A Scary Thing Called Love in China

Introduction:

In China many young girls dissatisfied with the traditional Chinese man are seeking a foreign boyfriend, love and eventually a husband. In this article we will examine some typical case studies as seen in counseling sessions where young women come to seek solace, explanations and support after breakdowns from relationships with foreign men. To protect the identities of the clients some details have changed and names but the essential psychological trauma are common.

So why do many Chinese girls want foreign men? To answer this would take an article in itself so here I will just precis a short over-view. (See Dr. Myler's article the Chinese Patient) First many of these girls come from the main cities of Beijing, Shanghai, Wuhan and Guangzhou (we discount Hong Kong as it is too Westernized) they have been exposed to a variety of Western media, movies, magazines, fashion and life-style influences. This media show the Western men as romantic, kind, supportive, handsome, sexual and strong, all very appealing attributes to many young girls ideas about Mr. Right. The Western men they meet daily in China are however not typical of the average American, Englishman or Europeans but are the educated, from higher social classes, above average income and alone in China for the most part. If you add these two elements together you get a good idea of ​​how Chinese girls view Western men as something special. However as in cognitive dissonance they tend to ignore all the warning signs that they would normally associate with other relationships. In the West we would phrase this as rose-tinted-glasses or the "Halo Effect". Also most Chinese girls are less mature than similar aged girls in the West. They tend to have less experience with men in general and no sex education at school. It is amazing to ask even basic questions about pregnancy and sex and find they are unclear, confused and ignorant of even the basics of protection and disease. (Speaking to a 24 year old here is like talking to a 15 year old in the West – that is the best analogy for their maturity). In conclusion you may ask why they do not want to be with a Chinese man. Most have already had boyfriends finding that on average Chinese men are too traditional, controlling, uncaring and put their mother before the wife or girlfriend in all things. So with disappointments already in their mind they go off and seek the ideal Western man who they think will deliver them from their unfulfilled lives. One other important aspect with age is social pressure in China for a girl to marry before she is 26 years old. If they miss this deadline, then parents, friends and others all start a fear process of men will not want old women (they mean 30) and your babies will die if you have them too late. Of coarse this is all a non-sense in the modern world, but the girls all seem to believe beyond doubt that is you are 27 and above you have no chance of a good marriage. So many almost panic and marry the first man who asks – even if love is not in the equation. They quickly have a baby and then tell everyone how miserable they are in a love-less marriage with a man they can barely stand to touch them. Sad but often true here in China. So for these older single girls, Western men who care little about their age seem like manor from heaven.

The Scenario:

Most girls find a Western man in five distinct ways, first the work-place, many International companies set up offices in China to take advantage of cheap labor, inexpensive rents and huge potential home markets. Along with this they send their senior managers and staff to guide the Chinese workers in their practices. Many Chinese want to work for foreign companies as the pay is higher on average and have better working environments. The second is the teachers, at language schools, universities and other educational outlets the native speaking teacher is king. Teachers tend to be more out-going, confident and have a charisma that young girls do not usually see in their own teachers. Third is the club scene where young Western men, on short-term contracts, are looking for entertainment and company. Fourth the bars, much like the clubs but more relaxed atmosphere and less noisy. Finally the fifth and most popular way of meeting Western men is the internet. Chat sites and dating sites are in the hundreds here. Many girls from 18 years to 100 looking for Western boyfriends via this medium. Often with little of no English except written, so even when they arrive for that coveted date they cannot communicate sufficiently to make an impression. So with all these ways of meeting Western men why are so many of the girls frustrated by not finding a suitable man or date? Here we have to break the myth of Western men in the eyes of Chinese girls.

