What I thought being in an AMWF relationship would be like vs reality

When I first started dating my boyfriend I thought that him being from a different country would be amazing, interesting and I would get to learn a lot, but I also thought that because he was Asian, his culture and his family life might be too different from mine for me to cope. In reality, you can’t know how a relationship will turn out.

Here are some of the things I thought would happen in our relationship vs the reality:

1. He would whisk me away to lots of new and exotic Asian countries.

Reality – His parents invited me to Hong Kong, all expenses paid, when they went a few weeks after we got together. My boyfriend didn’t even bother asking me and told them I would hate it because it was too hot. And he was probably right. (We did go to Hong Kong the Christmas after and it was amazing but I don’t think we can afford that again any time soon.)

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2. Asian people place a lot of value on family and have big, extended families. I would have to meet them all and be judged by them.

Reality – I’ve only met his Mum, Dad, brother and cousin. His parents like me and his brother and cousin are pretty much like him (but slightly more into Asian culture) He won’t let me meet the rest – clearly embarrassed of me! 😉

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3. He would love Asian culture and he could introduce me to lots of new, awesome things!

Reality – By Asian culture, my head was thinking of Japanese culture – I thought he would be really into anime and manga. While he does watch anime from time to time (we’re currently re-watching the original Pokemon series together) but other than that he isn’t into anime culture. He even told me he thinks Studio Ghibli films aren’t very good! (I almost dumped him at that comment) He has cosplayed with me a couple of times, but I think that was him just being nice…

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4. He would teach me Cantonese.

Reality – Cantonese is DAMN HARD, especially for someone like me who is useless at languages. Not only that, he can’t remember half of it any more, nor can he remember how to write it.

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5. People would comment and look at us because AMWF relationships aren’t common.

Reality – People DO look at us and comment, but it’s rare. A lot of the looks tend to be from Asian guys and the comments seem to be from ignorant, young, chavy white people. I hope we’re getting to a point where interracial relationships are 100% normal.

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I prefer reality. I do hate the hot weather, I hate social situations, I have to be in the right mood to be interested in anime, I’m too lazy to learn a new language and I certainly don’t want people looking at us! It’s just a normal relationship and I like being normal.

What did you think it would be like being in an interracial relationship and was it different to reality?

All images via Google Images – labeled for reuse

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Update on life…

Hi everyone! I’m finding it hard to think of things to blog at the moment…or to even have the time to write them. Here is just a boring update on life while I think of something interesting to write about!

BIG NEWS! My boyfriend got a job! A real proper actual job that isn’t in a shop or anything. He is getting an actual graduate salary rather than minimum wage. I’m so happy for him! But also slightly annoyed that he got a worse degree than me yet managed to get a decent job before me. His first day is tomorrow, while i’m upping my work times to 4 days a week. Unfortunately, the lights in the shop I work in have been giving me major headaches and all the machines cause the air to be very dry which is making my skin peel off…I need a new job as soon as possible!

Next Saturday will be our 2 year anniversary! Yay! We will probably celebrate by acknowledging it in the morning before I go to work.

“Hey, it’s our 2 year anniversary”

“Oh yeah, cool”

“Yup, cool”

“Ok, see ya”

And finally, I discovered that the new much anticipated film “The Fault in Our Stars” seems to be a rip off of Cantonese film “Funeral March”, but with teenagers instead of adults. The TFIOS book was published in 2012 whereas the Funeral March was released back in 2001! Suspicious!!! No one else seems to have realised this so I feel the need to tell everyone. It’s a revelation!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9ItBvH5J6ss http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qyy9za93k4U

Part of me wants to read the book or watch the film, but most of me thinks there is no way in hell I will manage to cope with something that depressing. Whenever something horrible and upsetting happens to a couple on TV, in films or in books, I imagine it happening to my boyfriend and I…which is why I’m reading Divergent instead! (Yes, I know what happens in the end but i’m going to just have to deal with it!)

Lantau Island

We woke up early today to head to the Ngong Ping 360 cable cars and the Tian Tan Buddah on Lantau Island. My boyfriend struggled to speak Cantonese to the woman selling the tickets, so she ended up talking in English to us. I think my boyfriend was just a bit rusty, because he seemed to do a lot better later in the holiday. He got 10% off the ticket for being a Hong Kong citizen (bit jealous). There were two types of cable cars we could have taken; a crystal cabin with a see through floor or a standard cabin. The waiting time for a crystal cabin was 40 minutes, so we decided to go on the standard one (next time we’ll go on the crystal one!)

P1140926Our view from the cable car

It took about 20 minutes on the cable car to get to the top. We went over the sea and a huge forest on the hillside. We also got a good view of the airport. Half way up, you could see the huge Buddha that we were heading towards in the distance, really showing it’s size! There were lots of shops when we reached the top which we walked through on the way to the Buddha. It really felt like traditional China which is something I really wanted to see coming to Hong Kong. It’s interesting to see this side of the Hong Kong culture, even if it is still very touristy.

