to American physicist Samuel Chao Chung Ting (丁肇中), honored in 1976, along with Burton Richter, for this breakthrough in physics:

In order to search for new particles at a higher mass, I brought my group back to the United States in 1971 and started an experiment at Brookhaven National Laboratory. In the fall of 1974 we found evidence of a new, totally unpredicted, heavy particle – the J particle. Since then a whole family of new particles has been found.

Ting also broke new ground when it came to his love life. The Chinese American married twice — first to Kay Louise Kuhne (with whom he had two daughters, Jeanne and Amy), and later in 1985 to his current wife Dr. Susan Marks (with whom he has a son named Christopher).

While obviously Ting is remembered for his achievements in physics, you’ve got to appreciate his courage when he first came to the US from China to study:

In China, I had read that many American students go through college on their own resources. I informed my parents that I would do likewise. I arrived at the Detroit airport on 6 September 1956 with $100, which at the time seemed more than adequate. I was somewhat frightened, did not know anyone, and communication was difficult.

And yet he succeeded, beyond imagination. His entire autobiography at the Nobel Prize site is inspiring and worth a read.

Upon accepting his Nobel Prize at the banquet, Ting would say, “I hope that awarding the Nobel Prize to me will awaken the interest of students from the developing nations so that they will realize the importance of experimental work.”

What do you think of Samuel Chao Chung Ting?

Photo credit: By Toastforbrekkie – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=14049578

Guest Post: AMWF ‘Thor and Sif’ Thunder Ahead in Photos

Enjoy this AMWF Thor and Sif photo collaboration by Ana Hudson, a new model and photographer hitting the scene. This is part of her portfolio titled “Project Justice”, which includes her previous posts: Lucky in Love – 21 Photos of ‘AMWF Iris West, Flash’9 Powerful ‘AMWF Superman’ Photos to ‘Save’ Your Day and 13 Sexy, Fun ‘AMXF Deadpool’ Photos to Make You Smile.

What superhero would you like to see Ana feature in her next photo shoot? Let us know in the comments!

If you are an AMXF couple in the Los Angeles area, Ana Hudson would love to offer you a free/donations accepted photoshoot. To find out more information about planning a photoshoot you can reach her at [email protected]


Credits:
Models: Justin Zhang (IG @NoobStrength) and Liz
Photographer: Ana Hudson (@WhiteChocolatePlayer)

If you are an AMXF couple in the Los Angeles area, Ana Hudson would love to offer you a free/donations accepted photoshoot. To find out more information about planning a photoshoot you can reach her at [email protected]


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.

Chinese Man Seeks Lost American Wife, Son Who Disappeared in Hangzhou

I first learned of this story on WeChat when people began sharing news of a lost mixed-race 2-year-old boy who went missing in Hangzhou. Later reports revealed the boy had actually disappeared with his mother, an American woman. I’ve translated a news story on the incident initially published in Chinese.
—–

“All-powerful circle of friends, please ask everyone if they have seen this child. He is lost. I already alerted the police, but still haven’t received any information about him. Yesterday this information was heavily reposted on social media, saying this 2-year-old boy went missing at Xin Qingnian Guangchang. His name is Chenchen, also known as Milan. Accompanying the information is a picture of the little boy. He has really big eyes, just like a foreign child.”

The person who sent this information is the boy’s father Xiao Xue, a 27-year-old fitness coach in Hangzhou. Yesterday, when someone was trying to get in touch with him, he was a little embarrassed to say, “The boy probably left with his mother.”

The boy’s mother is an American. Her Chinese name is Bai Xue, and she’s two years older than Xiao Xue.

The two of them got together in a romantic way on April 4, 2015, when they both met at the Drum Tower, where it was love at first sight.

At the time, Xiao Xue had been in Hangzhou for about a year or so, while Bai Xue was a foreign student at Zhejiang University. “She was a very bright student and did well in her studies. She could speak many languages, at least eight,” Xiao Xue said, his voice showing pride as he spoke of his wife.

Bai Xue was beautiful, while Xiao Xue was handsome. The two young people had no language barrier to deal with, so they quickly moved from meeting each other to love, and, hand-in-hand, entered marriage together.

“Our relationship was very good, and there was no doubt she loved me,” Xiao Xue said. After they married, his wife Bai Xue’s living habits gave him a bit of a “breakdown”. “She loved to do as she wished, and she would leave things all over the house, and didn’t like to put them back in their place.”

Xiao Xue however prefers things to be neat and tidy, and he would remind Bai Xue about this many times. When Bai Xue became angry over his words, Xiao Xue would soothe her and the situation would pass.

After one year of marriage, their son was born – fair-skinned, chubby, and a mixed-race child. He was very cute. The young couple took care of him themselves and found an Ayi to help them out.

With the birth of their child, the differences in living habits between the two turned into a more acute conflict. During the day, Xiao Xue would work, and Bai Xue would take care of the child.

They were both young and had no experience caring for children. But Xiao Xue said, there were times when he would come home and see the child in the middle of winter with one bare foot, or wearing mismatched shoes, etc. He would say something to Bai Xue, but she felt Xiao Xue was nagging.

Later on, Bai Xue found a job at an early childhood education center, and she could take her son with her to work, so they got rid of their Ayi.

On May 20, also known as young people’s “520” online Valentine’s day holiday, Xiao Xue had to work that day. When he got off work and came home, he was very upset to see an entire box of children’s clothes lying on the ground. All of his desire to enjoy the holiday disappeared. He tidied up the clothing on the ground and then waited for Bai Xue and the boy to return.