The Myths

The first myth concerns money, most Chinese girls think western men are rich. This is because on average even a teacher in a low income school will earn three times the monthly average of a Chinese teacher. However in many companies the foreigner is paid via his home-office at the rate he would be paid in the normal home position. In this case he will be earning considerable income compared to a Chinese worker doing the same task. This gives the false impression to girls that the man is wealthy at home. However for most foreign workers here at home they are middle class at best and many of course just working men. At home they would in a social scale of income be lower to middling at best. (I exclude the businessmen here). So while in China they can afford the best apartment, the best restaurants and clothing – at home this is clearly not the case in general.

The second myth is handsomeness. When you first come to China as a man the first thing you see is hundreds of pretty, delicate girls who are like spring flowers. In time familiarity tends to tone this down by noticing many are far too thin for western tastes, many have pock-marked faces and bad complexions. Then you begin to discriminate between the ok, the pretty and the beautiful. This is a natural process of becoming familiar with any race. So you have to imagine this in reverse, the Chinese girls tend to think most foreign men look handsome, however because the exposure is quite small and limited – they do not tend to become so familiar to them from a perception point of view. So they continue to see most of them as handsome, even though to the Westerner's eyes the attractiveness seems to be an illusion. However if enough pretty girls tell you, you are handsome – then you may start to believe it. Often that calls for a dose of reality on the part of the man to stop vanity taking over your thinking.

The third myth is intentions. The Chinese girl listens to the Westerner's sweet words, praise, support and caring attitude but unlike a Western woman who may be able to sift the salt from the sugar, the Chinese girls takes it all in as perfectly reasonable. Many are later shocked by the idea that he did not actually mean a lot of what was said and was in fact seducing them. Seduction by a Western man is more subtle over-all than a Chinese man's approach. The Chinese man is more practical talking about security, family, home and long term goals. Where-as the Westerner is thinking more often about short-term goals of sexuality and companionship. Very few Westerners are looking for a wife, long term partner or commitments – they are here today, gone tomorrow.

The fourth myth is about a twist in history. Western men always have a good storey to tell of woe and misery in their love life. Chinese girls find this irresistible, their mothering instincts fairly bound into play. You can almost hear them saying, "oh poor you, let me comfort you". What they fail to appreciate is that these men already have failed relationships in the past or have girlfriends and wives waiting back home for them but this of course is rarely mentioned. So the history they hear is a fabrication on the truth for the benefit of their-would be suitors. You may think I am being a little harsh here on Western men's integrity but this insight comes mainly from Chinese women who have a broken heart and a story of their own to tell.

Myth five – it is better in the West. From the media depicting life styles of the rich and famous you could forgive the Chinese girl for believing this is how everyone lives. Just as before I came to China I thought they would all be wearing Chairman Mao suits and short hair only to find modern western dress and a McDonalds at very street corner next to KFC. While certainly living standards in the West are over-all more advanced than China as a whole, this is not true of China's main cities. Shanghai for example would rival any western city such as New York, London or Rome for night-life, art, events and living standards.

Examples:

Lily: 24 – Westerner (France) Met in bar, she was a virgin, he single and looking. After three months – he left her for another girl. After the relationship Lily discovers she is his 30th girl in two years.

Sophia: 22 – Westerner (American) already she had left an older man (50) who she loved but knew her family could not accept – so found a young man of 24. After six months his contract ended and without a goodbye left China. He told his French friend he could have her as he did not need her anymore and she was easy. The girl accepts the next man and marries him – despite the fact she is not in love.

Dolly: 27 – Western (Italian) after many promises of marriage she gives up her virginity to what she believes is her future husband. Two months later he is bored with her sexually and leaves her for another girl. Dolly makes a suicide attempt to try and keep him. He has no interest in her games of drama and goes back to Italy.

Elaine 25 – Westerner (English) having met when she was 21, she fell in love with a man of 51. After four years they are still together and happy. However he is her number one secret. She does not tell her work colleagues or her family and friends. He is unhappy being her secret but accepts the culture and tries to be patient. He knows at some point she will leave him under family pressure to marry a traditional boy.

