As we move to Hangzhou, we’re feeling the love (and support) from family in China

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Sometimes, I think the love of a Chinese family is one of the best kept secrets in the world. And if ever there was an example of that, it’s our upcoming move to Hangzhou. As we trade the countryside for city life, I still can’t believe how my husband’s family has gone out of their way to help us make the transition.

Secretly buying our brand-new apartment essentials

Okay, I know rice cookers, pressure cookers, dishes, woks and bedding don’t appear out of thin air. But when my mother-in-law suddenly pulled out all of these brand-spanking-new things (and more!) from storage in our house, it felt like some magic trick. Or the wedding registry I never imagined I had signed up for.

Because, after all, we never asked them to buy any of these things. But they bought them anyway!

My mother-in-law has continued this apartment hocus-pocus almost every day leading up to the move, trotting out new things during lunch, and has even pulled a few extra-special surprises out of her own proverbial hat (including honey and even veggies from her garden).

Making it an auspicious move

“It’s not superstition. It’s the Book of Change, a Chinese tradition.” Whether or not you agree with my father-in-law, the fact remains that good luck matters to my in-laws in every important aspect of life — including moving house.

So naturally, once we announced the news on Saturday, my father-in-law whipped out that indispensable little red book in his library — the Chinese Farmer’s Almanac, based on China’s Book of Change. It lists every date in the year, recommending what you should and should not do on that date. According to his almanac, the best upcoming date for our move (and preparing our new bedroom) would be this coming Tuesday, May 27.

And believe me, this stuff counts to them. How much? Enough for my mother-in-law to make a second phone call to my husband’s oldest brother (who initially said he couldn’t move us on Tuesday), convincing him to do it earlier in the day!

Money? We didn’t ask for money!

Compared to so many Americans I know, Chinese families seen to operate on a completely different wavelength when it comes to money — and my husband’s family is no exception.

You don’t even need to ask them, “Could you lend us some money?” It’s a given they will, which I still haven’t quite gotten used to (yes, I am a bag of nerves whenever John has to borrow cash from his family — and John always thinks it’s so funny).

And more often than not, you don’t even need to bring up the topic of money with them — because they’ll do it first.

That’s exactly what my father-in-law did the other day when he sauntered over to John and me in the yard. John’s dad had this serious look on his face that made me all nervous inside, as if he was like my dad and about to lecture us on something we messed up in his house. But this “serious talk” turned out to be nothing more than him saying, “You’re going to need some money for your move. How much?” (A question that, of course, I felt too embarrassed to answer. I mean, here’s my father-in-law approaching me with a gesture that seems too generous to be real, and expecting me to give him a number?)

Days later, I discovered a thick stack of crisp, red bills lying in the corner of our room — an amount that turned out to be more than three times more what I expected!

Sometimes it’s not even a question, but an order. Like, yesterday John’s oldest brother phoned him out of the blue just to say “Open an account so I can send you some money” when John hadn’t even asked for it. After my husband recounted this to me, I was shocked (in a good way)…and then almost wanted to pinch myself.

Nope, it wasn’t a daydream.

In the end, it’s all about the love

My Chinese relatives will never hug or kiss us, or say how much they love us the way my American relatives do. But they’ll pony up brand-new apartment essentials and money without us asking them, and make certain we move on the luckiest possible day. It all comes down to one simple idea — this is how they show us their love.

Now if you excuse me, I’ve got a move to get ready for. Hangzhou, here we come!

In Hangzhou, the city where John and I fell in love — and love with all our hearts!

Tibetan husbands, dating Chinese pop stars, and other unusual stories of Chinese men & Western women in love

Kumbum Ta'er monastry at Xining, Qinghai China (photo by Remko Tanis via Flickr.com)
Kumbum Ta’er monastry at Xining, Qinghai China (photo by Remko Tanis via Flickr.com)

This week, I’ve stumbled upon a number of incredibly unique stories in the blogosphere about Chinese men and Western women in love. While I’m on deadline these days (and need a break from my usual posts) I thought I would share some of these fantastic blogs/posts with you. Enjoy!