After 9 pm that evening, Bai Xue and the child came back, and Xiao Xue asked Bai Xue to put away the clothes on the sofa. But Bai Xue said she wanted to go to sleep. On that day, Xiao Xue was in a bad mood, so he spoke in anger. “That day I was a bit harsh to her, I said the house is such a mess, you must put your clothes away!”

In anger, Bai Xue placed the child in bed, and organized the clothing. Xiao Xue grabbed his notebook to write a journal entry. It wasn’t until after 1 am that he returned to the room and found that Bai Xue and the boy were gone.

Xiao Xue ran outside the building to look, and couldn’t find a trace of the mother and son in the gardens there. Bai Xue’s usual electric scooter wasn’t there either.

Xiao Xue said, Bai Xue had stayed in Hangzhou for over 10 years, she had classmates and friends there. So he sought them out, but they didn’t know where she had gone.

Xiao Xue then reached out to his mother-in-law in the US. She said she didn’t know were Bai Xue was, but she received a Skype message from Bai Xue, asking her to send some living expenses.

In early June, Xiao Xue went to the police station to make a report, and the police searched for information. They discovered that, on the second day that Bai Xue had run away from home, she had gone to Xinchang, then two days later returned to Hangzhou, where she stayed at an inn near Zhejiang University. “I was too slow, she had checked out of the room.”

In early June, Xiao Xue heard friends say they had seen on social media that Bai Xue was carrying her son in Ledigang in Gongshu district.

Xiao Xue has been unable to contact Bai Xue. After she ran away from home, she canceled her WeChat account. Xiao Xue sent her emails but she hasn’t replied.

Bai Xue hails from a scholarly family. Her mother is a university professor, and her father is an expert in nuclear physics. She also has two younger sisters, and one of them is a Chinese girl born in Hubei who was adopted by her parents. “I saw that it said on her Skype that in early June she went to the place where her younger sister was born,” Xiao Xue said. He guessed that she had possibly gone to Hubei. “She is a very innocent person, and I fear that she has been conned by someone.”

When all is said and done, in fact these two young people just didn’t know how to get along after marriage.

“When we were first married,we often went out for fun in the evenings and enjoyed holidays together. After our child was born, there were fewer holidays,” Xiao Xue said, noting he may have neglected Bai Xue’s emotional needs.

Xiao Xue said that, concerning their marriage, while Bai Xue’s father supported his daughter, her mother had some dissatisfaction. At the end of last year, Bai Xue’s father passed away and she returned home. Xiao Xue, because he had to work and also perhaps feared seeing Bai Xue’s mother, didn’t go with her, staying at home to care for their son.

As for Xiao Xue, perhaps he harbored some macho ideas. He thought that he should go out to earn money, while his wife should take care of things at home. Now, Xiao Xue said he really regrets his behavior: “That day I shouldn’t have been so angry at her.” Xiao Xue said that, previously, because Bai Xue had made the home so untidy, he threatened to break up with her and such. “Those were angry words, but she probably thought I was being serious.”

What do you think?

Riding the ‘Love Boat’: Ukrainian Woman Falls for Chinese Cruise Ship Colleague

Have you ever imagined romance on the wide, open seas? Meet Mary, a Ukrainian woman who worked on a cruise ship and fell for her colleague from South China. I’m honored to share the tale, along with a lovely collection of photos that document their precious love.

Do you have a love story or other post you’d like to see featured here? Visit the submit a post page to learn more and then contact me today with your ideas.
—–

He asked if he could accompany me on this trip … and he became my companion for life.

I was working on a luxury cruise ship and my day off looked pretty fun. I planned to sail up to Manaus, the capital of northwestern Brazil, for shopping, lunch, a crocodile safari tour in the Amazon river just for crew members, dinner in a traditional Mexican restaurant and clubbing all night.

When my girlfriends and I entered the l boat for the safari tour, which was supposed to take us to see dangerous crocodiles, he was already onboard, taking pictures of the Amazonian waters.

He was the handsome IT engineer on the cruise ship.

I had talked to him on our ship before. He was always very polite and friendly, and this moment was no exception. He asked if he could sit next to me and accompany me on this trip.

I said “Yes,” never realizing it was the beginning of our romance.

The next day we had a date in Manaus city. Then we got together Curacao island, Aruba, St. Martin and Puerto Rico, and along the way our love grew.

Both of us had worked on cruise ships for a few years, traveling all over the world. We shared a lot in common, including the fact that we were both dreamers who were accustomed to taking action to achieve our goals. With him everything always felt easy and enjoyable.

When our working contracts had ended, I flew back to the Ukraine, while he went home to South China. Yet the bond between the two of us remained strong.

Three months after we parted, he arrived in my city of Lviv and we traveled together to all the best places in Ukraine.

Later, I was invited to visit him and his family in Guangzhou, where he proposed to me. I went back home and announced to my parents that I would move to China.

We did not find any obstacles in our way. My parents really liked him, and his parents liked me.

Before the wedding, we lived together for one year. We established our own home and found jobs (as we had resigned from the cruise company). We also traveled together to Shanghai, Hong Kong and Macau, and had a paradise honeymoon in Hawaii. Our wedding supposed to be small, but we ended up with 120 people in attendance. My parents, a few relatives and friends came from Ukraine. It was mix of traditions, with sea-inspired decorations, Chinese cuisine, Ukrainian embroidered towels, a first dance and a hip party for younger guests on the 65th floor of the Hyatt rooftop bar.

Eleven months after the wedding, we were blessed with our gorgeous daughter Alicia, becoming the happiest parents ever. Now seven months old, she is a very interesting and cute little baby.

When we are together, nothing seems impossible. There are no distances, no obstacles and barriers for us. We are citizens of the world. And we will continue to open up this world together and show all of its beauty to our girl.
—–

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.