And if they are to leave China to go to her country, they will face even more obstacles to earning money — language, culture, prejudices.
Still, despite the odds, sterotypes and other barriers, it does happen that Chinese men and foreign women get together.
It happened for me — and a growing number of other women, including bloggers such as the Local Dialect, The Downtown Diner, and Wo Ai Ni.
On occasion, it even creeps into the news, like this story.
Off the top of my head, I can think of Rachel De Woskin’s Foreign Babes in Beijing: Behind the Scenes of a New China and Repeat After Me: A Novel, Nicole Mones’ Lost in Translation, and Pearl S. So I began to wonder — why are there so few Chinese guys and foreign girls becoming couples?
Of course, some of it has its roots in the usual stereotypes — stereotypes in the Western World.
On the other hand, there are Chinese men — and their families — who would be happy to have a foreign woman in the family. For example, my good friend in Hangzhou, Xiao Yu, once told me that some Chinese men cannot overcome their feeling of inferiority — that being an American girl, a citizen of one of the most powerful countries in the world, made my presence somewhat intimidating.
According to Xiao Yu, some Chinese men could never believe that such a girl would become their one and only. A driver who took me to the Beijing Airport this summer admitted he once had a Russian girlfriend when he was a college student.
Generally, the pressure to split up comes from the family since, after all, in China, marriage is a family affair.
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When I’m in China, I tend to turn a lot of heads, especially in the countryside — and that’s not just because I’m a foreigner.