A Tibetan-American love story in Qinghai

Earlier this week, a reader tipped me off to a few new AMWF bloggers — and one of them fascinated me the moment I read the short intro in her blog’s sidebar:

I’m Kimberly, an American lady living in western China with my Tibetan husband and our beautiful baby girl

Wow.

Kimberly’s About page offers a glimpse into how it all happened:

Following my stint in the home of Peking Duck, I went back to the states to get my Master’s Degree in Library and Information Science. (That’s right, I am a certified librarian.) By then I was itching to get back to China and decided to make my home out west, where the air is cleaner, the food is heartier, and the people are diverse.

I used to joke with my parents before I left that I was going to find a nice man there and settle down. To my surprise and delight (and my mother’s disappointment) it really happened. K and I were married on July 28th 2012…

…and on August 2nd 2012. We had two weddings, one western style in the city and one Tibetan style in the village.

Boy, what I wouldn’t give to sit down with Kimberly and hear the details of how she met and married her husband! Still, since starting her blog in March 2014, she’s already offered a lot of insight into her fascinating and unique life, including why she loves China, what she and her husband eat at home, pregnancy and birth in Qinghai, and local expectations for new mothers. This is definitely one blog to watch.

Dating a Chinese Pop Star

I’ve had my share of relationships with Chinese men (including my marriage to John), but I’ll never know — as Hannah Lincoln has reported on Beijing Cream — what it’s like to date a Chinese pop star:

Xiao Li was part of a gang of pop-folk musicians that included not just his band mates, all singers, but also their brothers and cousins and mentors and girlfriends and gal pals.

I had gone that night to get my culture on and enjoy some folk music. Awkward but uninhibited, I picked off one of the shy ones to practice my Chinese. We were having a pleasant conversation until his strikingly handsome friend cut in. He said I was really pretty and clinked beers with me. When I replied in Chinese, he slapped his hand on his face – “Wah! I didn’t know you’d understand me!” He then asked for my number, said he wanted to treat me to a meal.

…After a few weeks, I looked up Xiao Li’s band on Baidu. Apparently they had won China’s version of American Idol and were a go-to choice for the Party at official events.

Hannah recounts her time as the girlfriend of a pop star in China with honesty about it all, including her own missteps in the relationship. It’s a long post, but also worth reading and discussing.

What one Chinese man thinks of his foreign girlfriend

It’s no secret the the vast majority of stories about Chinese men and Western women in love are written by the women. And if we do hear from the men, rarely is it about a relationship that blossomed in China — one that, for that matter, is still going strong.

That’s why I’ve loved this recent post from C, the boyfriend of Spanish blogger Marta of Marta Lives in China. Here’s a snippet of his post, which reads like a valentine to Marta:

But Marta changed my point of view. She knows what is the real happy life, she prefers traveling to different countries rather than buying a CHANEL, she thinks we do not need to buy a house of our own(sorry but that is still one of my shot-term aims), she prefers walking more than driving a car, she is so kind and so nice to every member of my family, she is always so kind and polite, and she loves music.

Marta, he’s a keeper!

Check out the full post here, including a unique photo of the couple with tropical flowers in their hair.

Have you come across any unusual stories of Chinese men and Western women in love? Share them — or link to them — in the comments!

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We’re looking for a few good stories from Chinese men and Western women in love — or out of love — to share on Fridays. Submit your original story or a published blog post today.

7 Weird Search Terms on Love & Dating in China (and More) that Will Never Become Featured Questions

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(photo by Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com)

Some people ask the darndest things.