P1140959Walking through the shops towards the Buddha

P1140947The Tian Tan Buddha

P1140962The entrance to the Buddha

I’m not sure if we’re just very unfit but the walk up the steep stairs to the Big Buddha was a lot of effort. We had to keep stopping and pretending to take photos to have a break! It was a fairly warm day which made the climb even harder. Apparently there are 240 steps. Once we reached the top we got an amazing view of the Buddha, it really was huge! Apparently it can even be seen from Macau on a clear day. There was also an amazing view of the mountains, which really reminded me of Japanese landscapes in old paintings. Underneath the Buddha was was a room full of name plates of people, I assume Buddhists, who had died.

P1140980Climbing the steps

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Statues presenting offerings to the Buddha

P1150003The mountain in the clouds

P1140990A close up of the Buddha

We headed back down. There were loads of stray dogs around (at least I assume they were stray) sleeping in the sun and begging for food. They were very cute but I felt sorry for them too. We then walked to the Po Lin Monastery which had lots more Buddha statues which I actually found a bit creepy. Lot’s of people were burning incense sticks, because they believe that the Gods consume the smoke. It’s a shame that they were doing building work on the monastery because it looked very spectacular, and very Chinese. We went back to the shops and had a look around, getting some ice cream on the way as it was so warm. We also found some Gashapon machines which we went a bit crazy over. I think by then end of the trip we had spent about £20 on them, mostly buying little pokemon figures. We took the cable car back down and in the shop at the exit, my boyfriend bought me a cute little panda toy which I have named Buddha Panda. It’s basically a cuddly panda with a Chinese style shirt!

P1140963Stray dogs sunbathing

P1150037The Po Lin Monestery

P1150038A fantastic view

More posts on my adventures in Hong Kong here:

Day One: My first trip to Hong Kong

Day Two: Lantau Island

Day Two: Whampoa and the Avenue of Stars

Day Three: Hong Kong Disneyland

My first trip to Hong Kong

I’m going to write about my trip to Hong Kong. My boyfriend and I booked this trip just 2 months after we’d started going out. It was my first trip out of Europe so it was slightly scary (mostly because I wasn’t sure how well I’d cope on a 14 hour plane trip), but having someone from Hong Kong who could speak Cantonese certainly made me feel better.

P1140814Our journey on the plane

We went in December 2012, just before Christmas, because I’m not good with heat. I get sunburnt in the UK, so I would have no chance in Hong Kong in the summer. We took the plane from Manchester Airport for my first ever long haul trip and I was pretty excited! My boyfriend found it hilarious that the air hostess spoke English to him, but German to me as she hadn’t realised we were together. He now likes to tell me i’m German all the time… (We flew on Lufthansa via Frankfurt so it was understandable – I could have been German!)

We’d left Frankfurt at 10.15pm so we slept on the plane at a normal bed time for us. We hadn’t managed to sleep too much on the plane so we were a bit tired, therefore the time difference wasn’t too much of an issue for us. We arrived in Hong Kong at 4.10pm so we could just have a short first day.

P1140836View of Hong Kong from the plane

The heat was too much for me straight away. We took a bus to our hotel, an Ibis right next to the North Point MTR station, which took about 1 hr 10 minutes, giving me a chance to see Hong Kong for the first time. It was interesting to see that the hotel missed out a lot of floor numbers, which my boyfriend explained to me was due to Chinese superstitions. For example, in Cantonese, the number “4” sounds a lot like “death”.

P1140855Lots of British food in the supermarkets!

After checking in, we went to the Hong Kong supermarket “Park N Shop” which my boyfriend loved – all that Hong Kong food he can’t get back in the UK! It had a lot British food too so I was happy, even though it was a bit more expensive than normal. We had to stock up on lots of bottled water because the water in Hong Kong isn’t really drinkable. We also went to a very cool shop called “Wonderland” which is full of anime/manga things. One issue we had was that my boyfriend’s Hong Kong debit card kept being rejected because he completely forgot that the pin numbers are 6 digits, not 4 like in the UK! That caused us a lot of hassle, with him having to go to the bank to sort it out. We went back to our hotel for a snack before heading to the MTR.

P1140869My first real view of the streets of Hong Kong at mid-levels

My boyfriend gave me an Octopus card, a lot like London’s Oyster card, which made travel very easy. I was amazed at how cheap the transport was! We headed to Central where we went on the world’s longest escalator called Mid-Levels. It’s over 135 metres from top to bottom. I was expecting one massive escalator, which on reflection was a bit stupid of me, because it has lots of gaps so that people can get off. On the way, we found a pub called “Yorkshire Pudding” which made me laugh. (My boyfriend is from Yorkshire!)

