Why Chinese Men Make Great Boyfriends

Chinese Men Make Great Boyfriends!

After discovering the tactics for landing dates in Asia, I had romances all across Asia and my dating life was… well, let’s say diverse.

And from my (very small) pool of dating research at this time, I found that the most satisfactory, fun, and long-lasting dates were with none other than Chinese men.

Now, after many hits and misses in the dating scene, I finally found my perfect match: Richard (and surprise!  he’s Chinese!).

Here are some reasons why my boyfriend is simply amazing; and coincidentally, why Chinese men make really darn good boyfriends. read more

Should I Learn Chinese or Japanese?

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“Should I learn Japanese or Chinese?”

As a Japanese/Chinese interpreter and translator, it’s a question I get asked a lot.

Those that are crazy or masochistic enough to venture into the realm of Asian languages often stop and pause when it comes to choosing from the two giants of the East Asian languages: Japanese and Mandarin.

Choosing a language is important. Gaining fluency will take you hours, months, and perhaps years of your life. It’s not something to take lightly and, if used for future work purposes, is definitely worth consideration. read more

Grocery Shopping in America vs. China and Japan

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Whenever I travel abroad, the first thing I usually do is pop into the local supermarket.  While it may sound strange to pass up temples and ruins for a run to the market, the seemingly average grocery store is a gigantic window into the country itself.  What people buy in a store–and  the food that is offered in the market itself–speaks volumes about a country and its culture.

When I returned to the United States last year, it was no surprise that going to the giant sized American market was one of the big toppers on my lists of reverse culture shock.  Even after a year here, stepping into the grocery store still feels like I’m treading into foreign territory. read more

Learning Kung Fu in China: The Real Story

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Since I am now acquainted with so many amazing people that have stories from Japan, China and Asia in general, I wanted to start a “My Asia” guest post/interview series every every other Monday where readers and fellow friends can share their fascinating adventures. 

I would like to start with a story that involves China and the journey of an American man going to discover the path of martial arts.

With a few years of tai-chi practice and teaching under his belt, my good friend Cory was convinced that the final step to mastery would be training on Mt. Wudang in China—the birthplace of Tai-Chi itself. read more

You’re not Western Enough: How I Got Kicked Out of My First Shanghai Apartment

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“Mary, I published a book about teaching foreigners in China and I wrote almost an entire chapter about you.”

My Chinese teacher from Tsinghua University suddenly e-mailed me with the news, and I was completely caught off guard.

Me? …..In a book?

Impatient, I opened up the attached word file and scanned through the chapters hurriedly.

When I turned to the chapter about me, I realized that she retold one of the bleaker moments during my stay in Shanghai about…

My First Roommate:  The Leftover Woman read more

How I Learned to Speak Mandarin in 6 Months

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This isn’t a post about how great I am at languages. I’m not like some jerk on the internet claiming to achieve fluency in three months.

This is a post about the blood, sweat and tears I spent to learn Chinese.

I never thought I would learn how to speak Chinese: The tones, the characters, and the proverbs were frustrating.  The task of learning Mandarin was daunting and overwhelming–and honestly, there were many moments I thought I was just not meant to learn this language.

Yet somehow, I did it.  I learned Chinese in less than a year. read more

How To Get a Full Ride Scholarship in China (then throw it away)

Come on, Learn Chinese for Free!

Come on, Learn Chinese for Free!

If learning how to speak Mandarin and living in China is your dream, or even a plausible next step in your life, then you’ve got great timing—because China wants you, and wants you now.

China is allocating tons of money so it can lure 100,000  foreign students to China for the sole purpose of teaching them Mandarin. The United States and China created this 100,000 strong incentive to provide money for young American hopefuls to go abroad, study Chinese, love it, and give China some (hopefully) good PR. read more

American Misconceptions about China

Here are some common China misconceptions I noticed from my fellow Americans:

It’s like 1984

“So Mary, how is life in China?” my friend calling from America asked.

“It’s ok, but the Internet here is terrible,” I sigh. “The Chinese government sucks and they block everything. I’m surprised they even allow Skype to work.”

Silence.

“…Mary…” I could feel my friend’s eyes searching the room, almost like he was looking for someone behind the wall wiretapping our conversation. “Are you sure you can… you know… talk like that? What if the government is listening now?” read more

Afternoon Tea in Shanghai

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It was one of those perfect Sunday mornings. I woke up naturally from a deep, full slumber to those rare, precious rays of sunshine pouring through my tiny one bedroom apartment in Shanghai. I heard my neighbor, a Shanghainese Ayi, conversing boisterously in Shanghainese with fellow friends on the balcony. The bike peddler downstairs made the rounds  for scrap metal, his stereo box continually repeating the words “computers, TVs, radios..” into the early morning.

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I pulled myself out of bed to the coffee maker where I brewed a fresh pot of coffee, fried up some eggs and looked out the window to my city-sprawl view of the Jing’an district. read more

Speed Dating in China

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The location for the Chinese-Japanese Friendship Group’s speed dating event seemed like a place where love goes to die. From the outside it looked like a local convenience store, the kind where you can easily purchase 50 cent baijiu (rice liquor) and tar filled cigarettes–maybe even a cell phone charge card. If it weren’t for the hand written sign taped to the wall adjacent to the shop keep, we would never know that a dating event lie in wait just beyond the foul stench of the convenience store’s stinky tofu, and up the stairs from the grime filled storage room. read more