It takes one to know one. Or: When a Chinese speaker gives pronunciation tips on German words

This year we are celebrating the year of the goat. While it might be easy for anyone, who is familiar with the system of the zodiac signs used in the Chinese calendar, to know, which animal is next, it is not for me. I am familiar with which animals are used as zodiacs because I watched the Japanese Anime Fruits Basket years ago, but I somehow just cannot remember which animal comes after the other. So, around the time of the celebrations in February I normally ask Chinese mom and dad like ten times until I can finally remember. (more…)

Disadvantages of living together with your Chinese (future) in-laws

Last week, I confessed that I lived together with Mr. Panda and his parents on 63 m² (678 ft²/ 75 yd²) for more than 5 years. While I already summarized advantages of living together with (future) in-laws, I also want to summarize some of the disadvantages which I struggled with when I lived together with my new Chinese parents who are just crazier than my own ones. (more…)

Advantages of living together with your Chinese (future) in-laws

Because of not otherwise specified circumstances I started to live together with my Hong Kong boyfriend, Mr. Panda, while he was still living with his parents. While we four only planned to share the apartment for a few months, the complicated housing situation in Vienna forced us to look for an apartment far longer than expected – 63 months to be exactly. (more…)

How many stereotypes can be integrated into a five minute long conversation?

Last week, I made a short trip to Yokohama Chinatown while I visited my good friend in Japan. As I was excited to eat Chinese snacks, I went on a treasure hunt to find Hong Kong sweets. I finally found a small shop in a narrow back road with mentioned pastries in the shop window and just stepped inside to get my share. When I paid for my bun, my conversation with the owner, a nice mid-forty lady from Hong Kong began. While I was quite open and answered all her questions, she began to bomb me with all different stereotypes about Europeans and Chinese. The next labels are a brief summary of our about five minute long Japanese conversation. (more…)

“After marriage, you won’t have time for me anymore!” – Some thoughts on marriage in Japan

I am currently visiting my very good Japanese friend in Japan, while Mr.Panda stays at home back in Vienna. I am having a great time together with my friend, we are taking short day trips around Japan and are having lots of fun. Yesterday on the bus, we eventually started to talk about marriage. “I am so glad that we can travel  together so much these days. After your marriage, you won’t have time for me anymore!”, my friend suddenly said. (more…)