Margaret 37 – Alone (No-one) despite some boyfriends when young she continues to dedicate herself to her business interests with little time for men. She is still living at her family home despite her success at work. She does not date. Recently she has met an English man who likes her – but she cannot commit as her family would never accept her even dating a foreigner. At her age no Chinese man is interested in her as she is seen as no longer viable for a baby. She sees her future as being alone.

Joan 32 – Westerner (Australian) having dated one foreigner after another she is alone most of the time. She believes that a Mr. Right is out there for her if she can just find him on the internet. Every night she searches for men – offering marriage and her sexual contact. Recently she has dated an Australian man (27) but he only wants a sex partner and so she agrees in the hope he will get to like her.

Daisy 23 – Westerners' (many) she drifts from one man to another in the hope of finding the right one – most use her sexually and then dump her quickly. She talks of getting married to them almost in the first date and the first conversation. Western men quickly realize she is a desperate girl and easy to use her. At the moment she is alone after therapy to give her insight into her behavior.

Conclusion:

The conclusion is obvious, Chinese girls get hurt and often. Many Chinese girls will read this paper and say, "well these girls are stupid" and maybe they are right, however when talking to these women they all have the same traditional thinking and want simply to find a good man to be with and more important to marry. The Western men love them and leave them in quick succession. It is not that Western men are bad people, they simply put less emphasis on relationships that they see as simply short term dating and that sexual contact is a normal part of a relationship even if it is not one they see as lasting or leading to something more. Of course many Western men enjoy the company of a gracious, sexy, smart Chinese girl and they too can fall in love and completely commit to the relationship like any other. Many do go on to marry their Chinese girlfriends and produce offspring (that are considered to be very beautiful in their looks having a mixture of East and West). Many of Asia's top models, singers and actresses have mixed parentage and are seen as exceptionally good looking. This may also explain there psychological appeal to both Western and Chinese audiences. Another aspect of course is once the couple do try to make a go of things – the Western man now has to face her family. Westerners' underestimate the power of family in China. If he cannot be accepted by the family he may find despite her deep love for him she will in fact end the relationship rather than lose her family. For a Chinese girl being ostracised by the family is about the worse thing that can happen to her. So if it is a choice between her Western boyfriend and her mama and baba – you can bet she will do as her family demands of her. Many Western men get very angry about how their girlfriend puts her family first and them second – they are not used to the situation where when her mama says do this and do that – the girl obeys – even if she is deeply in love – she will on most occasions do what the family tells her.

This article is not to put off Chinese girls and Western men having relationships but perhaps it will help to open their eyes to the realities of dating and falling in love with someone who has a different take on the world of relationships and love. Cultures can mix successfully and a happy future can pursue. However with divorce rates at an all time high in the West relationships can be seen as disposable and not permanent as in the past. Also as stated with strong family ties in China, Western men can too become victims of love and rejection when family takes a hand in the relationship. Some Chinese girls are strong enough to defy the wished of their parents in the knowledge that under the one baby policy in China, her parents only have one daughter – and they may not risk losing their future support when they are old because of a prejudice against her choice of husbands. Life is never easy and love is not always smooth.

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Leicester Bed and Breakfasts

Leicestershire is not generally acknowledged to be one of Britain’s most beautiful counties, but it is important to remember that it is a beautiful area of the Midlands, and such a beautiful place is well worth a visit. From the historic ruins of Charnwood Forest to the engineering feat that is the Great Central Railway, the county has a wealth of sumptuous views and historical sites that make it a beautiful part of the United Kingdom. Furthermore, Leicester has undergone a massive makeover in recent years, with the construction of ‘The Curve,’ an astounding theatre that has all sorts of performances all year round, updating the city’s look and culture.

Essentially the area has a rising profile, and is a beautiful place to visit. However, while a city centre hotel may seem like the best place to stay, you could well find it to be a little too pricey, especially in this climate. You should also think about the fact that you would be stuck in the centre of an urban area, and while Leicester may be fantastic to visit, you might enjoy staying at a Leicester bed and breakfast, out in the countryside, allowing you to take advantage of both the city and the natural beauty of the country.

