Latest Posts

Happy Chinese New Year of the Rooster

Tomorrow starts the Year of the Rooster. If you’ve ever been to China, you might have noticed red paper strips with couplets (对联) and red signs with the Chinese character for happiness (福) are brought up on the doors of…

WWAM Bam!

WWAM Bam! Join our awesome new group blog

Just at the start of the new year, WWAM Bam! (short for Western Women & Asian Men, Breaking All Molds), a group blog by Western women who love Asian men, has launched. You’ll find posts written by great bloggers like Jocelyn of Speaking of China, Susan Blumberg-Kason (author of Good Chinese Wife),  Laura of Our Chinese…

bob sleigh

Happy New Year 2017 and posts you’ve missed

New Year’s Eve New Year’s Eve was marked by my husband working, my kids both sleeping early and me enjoying some bread and bacon on my own. Exciting, huh? After packing, moving, readjusting to China and taking care of a…

China Elevator Stories

Four years of China Elevator Stories: Top posts 2016

Dear reader, so much has happened these last four years. More than four years ago, I came to China solo with only a suitcase and a backpack. I traveled, worked, met my husband, traveled a little more, married, had a child…

regional stereotypes

Are regional stereotypes about Chinese true?

“… Men from Jilin tend to be more aggressive,” a female group member in one of the WeChat groups I’m in recently warned another group member. My husband is from Jilin province, so I wanted to know more. She explained: “It is known…

Small Town China

4 Conveniences of Living in Small Town China

Moving to Small Town China When my husband and I visited his hometown, a small town in Northeast China with our son in the fall of 2014, we only planned to stay for a few weeks. Our initial plan was…

China vegetable market

“Zdravstvuyte! Do you speak Russian?”

When I’m at the local vegetable market the other day, a Chinese guy in his 40s says: “Zdravstvuyte!” Me: “Sorry, I don’t understand.” “Zdravstvuyte! Do you speak Russian?” “I don’t. I’m not Russian.” “Zdravstvuyte! Kak dela?” “Maybe if you tried…

I don't celebrate mother's day

I don’t celebrate mother’s day

I don’t celebrate mother’s day. For one, I’m confused as to what is actually celebrated on mother’s day. The fact that a woman is not “only” a woman anymore, but now also a mother (=a woman’s deed to society)? Children…

Arxan, Inner Mongolia

“Are foreigners not people?”

For the Chinese National holidays in October, 2015, hubby, I and Little Song (our then 15-month-old son) make a road trip to the Arxan mountain range (阿尔山 Ā’ěrshān) in Inner Mongolia (内蒙古 Nèiménggǔ) near the China-Mongolia border. When we arrive at our…

cows

“Won’t anyone steal the cows?”

It’s January, 2016. I go to a blind massage place and talk with the massage therapist working there. We come to talk about cows in Austria and in China. Me: “The cows here are really slim.” Him: “They are, are…

holiday spirit

Not in the holiday spirit? You’re not the only one.

Do you feel like you just haven’t gotten into the holiday spirit this year? Don’t worry, you’re not alone. Celebrating holidays abroad For some, not having to celebrate Christmas or being able to avoid all that holiday stress and family drama…

“Life in China is exhausting”

It’s November, 2014. My husband and I go to a bathhouse. I really like Northeastern China’s bathing culture and we try to make time once in a while to relax a little (which isn’t always easy with a 4-month-old). When…

“I’m very unlucky to have ended up in Siping”

It’s February, 2015. I go to a hairdresser in Siping. The hairdresser starts talking with me. He asks where I cut my hair the last time. I tell him about my experience: “I went to a hairdresser near the university. When he was…

Cantonese

Guest post: Is Cantonese a Language or a Regional Dialect?

Today’s guest post is written by Laura. She comes from a British-German background and has due to her upbringing always been fascinated by intercultural relationships and communication. She works in Nanjing as an English magazine and website editor, while her…

How pregnancy cured my menorrhagia (heavy menses)

Suffering from menorrhagia Whenever my mother-in-law asserted me that my menstrual problems would be healed with pregnancy, I was sceptic. After all, I’ve had had menorrhagia (heavy and prolonged periods with blood clots) for more than a decade, or more…

countryside in jilin

“What do you do to worship your ancestors?”

Today is not only Easter Sunday, but also Tomb Sweeping Festival (清明节 Qīngmíng jié, also called Qingming Festival) – a Chinese holiday where people visit their ancestor’s graves. We don’t celebrate Tomb Sweeping Festival today, but we visited the grave of my…

Changchun

“Westerners have better physical strength than Chinese”

It’s October 2014. My husband and I visit his cousin in Changchun. My husband tells his cousin about my sitting the month (a tradition called  坐月子 zuo yuezi in Chinese that should help a woman recover from childbirth). He explains: “Westerners don’t…

soviet

“Where’s your Soviet companion?”

It’s January, 2015. I go to a bathhouse. When the employee opens my locker, she asks: “Where’s your companion today?” “Who do you mean? My husband?” “No. The tall woman who came to the bathhouse yesterday. The Soviet.” “Umm, I…

full moon celebration

Chinese traditions: Manyue or Full Moon celebration

满月 (mǎnyuè), or Full Moon, is when a baby turns 30 days old. In China, it’s tradition to cut a baby’s hair for the Full Moon celebration. Before our son turns 30 days, my mother-in-law sends my husband a message: “Once you’ve…