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Redemption Blog

She asked me how things were going with Guo Jian and her eyes glinted with worry and concern (and maybe a bit of pity, but only the kind that comes from a big heart, not the patronizing kind.) She is my friend here in Beijing, but she is not from here. Like me, she is from the West—a Western wife…   …read more.

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Culture or Gender?

It’s been awhile since I wrote for this blog. There’s reasons for that, but the primary one is this: I’ve spent the past eight months or so fantasizing about changing the blog name to: “Queer Girl Gets Divorced.” Seriously. It’s not that I don’t love the guy–in fact, that’s part of the problem. If I didn’t love him, divorce would…   …read more.

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I am a Typical Chinese Man

China Daily’s rationale for the unlikely matrimonial combination of Asian male, non-Asian female (like ours) was based on 8 stereotypes. Funny thing is: I think I’ve just discovered the problem here: I am a stereotypical Chinese guy.

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Lotus Blossom Award!

This blog is the winner of the 2014 Lotus Blossom Award! The plaque says: “IN APPRECIATION OF THE WAY YOU ADVOCATE AND CELEBRATE CROSS-CULTURAL LOVE.” This is an award put forth by a great website called My Chinese Love. Thanks so much for recognizing blogs like mine! I’m so excited. This is the first time that anything I’ve ever written…   …read more.

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Standing Issue: Dribbles

A standing issue between Guo Jian and I (pun intended) is regarding the state of the bathroom. I theorize that since Chinese restrooms are, on average, absolutely disgusting places, his overall standards for bathroom sanitation are simply lower. He grew up there. I, however, didn’t.

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"Marriage Isn't For Me": A Rebuttal

Recently, a blog has been circulating the internet that starts out with these words: “Marriage is not for me.” It’s a compelling hook, especially since the first few words of the blog identify the writer as a newly married man. We instinctively want to shake the guy before he’s even written his first paragraph in defense of his poor new…   …read more.

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Cultural Touch Tally

I’d classify myself as an affectionate person. At least, I used to be. China seems to have trained it out of me. That makes me sad, I admit. Sometimes more sad that I can explain. Chinese people are just not very outwardly affectionate. That is, not in the ways you’d expect. There are exceptions, of course, and modern Western media…   …read more.

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Family Money, Chinese Style

When I first met Guo Jian, he was one of the few Chinese people I’d come across who had a car—young people, that is. Especially in the world of musicians who make so little per gig, cars are rare here. He was working with a famous Chinese rock star at the time, though, and he had become pretty famous himself…   …read more.

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Compass Compassion

When I first met Guo Jian, we did a lot of hanging out in the city like going to restaurants and shops or walking around in the interesting areas like Gu Lou 鼓楼 or Hou Hai 后海. He knew the side alleys and fun stores and would regularly tug me around corners that I hadn’t even noticed led to pathways….   …read more.

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Finger Lickin' Normal

When it comes to the perceptions of common cultural practices and/or expectations of “normal,” the key to a peaceful intercultural relationship is a willingness to clean the slate and re-evaluate.

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