While checking my site analytics the other day, I noticed some incredibly weird questions that brought visitors to my site. Let me tell you, some of these search strings read like a bizarre Ask the Yangxifu question from an alternate universe. And that gave me an idea…

So, in the spirit of having a little fun with this column, I thought I’d share seven of these weird questions. Of course, they’ll never end up in a real Ask the Yangxifu column. But hey, they might just make you go “Hmmmm”, “Whoa!” or just give you a laugh before your weekend comes. 😉

P.S.: As always, if you have a real Ask the Yangxifu question, you’re welcome to send it on to me! I can even answer you off the blog and keep things confidential. See my Ask the Yangxifu page for details.

1.

why do china gal divorce their husband and go overseas to married than divorce and return to their family in china

There’s a potentially tragic personal story behind this search string, but given how the asker referred to her as “china gal” (which sounds a lot like a female version of that offensive term “chinaman”), I think I’d rather not know.

2.

how do i find out if my chinese wife divorced me in china 

Whoa. If you’re not sure about your marital status in China, you should not be asking a yangxifu about this. Try asking a divorce lawyer in China some questions. Like, now.

3.

why do chinese people keep having babies

Hmmm, I guess you missed that health class in middle school where they talked about, you know, sex.

4. 

what's an asian guys favorite sex position

So, because a guy is Asian, he must have a certain favorite sex position, like all Asian men? Would you be asking about “what’s a white guy’s favorite sex position”? No? Exactly.

5. 

which chinese race of women are most likely to tolerate infidelity

Uh, I think you’re a little confused about ethnicity and race. And, for that matter, women, relationships and, you know, basic human morals.

6. 

what is it like to have sex with an asian guy

Because, of course, it must be so wildly different from all the other non-Asian guys you slept with. [insert sarcastic look]

7.

how western men unknowingly insult women in china

File this one under “search terms with a crazy story behind them I’m dying to know”.

Have you ever encountered weird search questions about love, dating or relationships in China or Asia? Share them in the comments!

Double Happiness: How Alex married Fei, and became a wedding planner in Qingdao, China

Canadian Alex calls it destiny. She went to China in June 2010 as an exchange student, never realizing she would leave her heart in Qingdao — and end up becoming a wedding planner together with her husband, Fei.

Today, they run H-Flower together in Qingdao, and their story is as beautiful as the designs they create for weddings and more. Even better, Alex shares her how-we-met-and-married tale in two languages — and has graciously provided a video starring the two of them (with subtitles in English and Chinese). In addition to their company website, you can also follow Alex and Fei’s company on Weibo.

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Our hometowns share an ocean, but are on different continents. We both celebrate a new year, but at a different time. We both have parents, but only one of us has siblings.

I can tell the story of how Fei and I met in two languages. This type of meeting is called 缘分 (yuanfen) which depicts that by fate or destiny two people come together.

Like most foreigners here I began my journey as an exchange student in June 2010. At the same time Fei agreed to help his friend by teaching a class on Business in China. Fei studied and lived in Dublin, Ireland for nine years. When we met it was not in Canada, it was not in Ireland, nor was it in Fei’s hometown Qingdao (青岛). We met in a small suburb outside the city, in an old classroom on the 6th floor.

In class we exchanged cards and arranged to meet later on. We went with several friends for a dinner of roast duck, which led to night market shopping, and further an intimate pot of blue mountain coffee shared between the two of us. After coffee I followed like a puppy to watch a football match in a pub even though I had never been a fan.

Fei

The next day I left to Xi’an. It was painful leaving but the Terracotta warriors, Yangzte River, and Wuhan Dam all distracted me for a little while. As I traveled throughout China we kept in contact every day via text message. Through these short but meaningful first messages we subtly developed our relationship.

We met in a classroom, bonded over coffee, and spent only one week together in Qingdao, China before I had to fly home to Canada. Over the distance our relationship grew closer and commitment solidified.

Today we work side-by-side creating weddings and events here in Qingdao. Everyday we share a cup of coffee together, we make jokes and laugh in both languages, and when I am not at home working we are often crazily texting each other about some little wedding detail or color combination.

