“Why do people still stare at me?” or: “Relationships in Shanghai”

“Philipp, I’m Asian. Still people are gazing at me…” (naekubi is annoyed)

“That’s because you are with a westerner.”


“People think immediately that you’re Chinese and my girlfriend. So their conclusion is that
a) you are rich (normal Chinese people don’t go where westerners are)
            b) you are funny and entertaining (because westerners have high standards)
            c) you know English since those stupid westerners don’t know any Chinese
Actually, from their perspective, you made it. You are one of the successful women here.”


Hard to say who the “trophy” is here…

Before arriving in China I had hoped that I could roam the streets freely with nobody staring at me, as it is the case in my German home town. Japan was a dream come true: I did enjoy belonging to the majority of the population, at least from a superficial point of view.

But alas, this is definitely not the case when I’m walking around with Philipp. People would first look at him, then look at me, then back at him.

In Shanghai, it seems not completely normal yet to have Asian-Caucasian relationships, but you do see white guy/asian girl couples fairly often. The other way round is rarely to be seen in the streets. I’ve seen it once since I arrived here.

Having a relationship in general is quite difficult here, especially for the younger crowd. Most people live in small flats with very little space, so privacy is not easy to obtain. So if you are from Shanghai, you will most likely live with your parents. If you are a student coming from outside Shanghai, you will most certainly live in a shared dorm with another student.

Couple at the metrostation of Tongji University

So what to do to have some privacy? It is paradox, but you have to go outside. Restaurants, malls, cinemas, metro stops are the places to be if you want to have a couple life. This is also why you see a lot of couples kissing and hugging (very passionately) in restaurants or other public places. A million people might pass you by, but at least chances are low that someone you know might see you.

According to Philipp, dating takes about three to six months until you can continue to second base (i.e. having intercourse *coughs*). I do wonder though where they do that. Public areas are completely out of the question, of course… There are no love hotels, either. The only option I could think of is: you don’t do it until you marry. Nooo, that can’t be it…

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1 Kommentar/e:

  1. Antwort b) stimmt ja ;) !
    Ich habe von diesem Phänomen Chinese girl - Expatriate -Beziehungen auch schon öfter gehört/gelesen. Aber es ist natürlich nochmals was ganz anderes, wenn man am eigenen Leib erfährt, wie sich das anfühlt, so betrachtet zu werden.
    Das mit dem Thema Privatheit ist ja in eigenen Teilen der welt echt ein Thema. danke wieder für deinen Post und liebe Grüße nach Shanghai :)