“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 […]

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 […]

Guest post: Unconventional ways of learning Chinese

Today I’m featuring a guest post by Sarah, fellow Shenzhen-expat and the face behind the blog Reclaim Your Fearlessnesss that gives tips on how to live the life you want to live and not let others dictate it. I love her blog and have nominated her for the Liebster Award last month (see her answers here). Sarah has grown up […]

“Once you’re married, you’ll have kids”

One morning in March 2013 I buy congee at my favorite congee place near the subway stop. The lovely woman selling the congee says: “You know, you and your boyfriend can be lucky that you can be together like this and aren’t married yet. Once you’re married, you’ll have kids and then you’re not free […]

March 8, International Women’s Day

More than a 100 years ago, over a million people took to the streets in Austria, Germany, Switzerland and Denmark to celebrate the first International Women’s Day in Europe and to demonstrate for women’s rights at the same time. Today, this holiday is almost forgotten in Austria. The same is the case with many other […]

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 […]