Alex, doing a floral arrangement for a wedding.

It feels surreal to think that my small exchange student opportunity has opened up this entire new world. I am fluent in Chinese, married to a wonderful husband, and we are both building our careers and future together everyday.

It’s quite complicated how we came to be in the wedding industry. After we were engaged we of course began to think about how to arrange and coordinate an international wedding party. We also went to check out a few of the local wedding planners (婚庆公司). At first I saw their weddings and just didn’t really understand how there was such a huge T-shaped stage, many different colored lights, and aisle decorations that were nearly touching the ceiling? I thought to myself this isn’t the wedding that I imagined and just doesn’t feel right.

So after some trials and tribulations and meeting the right people, in May 2011 we had our first wedding client (a friend of a friend of course). Our first wedding was an amazing (and frustrating) learning experience about the different between Western and Chinese style weddings. I learned very quickly that creating hand-made seating arrangements for 300+ people just do not work!

One year later I had the chance to design and create our own wedding. I wanted to give my Chinese family and friends the experience of what a western style wedding is like. We were married by the sea, in the yard of a 100 year old building, we ate delicious steak and drank wine, we danced, we ate cake, and we drank some more. It was the best day of my life and Fei agrees it was his too.

Our company is growing, we are learning so much everyday and being challenged in every way possible. I feel honored that I can help other brides and grooms create the same wonderful memories that we had after our wedding day.

我来自加拿大的西海岸, 我未婚夫来自中国的东海岸。 我经常会被问到我们相遇的故事,通常我都会用中文和英文一起来描绘这一段。

2010年春天,我当时的大学组织到到青岛的一所合作大学交流学习。我从没有想到过会来到中国,但是还是欣然接收了这为期6周的越洋学习的机会。我未婚夫的朋友当时请他帮忙来这所大学教一节“在中国做生意”的课,用英文。第一次我看见他,第一次听见他的声音,我知道我喜欢他整个人 。

(photo by TANG VISION from Shanghai www.tangvision.com)

他在跟我们讲经济的时候我当时在凝视他的眼睛… … 之后有一次机会,我们和我的朋友,我们一起去吃饭,然后逛街,一直到只剩我们两个人的一壶醉人的蓝山咖啡。那天晚上,我就高兴的跟着他去看足球比赛(世界杯),在那之前我从来不看足球比赛,但是突然间我发觉紧张的被这项运动吸引了。

那天晚上,Fei送我回到我朋友的楼下,第二天我就要去西安旅行了,一去就是十天。刚刚遇到他就要离开让我很舍不得。 当我游览中国的名胜古迹(也是最热的城市)的时候我们每天都不断的互发短信。 当时我还不确定他对我的感觉,直到当我收到一条消息,说,“我想你”。那个时候我就想马上回到青岛!

我们在教室里遇到,一壶咖啡让我们靠近,在我回加拿大之前我们在一起短短的一周时间。当时的我不知道我们之间会发生什么但是我有强烈的愿望要回来。我们各自恢复了正常的生活,我回到了学校,Fei开始了一家公司(每天我们都用Skype和QQ在网上见面。随着时间过去我们的感情也成长了,秋天的时候,我们彼此知道心里只有对方。现在的我坐在这里看着我手指上美丽的订婚戒指,其他的都仿佛是历史了。

Alex lives with her husband Fei in Qingdao, China, where she is the executive designer, florist and stylist for H-Flower.

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We’re looking for a few good stories from Chinese men and Western women in love — or out of love — to share on Fridays. Submit your original story or a published blog post today.

Three Things I Wish I Had Known About Dating in China

The other day, someone asked me why I started up this blog. I mentioned a number of reasons, including this one — because it’s the kind of blog I wish I had discovered when I first went to China and started dating men over there.