You could, for example opt for a luxury Leicester bed and breakfast in the form of the Highbury Guest House. Located north of Leicester, and near Loughborough, it lies in the perfect location between the two cities, allowing you to visit both with relative ease. Of course, it is very important to keep in mind certain things when trying to choose a Leicester bed and breakfast, because while it is easy enough to find a guest house, it is equally easy to end up in a grotty little place, with poor service and even poor parking, preventing you from having a relaxing stay.

So what sort of things should you find out before booking a stay in a guest house? Well, while it may seem simple enough to check out a website, you have to remember that any guest house, including Leicester bed and breakfasts, could easily mislead you with a fancy website. A few well-taken photos of a nicely laid table or a beautifully decorated room do not necessarily mean that you will be staying in a guest house with either. Understandably, it is not very feasible to do a reconnaissance mission of guest houses, but it is easy enough to check out websites that rate places to stay – check out past guests’ comments and ratings to get a sense of how much they enjoyed their stay.

And what else is important to check? As simple as it sounds, it is worth checking the hotel’s exact location and parking facilities. It sounds simple, but it is easy enough to say that a Leicester bed and breakfast is in Leicester, but they could just be saying that it is in the county. You’d be better off checking out where your guest house is on a map, which then also lets you plan your trip, as you will be able to see what is in the area, and choose your activities accordingly. Parking is also something to take into consideration – after all you may turn up and find there is no free parking, leaving you with an extra, unexpected cost, or the added worry of having to park your car in an unsecured area.

So Leicester is a beautiful place to visit, you should well consider staying in a guest house – not only is it cheaper than a hotel, but it is also often a more intimate location. Just make sure you plan your trip properly to avoid disappointment.

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My Local Victim of the Titanic Disaster

Alfred Allsop was a victim of the Titanic disaster who was a native of my region. He was an electrical engineer, and as such he helped to keep the lights on for as long as possible while the passengers located the lifeboats, the consequence of which he went down with the ship and his body was never recovered. This is my small tribute to him.

Alfred Samuel Allsop was born in 1876, at 96 Brunswick Street, Chorlton-on-Medlock, Manchester. He was the youngest of four sons in a family of ten children to George Foster Allsop, a travelling salesman, and his wife, Elizabeth (formerly Walker), the daughter of an Irish teacher. They married in 1860 at Manchester Cathedral, where most of their children were christened. One of Alfred’s sisters had died before he was born. By 1891 the family had moved to 29 Broughton Lane, Lower Broughton, Salford, and Alfred was well known in the district. He became interested in the power of electricity at an early age, spending much of his time riding on the electric tram cars in Manchester and he was a regular visitor at the Salford power station in Bloom Street, which supplied the bulk of traction supply for central Manchester, plus lighting and power demand.

When he was fifteen he began an apprenticeship with H H Hall and Company of Liverpool, who was pioneering the use of ships telephones, followed by employment with Campbell and Isherwood of Bootle, where he worked in the development of electrical switchboards. This was followed by short spells at the Hame Electric Company and the Northern Electric Company, both of Liverpool. He left Manchester to take up an appointment on the Baltic, and joined the White Star Line in August 1904 as assistant electrician aboard the Celtic II. He later served on the Majestic and Oceanic, in which it is said he crossed the Atlantic about a hundred times before joining the Titanic.

He had an inventive mind, and it was he who developed an idea for a multi-clutched lifeboat winch powered by an electric motor, which would allow fully laden lifeboats to be lifted from a ship straight into the water. This invention became ‘The Allsop Electric Lifeboat Crane’, but he did not see his device go into production. When the White Star Line moved their headquarters to Southampton he moved to that town. He was one of the transfer crew which brought the Titanic to Southampton on 2 April, where he signed-on as second electrician.

