1980 or The year that my in-laws tied the knot

One Sunday afternoon in February, 2014, my husband and I sit in our living room drinking tea and chatting. My in-laws have gone to the market and we enjoy some alone time. When they come back, we are still sitting on pillows on the floor, drinking tea and talking about this and that. The next […]

On staying at your in-law’s and cultural differences

While staying at my in-laws, my MIL does everything for me. She cooks, washes the dishes, makes our bed, cleans our room, heats up my medicine, washes the clothes and accompanies me no matter where I go. She holds my hand (well, actually it’s rather a grasping of my wrist), not only if we have […]

“Who takes care of the kids?”

I have lunch with my new coworker, a woman in her mid-to-late 30s who has a 2-year-old son. She asks me: “Who takes care of young kids in Austria? In China, it’s often the grandparents who look after the kids, but what is it like in Austria, with people all working?” I: “It’s often the […]

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 […]

My mother-in-law and the crazy foreigners

A few weeks before our wedding my mother-in-law takes a train to Beijing to help us with some of the red tape. Since it is her first time in Beijing, she also decides to visit the great wall. All the while, my fiancé and me are at work in Shenzhen, waiting for her to tell […]

My in-laws’ old house

Four years ago, my in-laws bought an apartment in their hometown Siping in Northeast China’s Jilin province. Two years ago, they should have been able to move into their new apartment. But the apartment had not been finished at that time. It’s still not finished now, two years later. When my husband and I walk […]

“Remember to wear a comfortable bra”

Y and I are getting married tomorrow. I’ve prepared this little story for you and will publish a few photos of our wedding pictures shoot tomorrow. Enjoy! On the evening before the day that we had our wedding pictures taken, my MIL-to-be sends me a message: “Dear R, since you’re going to take pictures tomorrow, […]