That got me thinking about my first year in China in 1999, when I stumbled into a cross-cultural relationship — and knew little of China’s culture and could barely even speak full sentences in Chinese. I wondered, if I met my 1999 self, what advice would I have given her about dating Chinese men?

Well, here are three things I wish I had known back then:

1. Actions matter more than words

In the weeks leading up to that first relationship, I was caught in the midst of an “is he into me?” guessing game. As I wrote before:

We spent over a month together in this “dating limbo”. We took late evening walks, our shoulders dangerously close, and he would say things like “I love the color of your eyes” or “I think foreign women are beautiful.” He would also inquire about what I was doing at certain times, or, if we were together, what I would be doing next — and then casually suggest we do something. But it wasn’t until we were crossing the street one day (to escape a beggar running after me) that we finally locked hands together — hands that didn’t part after crossing. Then he kissed me at my apartment, and I knew we were together.

I longed for the reassurance of his words in understanding where we were — and where we were headed — because that’s what people generally do in the US. Of course, once he held my hand and kissed me that evening, I had all the reassurance I needed! Yet when I look back on that time, his actions were saying “I love you” even though he never uttered those words to me.

Later, I had similar experiences in dating — including with my future husband, John. And when I came to know John’s family, I also realized that they show their love, instead of saying it.

2. Keep that past relationship in the past

One of my first arguments with a boyfriend in China happened over something that many Americans think nothing about. I happened to tell him about a relationship with an ex-boyfriend during my senior year in university.

While couples in the US bond over swapping relationship “war stories”, discussing your exes with your Chinese boyfriend could blow up in your face. I’m not saying there aren’t guys in China who might be amenable to such discussions — just realize it’s the usually exception and not the norm. After all, my friend and fellow yangxifu Jessica once told me, “My husband does not want to hear anything about my ex-boyfriends, sexual history, or even ‘regular’ history.”

But on the flip side, it’s kind of liberating to enter a relationship without some unspoken expectation that you should unpack all of your past relationship baggage before your significant other. Some Americans actually judge you over your past relationships, which can obviously sting. Instead, you can leave that past where it belongs and focus on the present happiness.

3. It takes a lot longer to meet the parents

When I was in high school and I started to date guys in the US, they often met my parents on the first or second or even third date. Maybe it was just a handshake and a few quick words of hello, but you could still call it a “meeting”.

Not so in China. With one exception (I met his mom well before we were even considering dating) it took a long time before my boyfriends in China would actually introduce me to their parents. In one case, I never even got to that point — we broke up. Later on, I learned that Chinese usually don’t introduce their boyfriends or girlfriends to the family unless it’s a serious, heading-towards-marriage kind of relationship.

And maybe that’s a good thing. I remember one guy I dated in college and how I came so close to his mom that she even wrote to me while I was studying abroad in Spain. So when he and I finally broke things off, I had a double heartache — losing both him and her.

What about you? What dating advice do you wish you would have had in your first cross-cultural or interracial relationship?

Double Happiness: “Enter Zhao Ming…China’s Answer to Arnold Schwarzenegger”

Ming and Rosalie at their wedding in 2007 (Photo courtesy of Rosalie Zhao)

I love stories that challenge stereotypes about Chinese men. Well, you can’t get much better than this love story, where a white American woman goes to China and ends up falling for a guy she considers the Chinese version of Arnold Schwarzenegger. Thanks to Rosalie Zhao for sharing her amazing story, which just might inspire more Western women out there to give Chinese men a chance.

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Thanks to a relative’s cute Chinese neighbor, I went through a brief phase of yellow fever in high school. It came and went in the same fashion as most things (Josh Hartnett, Doc Martens) I pined after during my teenage years. I didn’t think my attraction to Asians would resurface, even as I packed my bags for my post-college teach in China stint. Just a week before I left, in February 2005, my cousin Nicky called it, “You’re gonna fall in love in China.” I couldn’t help but laugh.