The RMS Titanic was a British registered four-funnelled ocean liner built for the Trans-Atlantic passenger and mail service between Southampton and New York. Constructed at the Harland and Wolff shipyard in Belfast, to have sailed on ‘The voyage of the century’ aboard the Titanic, the world’s largest and most luxurious vessel afloat at that time, was like being one of the first people to fly on Concorde. It was described at the time as ‘a floating palace’ – Mayfair and Bel Air on water! People from all walks of life began embarking on the Titanic at Southampton on 10 April 1912, for what was to be the trip of a lifetime on the ship’s maiden voyage across the north Atlantic; many were looking forward to starting new lives in the United States.

However, just before midnight on Sunday, 14 April 1912, it began to send out signals of distress stating: ‘We have struck an ice berg.’ The ship had been steaming at a speed other crews would have envied at that time, when it collided with an enormous iceberg which stripped off her bilge under the waterline for more than a hundred yards, opened up five of the front compartments and flooded the coal bunker servicing one of the boilers. She sank about three hours later. There were sixteen lifeboats and four collapsible dinghies, which were insufficient, as a consequence of which two out of every three of the 2,200 people on board perished.

Alfred was doing the last shift of the day from ten until one minute to twelve, so he was on duty in the generator room when the Titanic hit the iceberg. However, he remained at his post when all was lost, helping to keep the lights burning to aid the passengers to get to the lifeboats. It was estimated that the ship’s power would last no more than an hour, yet Alfred and his colleagues kept the power on for two hours and forty minutes, and the lights stayed on until a few minutes before the ship sank. Without their self-sacrifice power would have been lost and the death toll would have been considerably higher.

The CS Carpathia was in the region, and on receiving a distress signal it immediately set a course towards the disaster area. After working through dangerous ice fields it arrived at the scene at four o’clock in the morning of 15 April. Some people, mostly woman and children, had escaped from the ship in lifeboats and the Carpathia saved over seven hundred people. A Carpathia spokesman reported the scene as they arrived at the area where the Titanic went down: ‘The Sea was dotted with bodies as far as one could see, and the decks were covered with them. Everybody had on a lifebelt and bodies floated very high in the water in spite of the sodden clothes and things in pockets. Apparently the people had lots of time and discipline must have been splendid, for some had on their pyjamas, two and three shirts, two pairs of pants, two vests, two jackets and an overcoat. In some pockets a quantity of meat and biscuits were found, while in the pockets of most of the crew quite a lot of tobacco and matches besides keys to the various lockers and stateroom doors were found. On this day we buried fifteen bodies some of them very badly smashed and bruised.’

The Mackay-Bennett searched the disaster area a few days later and buried 116 bodies at sea, and the ship arrived back in Nova Scotia with 190 bodies on board. Some victims were buried in two separate mass graves, while others were claimed by their families and transported home.

Alfred’s body was never recovered, however, he is named on the Liverpool Titanic and Engineers memorial, and there is a brass memorial plaque at St Faith’s Church in Great Crosby, which is dedicated: ‘to the memory of the Chief Engineer and his Engine Room staff.’ He is named on the Southampton Engineers Memorial in East Park, on the Glasgow Institute of Marine Engineers memorial and on the Institute of Marine Engineers memorial in London.

He is believed to have married a woman named Hilda not long before he died, and they are said to have had a child named Philip Alfred. This comes from the fact that in 1914, a woman stating her name to be Hilda claimed from the Titanic Relief Fund and was granted one pound: ‘for expenses due to the illness of her little boy.’ However, there is no registration listing for any marriage for Alfred, and there is no birth registration for his son. No wife and son have ever been traced.

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Football As a Popular Sport

Football, or Soccer, as it is known in many parts of the world is a sport or game that is played between two teams, each containing eleven players. A rectangular field with goal posts at either end into which opposing teams must kick goals into forms the outline of the game. There are a set of rules governing the game, although much has changed in the way the game is played now.

It is easily the world’s most popular sport considering that over 300 million players from over 200 countries around the world are involved in the sport.