P1140880The streets in Lan Kwai Fong

We then went to Lan Kwai Fong, a square of streets in Central which is very popular with tourists as it’s full of pubs, restaurants and clubs. We weren’t that hungry so we didn’t stop for any proper food, but we did get some Hagen Daz ice cream from their own shop – expensive but tasty! We headed back down the escalators and towards the International Finance Centre for a quick look. As we came to Hong Kong just 2 weeks before Christmas, there were lots of Christmas lights up on the massive buildings, which was very impressive to see. We then went back to our hotel for sleep. My first day of being in Hong Kong was over, and I was loving it already!

P1140894Christmas lights near our hotel

More posts on my adventures in Hong Kong here:

Day One: My first trip to Hong Kong

Day Two: Lantau Island

Day Two: Whampoa and the Avenue of Stars

Day Three: Hong Kong Disneyland

Reasons why I shouldn’t be dating an Asian

There are a number of reasons why I shouldn’t be dating an Asian man. Here are a few of those reasons.

Chinese Buffet

Food heaven for some, food hell for me

1. I hate Chinese food. In fact I hate most food but I can’t cope with the texture of most of the meat in Chinese cuisine, or taste of the sauces. This also means my boyfriend’s Mum thinks I’m a bit strange and quite unhealthy.

2. I think you should live your own life, not your parents. I’m not saying this is true with every Asian family but my boyfriend’s parents decide a lot of things for him, including which University degree he took, and I find that very hard to deal with. My parents would never dream of being so controlling and honestly, listening to my boyfriend having to argue with his parents to be allowed to do every little thing when he is 21 years old winds me up.

3. I’m generally not very understanding of other cultures. I just can’t help but thinking the Western/UK way is the way to go (even when it might not be). I know I should open my mind up more to these things…but if Chinese medicine worked, it would just be called medicine.

4. I can’t speak Cantonese. His parents can’t speak English, I can’t speak Cantonese; It’s fairly hard to communicate. I can barely remember any of the 5 years of French I did at school and I remember absolutely hating learning it and not understanding anything I was saying or writing. If I can’t learn a language similar to English, I’m sure I’ll have no chance with something that involves different characters and changing the tone of your voice. I might manage the odd words and phrases but never a proper conversation. (Luckily my boyfriend considers English his first language)

5. I can’t cope with the fact he can’t speak fluent English. I know. I’m a horrible person. I expect him to speak perfect English when I can’t speak a word of Cantonese (Hey, we are in England and I didn’t even know Cantonese was a language until about 2 years ago). Every time he gets the tenses wrong or forgets to pluralise a word, I feel the need to correct him and he hates me for it.

Hong Kong Duck

I wish I’d been in Hong Kong when the duck was there…

However, there are also reasons why I should be dating an Asian.

1. I love Japanese things. Ok, my boyfriend is from Hong Kong, but he still grew up with anime films instead of Disney. My interests in manga and anime films means we have something in common. I’m not crazy obsessed like a few people I know, though I definitely had an obsession with Pokemon when I was younger, and I certainly didn’t choose an Asian boyfriend he looks like the Japanese do, but I was very happy when I was lent my boyfriend’s brother’s entire collection of the Love Hina manga.

2. I don’t have the same expectations as many Asians do. I’m not saying that all Asian women only date men who are rich and successful, but my boyfriend is under the impression that a lot of them have very high expectations and are rather controlling. I’m sure this isn’t the case, but I am aware of the pressure that people can be put under in some Asian countries. I don’t want my boyfriend to be a high flying, rich business man, all I ask is that he isn’t too lazy to not get a job at all. As long as he is happy in life, i’m happy.

3. I’m interested in his culture. At my school, everyone (and I really mean everyone) was white British. At college, I noticed a few people of other ethnicities but not many. University, where I met my boyfriend, was a different story. I don’t think I had ever spoken to a Chinese person before meeting my boyfriend. I’ve learn so much about other cultures – you find out a lot more first hand than you can from anywhere else.

4. I get to go to Hong Kong. I would never have been there without him and I was able to experience an amazing place I had little idea about. He was pretty pleased (and maybe a bit surprised) that I wanted to go with him and let him show me around the city he was born and spent his childhood. He was especially pleased I let him fill the suitcase with Asian snacks.

5. I don’t care that he is Asian. In fact, I don’t care too much about anything I have written here! Ethnicity doesn’t make a person – personality does. I never wanted an Asian boyfriend (I never really wanted a boyfriend), but I fell for my best friend and that would have happened regardless of his ethnicity.

Images: flickr.com/photos/samsmith, flickr.com/photos/zanthia/