Fast-forward a couple months later and you’d find me in China, sweating it out at the local gym. I’d never been much of a gym rat, but with a 12 hour per week teaching schedule, virtually no English-language television, and no home internet (remember—this was 2005 and I was in a small Chinese city) all that was left to do was hop on a treadmill.

Me exercising is no picture of grace and beauty, nor is it a time during which I enjoy critique or idle chit-chat. Enter Zhao Ming, seemingly China’s answer to Arnold Schwarzenegger. As I made my feeble attempts to use five pound free weights, Ming took it upon himself to criticize my form. While I understand now that Chinese people often offer unsolicited advice as a gesture of kindness, at the time I was thoroughly annoyed. Who did this meathead think he was? And he could hardly speak English!

Ming and Rosalie in June 2005 (Photo courtesy of Rosalie Zhao)

Though awkward, I was relieved by our failure to communicate. It meant Mr. Muscles would leave me alone. It wasn’t but a few days later, while I was on the treadmill jogging, thoroughly red-faced, that he made his second approach. I tried to politely ignore him, but as anyone living in China knows, you cannot politely ignore a Chinese person who really wants something. This guy was on a mission. In a tone that sounded a bit rehearsed, he asked, “Can I with you walk home?”

I decided it was best to stick with honesty. “Oh, sorry. I have to go home and take a shower,” I replied. His face was thrown into a state of utter confusion. He really didn’t understand English. Continuing my jog, I began to pantomime while yelling, “US, NO WALK. ME, GO HOME. SHOWER.” His face lit up; he understood. But a second later his expression collapsed, realizing I wasn’t willing to walk with him.

Over the course of the next two weeks we repeated the same song and dance—him asking to walk me home and me gesturing my refusals. It wasn’t until one night that he cornered me at the gym exit that I finally decided to give him a chance. What was the harm in letting him walk with me?

So we walked, with few words, just his bicycle and our foolish grins between us. He stopped and bought us each a yogurt, then carefully unwrapped the straw and stuck it in the drink, smiling at me widely. I felt my insides melt. When we reached my apartment I decided to run upstairs quickly to grab my Lonely Planet phrasebook. Somehow we fuddled through an hour’s worth of “conversation” before it started to rain lightly. We quickly ran into the building’s stairwell, laughing. Then he kissed me. In that moment I somehow knew that I could, in fact, find love in China. And here we are, eight years later, five years married, and still very much in love.

Rosalie with Ming and his family in December 2011 (Photo courtesy of Rosalie Zhao)

Ming later revealed to me that his approach at the gym exit was going to be his final attempt to ask me out. I’m so glad I didn’t turn him down. Looking back, I’m not sure why I found the thought of finding love in China so humorous and inconceivable. In a country of 1.3 billion people, the majority of them male, why did finding a boyfriend seem so implausible? My closed-mindedness and arrogance nearly cost me the love of my life. A cautionary tale? Maybe. But more importantly, just a reminder—anything is possible, even love for the single foreign female in China!

Rosalie Zhao resides with her husband in Hebei, China, where she writes a blog in Chinese and English called An American Woman in China.

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We’re looking for a few good stories from Chinese men and Western women in love — or out of love — to share on Fridays. Submit your original story or a published blog post today.

Ask the Yangxifu: When Chinese Men “Disappear” in New Relationships

(photo by Maria Conejo via Flickr.com)

Mary asks:

I’m…wondering about the “disappearing” as I had it happening not long ago with a Chinese guy that I had come to really really like … Not really disappearing in my case, but withdrawing any sign of romantic interest completely and abruptly decreasing communication after six months. I think what makes it hard and confusing is that those Asian men seem to be so caring, reliable and seriously be interested (compared to the men I see where I live) that when it happens it is very very surprising, hurtful and disappointing. Maybe Jocelyn could have a post that elaborates on this behaviour, possible reasons, and how to deal with communicating or acting around those men when it happens? Continue reading “Ask the Yangxifu: When Chinese Men “Disappear” in New Relationships”

Ask the Yangxifu: Sister of China Biz Partner Wants Marriage, He Doesn’t

(photo by swirlingthoughts via Flickr.com)

Andy asks:

I go to China frequently for business and I have this friend there (she is the younger sister of our business partner). I knew her for many years. She is a pretty and hardworking. We develop a more personal relationship over a trip together to Beijing. She expressed to me several times that she wants to marry me and move to the states with me.

