The Chinese grandmother that prevented me from eating raw cucumber salad

One day in the June of 2012 I was sitting in a little restaurant in a mountain village a few hours from Chongqing. The plain white walls were decorated only with a print that showed Mao Zedong in the middle and politicians surrounding him. Although the village was a domestic tourist destination, the restaurant was […]

“You can live with me and my wife.”

I have just arrived at Chongqing airport on this Friday in early June 2012 and am taking a cab to my hostel. After the usual small talk the cab driver points at my jeans and asks: “Foreigners really like wearing jeans, don’t they?” I: “We do. Don’t Chinese people like wearing jeans too?” He: “Chinese […]

“Are you married?”

As I walk down the street looking for the entrance to the supermarket, a guy in his 70s comes up to me. Chinese grandpa: “Excuse me, I’m looking for Sunshine Western Restaurant, do you know where it is?” I: “I’m sorry, I don’t. I’m not familiar with this area. Cg: “Where are you from?” I: […]