I’m an American woman married to a Chinese man, with a son born in October 2007. We were living in Kunming, deep in the heart of Southwest China, until April of 2008, when everything changed. We now live in Beijing, home of the Olympics, a lot of dust, and the nastiest cab drivers the world has ever seen. Welcome to our world.


  1. I came across your blog while researching a documentary film I’m developing. I’m a documentary filmmaker based in Brooklyn, NY — if you want to check out my work, you can visit (www.grannyd.com, http://www.marloporas.com). I’m partnering with Yu Ying Wu Chou on this project, she edited the PBS/Frontline series Country Boys (www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/countryboys/).

    We’re documentary portraitists – we craft intimate portriats of women over time. For the past few months we’ve been researching a new film about young urban women in China. We made our first research trip to Beijing in March and will return to China in September, this time we’ll visit Kunming as well (which is how/why i came across your blog).

    So much has been written/researched about the one child generation, particularly about the “Little Emperors,” but we’re most interested in the new opportunities and realities for young women in China. We find the story of the women of the one child generation to be pretty fascinating – they’re the first generation of girls in Chinese history to be the sole focus of not just their parents but their extended family’s life – with all the parents attention and future prospects resting on these girls shoulders. It engenders a different sense of self and of possibility, even if parents are ambivalent about having a girl.

    We’re eager to meet single young woman roughly between the ages of 23-32 who might fit the bill as a documentary subject. We plan to make an intimate portrait of a young woman over the course of one to two years, making aprox 4-5 trips per year, each trip lasting 1-2 weeks. We’d like to craft a full portrait of the woman’s life – as full as is possible – including her friends, family, and workplace. The film would mainly consist of the reality of her everyday life, augmented with interviews — so we’d be filming her as flies on the wall during her everyday life.

    The film would detail the complicated reality of life for young urban women — the excitement of the manifold possibilities for them, the hard reality many of them face in terms of having to support their parents or in terms of struggling to figure themselves and their own futures out — so we can give Americans a much richer portrait of the growing middle class than anything they’ve seen.

    The most important qualities we’re looking for are charisma, comfort in front of the camera, openness, and good self-awareness. We’re totally flexible as far as interests/background. Our goal on the next trip is to meet as many women as possible, the more the better.

    All this is an extremely long introduction! I hope that the project piquest your interest. I’m trying to reach out through the internet to people who live or have lived in Kunming in an attempt to make contacts there for the film. If you have any recommendations of people we should contact there, we’d be incredibly grateful — either for women who might be potential subjects for the film, or for people who might be able to introduce us to women. Beijing is a great town, but I lived in SE Asia for a few years and I’m eager to visit Kunming, particularly because of the city’s ethnic diversity – we think it could add a fascinating dimension to the film.

    Please feel free to contact me with any questions you might have. Thanks for your time!

    All my best,
    Marlo Poras


  2. Hi Jessica,

    Is there a way I can contact you off-blog? An email address?

    Next year I will be embarking on a Kunming odessey (that needs serious preparation) that I think may have a lot in common with your time there, and I’d love to ask you a couple questions.


  3. Hello Jessica,

    i found this blog while i was searching about wedding…your blog is really informative.

    I am an editor of India Wedding Planner, we keep on bringing new customs and traditions relating to different marriages.I have gone through your blog very deeply and i am glad that i have found it.

    Thanks & keep on updating.

  4. Hello there. I found your blog today, and it so much great information on it, besides being really interesting (and your son is totally adorable too). My husband and I have been to Beijing in 2004 (we live in Canada) and are wanting to come for another visit this year (April/May time). This time, however, we have a 2 1/2 year old! We are looking at renting an apartment, but I have no idea about good areas to stay, and other things like is it possible to buy organic cow’s milk (probably a REALLY stupid question, but hey, you never know!). If you have a couple of minutes, I would love to chat with you. I know you probably get harrassed by potential travellers all the time, so if this is too annoying, then take care and peace out! 🙂


  5. Hi, I’d like to add your RSS feed to my reader, but . . . . I can’t find an RSS link on your blog!


  6. Hi, came across your blog via this list:

    I’m currently re-organizing it, but it’s great to see so many female China bloggers!

