Ask a foreign man who’s had fifteen failed relationships in eight months


Dear foreign man who has had fifteen failed relationships in eight months,

I just returned to the US from China for the first time in seven years and fear I’m undergoing severe reverse-culture shock. I’ve already been ticketed and briefly jailed for speeding through a school crossing-zone, and fined for smoking in a hospital and library, parking on the sidewalk, running a red light, littering, and spitting on a supermarket floor.

After innocently yelling “fuwuyuan!” and waving my arms in an upscale restaurant while out dining with friends, I have also slowly begun to be socially ostracized.

Worst of all, my attempts to subtly hit on Chinese hotties half my age by complimenting them on their English skills and offering language tutorials at the local Applebee’s happy hour have been met, frankly, with hostility. “What?” “Get the fuck away from me!” and “I’m an American, you douchebag” are just three of the improbable responses I’ve had to endure.

My family is threatening an intervention. But there are, unbelievably, no support groups in place to deal with the very real problem of Sino-addiction in the New York state area.

Any tips on how I might make this difficult transition easier?

Sino-cized in Syracuse


Foreign man who has had fifteen failed relationships in eight months says:

St Patrick's Day is a really great time to meet girls; I think maybe it's the hat.

That’s it. I think I’m done with Chinese girls – and I mean it this time.

I really thought this last one was going well. I’m just trying to be myself: university education (red-brick), travel experience (Bali, Goa, Krakow), good salary (8000 yuan a month, plus the university throws in free accommodation and cafeteria vouchers), a comprehensive knowledge of the history of Manchester United (1985-2011) with a Stone Roses B-sides, rarities and outtakes collection… what Chinese guy is going to be able to provide that?

I don’t stalk or harass – I hardly ever even call – plus being Western-educated means I’m completely open-minded about feminism and suchlike: if a woman wants to explore any bi-curious fantasies they might have with another woman and me, I’m absolutely down with that. Yet every time I think I’m getting close to someone, we break up.

Either I stop calling or she finds out where I work and then keeps showing up claiming she’s pregnant and loudly shouting in Chinese with a sandwich board all about me written in big characters – that’s happened twice – or knocking on my apartment door at 2am when I’m entertaining her successor, “Kinki” (who, by the way, most certainly wasn’t). Anyway, there’s either this enormous cultural gap or language barrier that no matter how hard we both try, neither of us can… hang on, that Xinjiang girl over there keeps looking over at me. I’ll be right back.

Last week: Ask the mean lady at the Beijing Exit-Entry Administration Bureau

Next week: Ask an immaculately dressed West African gentleman loitering outside Yashow Market

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