“If they don’t take you, you’ll have to trick them into taking you”

Y and I are in Changchun. Changchun (literally meaning long spring) was once the capital of Manchuria, which was the name of Northeast China under Japanese occupation from 1931 to 1945. Today, it’s the capital of Jilin province and China’s biggest auto manufacturer. After lunch we set out to take a cab that will take […]

Guest post for Speaking of China

Since I’m in lack of a new guest post here on China Elevator Stories, today I’m linking to Yin-Yang: On Love, Fighting and Finding Harmony in a Chinese-Western Marriage, a guest post I wrote for Speaking of China. In the article I write about the fact that Y and I did fight a lot month 4-6 […]

Russian in Northeast China, American in the Southeast

“Canadian.” “German.” “American.” “British.” These are all nationalities I’ve been associated with in Northeast China’s Jilin province. Often, people don’t say it directly, rather they’ll tell their friends: “Look, a German.” I don’t really mind if they say that I’m German, after all, it’s as close as it gets. Even many Chinese who know me […]

“The difference in salaries is out of proportion”

One day in May 2013, I’m at a Lanzhou noodle restaurant near my apartment. While I’m waiting for the food, I send my then-fiancé now-husband a voice message. When the guy sitting across the table from me hears that I can speak Chinese, he starts chatting with me. After talking about where I’m from and […]

Guest post: 5 common questions Chinese ask foreigners in China

Today I’m featuring a guest post by Sara Jaaksola. Sara wanted to go to China ever since she was little and has made her dream come true in 2010, when she  finally went to Guangzhou to study Chinese. She has stayed there ever since and gives advice on life, love and traveling in China on […]

“In a country really close to South Korea, there’s a guy who’s always making threats”

Y, his 9-year-old niece, her mother and I eat dinner together. Y’s niece has just asked me about the positive aspects of having a different citizenship. We start talking about something else. She says: “I’ve read in the news that in a country really close to South Korea there’s a guy who’s always making threats. […]

A family dinner and to raise or not to raise your glass

On our last evening in Y’s hometown, Siping, we have dinner at a restaurant with his parents and uncles and aunts from his father’s side. We wait until everyone is in the room and seats are assigned in order of age. The most respected person (which is usually the oldest person in the room or […]