  7. Hi Jessica- finally getting my pay it forward organised and if you could send me your address I will send off a little piece of Shinshu to you all. 🙂

    My email is my first name + arm22 @hotmail.com

  8. Hi Jessica,

    Thanks for your blog! I actually came across your blog while volunteering out here in Beijing with an organization called Wokai. We’re a nonprofit raising microloan capital for rural Chinese farmers. Would you be up for throwing us a quick mention, maybe as part of a little article on “microfinance”? We’re working hard to make a difference and would appreciate any help.


  9. Hi Jessica,
    I just discovered your blog; great job! I’m a meiguo married to a Chinese too (have 2 kids) living in Beijing (TianTongYuan). Feel free to contact me via email if you live nearby and/or want to get in touch; I’d love to pick your brain sometime 🙂
    Best to you,

  10. I just read your excellent blog and thought I’d contact you.

    Like you, I am an expat: I am a South African, married to an American, and moved to the US nearly 10 years ago. We met online. Moving here is the best decision I’ve ever made and my hubs and I are really happy. Seems you are happy in China too!

    I have a forum for women who relocated to the country of their partner/spouse. We have a small, but active group of ladies on our forum. I would like to invite you to pop in – would love to get to know you.

    The forum is Hummingbird Hearts and can be found at http://www.hummingbirdhearts.net.

    Best wishes,


  11. hi Jessica, I found you through Jocelyn’s blog. Yes, if you’re still around next Thanksgiving then let’s get together for Thanksgiving dinner. We could even cook our own turkey if we felt adventurous… And we need to have pork for the husbands. 🙂

    • Oh yay! I’m glad you found me. We should definitely meet up, before Thanksgiving even. I don’t have any foreign wife friends in Beijing unfortunately and it is always great to meet new people in similar situations.

  12. I’ve come across your blog out of curiosity. I’m from the UK and I married a Chinese husband in 1997. If you’re interested in reading about the lives of the rural Chinese women in his family, please feel free to take a look at my work-in-progress at http://www.foreignerinthefamily.blogspot.com.

    Your blog is fascinating; I’m definitely coming back for more!

  13. Hey I found your blog in an article about women blogging in China and I really love it. Your writing flows so smoothly, and your voice is well articulated. I’ve added you to my blog roll. I went to Kunming a few years ago with an American program called Where There Be Dragons. You have heard of it while there. I’m now living in Liaocheng and studying Chinese here at the University, and if you want to check out my blog the address is http://othersidechina.wordpress.com. Keep up the good work, and congratulations on having a your son!

  14. Hi!
    After you commented on my page, I just had to visit yours! I really had no idea there were so many western women married to Chinese men out there (I didn’t have access to the internet for a really long time….) and after seeing your blog, I’m so excited to know that there are women to relate to! Anyways, I’ll definately keep checking out your blogs!

  15. Spotted your link on Candle, I am one of the mods, anyway, nice blog! I use wordpress for a site I maintain, an awesome platform.

    Keep it up!

    • Thanks for dropping by! Do come back and comment anytime. 🙂

  16. Hi! My name’s Jackie, I’m a male Chinese-born undergrad going to college in America, but who is now in Beijing for study abroad. I stumbled across your blog while searching through expat sites, and found your posts quite interesting. Especially your views on cross-cultural (America and China) relationships and marriage. I’m new to the Beijing scene and was wondering if you had time to grab coffee sometime?

  17. Hello!
    I am a mother of a 3 year old and a 7 month baby who is moving to Beijing to teach English. I would love to ask you a few questions? If you are willing, would you please contact me?


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