“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 […]

“Are there any positive aspects of having a different citizenship?”

One day in July 2013, Y and I visit his 9-year-old niece in Changchun. At dinner, she asks me: “Are there any positive aspects of having a different citizenship?” I: “There are. If you hold a Chinese citizenship it’s not very easy to go abroad. You’ll need a visa for almost every country. If you’re […]

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 […]

Visiting gugu in Northeast China’s countryside

One day in late June 2013 my husband and I visit gugu. Gugu is my father-in-law’s older sister and I like her immediately. She is an elderly woman in her late 70s who lives with her husband, son, daughter-in-law, her grandson and a few chicken and geese in the countryside of Northeast China’s Jilin province. […]

“10 years ago you could buy a North Korean woman for 2000 Chinese Yuan”

At the beginning of July 2013, Y and I spend a day in Yanji. Yanji is a city not too far from the North Korean border and is the capital of the Korean autonomous prefecture in Jilin province. Street signs, advertisements and the like are all written in Chinese as well as Korean. Both Chinese […]