The origin or invention of modern-day football throws up interesting and sometimes controversial details. It was largely believed that Britain or England is where the game was first played in the medieval period and it gradually spread throughout Europe. A game involving a ‘party of boys playing a ball’ was first observed in the 19th century in England. However, the Chinese claim that the sport in England is largely drawn from a similar game played in China several centuries earlier. Unlike most other sports of that time, this was played on ‘foot’ and not on horseback, hence the name ‘football’. But there are vast dissimilarities between the two versions.

The rise and popularity of the game cannot be questioned and several hugely prestigious events and tournaments are held throughout the year in various countries. Professional football has seen the rise of several athletes playing the game at the highest levels with huge fan followings for the numerous teams. The English Premier League football season is a highly awaited even and has football lovers thronging stadiums to witness between their favorite teams manned by professional football players from many nations.

‘Soccer’ is the term associated with football in the US and it is claimed to have been coined from the English shortened slang for its formal name, Association Football or ‘assoc’.

Like many other sports and games where vast amounts of money and authority are involved, football has seen its share of infamy and scandals in recent years. The likes of former FIFA President Sepp Blatter and superstar Michel Platini have been accused of corruption and are facing suspensions and total bans. Several aspects like code of conduct, loyalty, conflict of interest and accepting gifts and commissions are part of the charges leveled against the highest ranked officials in the game.

Over the years, the dominance of South American players in the game has slowly been replaced by several European players but the game continues to be extremely popular even as a street sport as it does not require much equipment or infrastructure.

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Why Choose Leftbank Apartments Above Any Other

The Spinningfields development is the largest single urban development in the North West, and one of the biggest in Europe. As well as the Leftbanks residential apartments, the Spinningfields area offers hotels, offices, restaurants, shops and bars. On top of that it is just a stone throw away from the city center.

Leftbank is a development by Persimmon Homes, a developer established in 1972 that has a number of buildings across Manchester. Persimmon are a mid to high end developers, and the Leftbank apartments are noted as being well appointed. The building – despite some criticism – is an attractive addition to the staid surroundings of Spinningfields. Development of Leftbank has made Manchester an economic hub.

Leftbank boasts high standards and it is located in the middle of the city. It is located at the bank of the river Irwell. You would enjoy an excellent view along with the refreshing river breeze. Many consider it to be just the right tranquil setting.

The building is home to almost four hundred apartments, from one bedroom up to large penthouses, and it took them almost four years to complete it. At the base of the building are commercial units and they are now home to some worthwhile restaurants. Leftbank has ample car parking space and it is equipped with many elevators placed thoughtfully, throughout the complex.

Leftbank has all the basic facilities; electricity, telephone, natural gas, and Internet connectivity (dispensed by an efficient broadband connection). There are Wi-Fi facilities for each apartment. There is a twenty-four hour room service available. Maintenance support is extremely efficient in handling any problems related to sanitation and telephone lines ..

The building has a well-designed lobby. There is an excellent fitness center in the building so you do not need to go out for exercise. There is a clubroom in the basement that provides an ideal location for cocktail parties. Leftbank apartments are not expensive, despite there prime location and outstanding amenities.

Each apartment is spacious, contemporary and features a large lounge and dining area leading out to a balcony, a modern fully-fitted state-of-the-art kitchen, a double bedroom with fitted wardrobes, a stylish bathroom, 24 hour concierge service along with high-speed wireless Internet access. A secure and private car parking space is also available. Laundry and grocery services can be availed.

The great thing about Leftbank is its location in the city center, as it is just a five minute walk to Deansgate – with its vibrant restaurants, trendy bars and clubs, featuring Harvey Nichols, Selfridges, Kendall's, the designer stores, boutiques of King Street along with the Arndale Center. Very close to the MEN Arena, G-Mex, Granada Studios and museums.

Thus, the apartments offer a lot to the people wishing to have a comfortable, and high standard living.

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