Here is the dilemma, I don’t really want to marry her because I don’t have any chemistry with her? She is very nice and sweet but I didn’t see any spark when I was with her. I hear that in China and in Korea (where I’m from), marriage is more of an arrangement for the betterment of the FAMILY. I am a totally westernized Asian so I just don’t buy into this argument that you need to get married for the sake of marriage itself. I need that special someone who I can actually love right away, not eventually love while married?

If I do marry her, I can see that my business can expand because she is already closely involved with the business. But if I say to her that I am not interested, I’m afraid she will tell her sister so my business can be adversely affected?

I am in my 30s and she is also in her 30s. So in China we’re already too old to not have gotten married. She is also a divorcee with a child (she don’t have custody of him which is a whole another sad story in itself). I don’t have a problem with her being a divorcee.

How should I proceed with this? Eventually I will have to see her again when I’m in China. We have been communicating via emails, I did say that I wasn’t ready for marriage with all my business issues going on right now. She found that weird that I’m in my 30s and not wanting to get married. Continue reading “Ask the Yangxifu: Sister of China Biz Partner Wants Marriage, He Doesn’t”

Ask the Yangxifu: Chinese-American Woman Seeking Boyfriend/Husband in China

Michelle Guo (photo from http://itsmichelleguo.wordpress.com/about/)

For this week’s Ask the Yangxifu column — which features a question from a Chinese-American woman — I decided to turn to Michelle Guo (who was featured in the post I ran a couple of weeks ago called Double Happiness: How One Chinese American Woman Married a Chinese National) for answers. She blogs about expat life in Beijing and social media tips at her site. Thanks to Michelle for stepping in to answer this question!

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E asks:

I’m a 2nd generation Chinese-American, and I’d like to expand my boundaries and look for a possible boyfriend (or husband) in China.

Although most of your posts are aimed primarily at Western women who aren’t Chinese, I was wondering if the same rules applied for Chinese-Americans, or if things get even more complicated from there. I’m afraid that native Chinese people will look down on me for numerous reasons, such as my not being able to speak Chinese (however I am learning Mandarin), my not-typical-Chinese-girl looks (short hair and a naturally more curvy figure), my not-typical-Chinese-girl attitude (I tend to have a more Western mindset, however I do enjoy many Chinese cultural things and am proud of my Chinese heritage), and the fact that my own parents were not born in China.

Any help you can give would be greatly appreciated! Continue reading “Ask the Yangxifu: Chinese-American Woman Seeking Boyfriend/Husband in China”

Double Happiness: How One Chinese American Woman Married a Chinese National

Alex and Michelle Guo visiting San Diego, California, USA (photo courtesy of Michelle Guo)

Chinese American Michelle Guo — a fellow blogger and personal friend — shares her story of how she went to China and ended up marrying Alex, a man from Henan Province.

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Four years ago when I first came to Beijing, locals asked me what brought me back to China. The question always threw me off, since I was born in Portland, spent most of my life in California, and had never been to China before. I’m Chinese-American and was raised by my mom, who is anything BUT a traditional Chinese parent. My values, thinking, and culture are very Western, which is why I assumed that whoever I married, no matter what ethnicity, would also be American, or at the very least a Westerner.

Sometimes it’s really, really nice to make the wrong assumption. Continue reading “Double Happiness: How One Chinese American Woman Married a Chinese National”