Valentine’s Day is coming up (it’s this Wednesday, guys), so we’re gonna delve into Kaiser’s romantic past with a question originally posted on Quora on June 7, 2015. It’s short but sweet:
What is it like for two ABCs (American-born Chinese) in China to date each other?
I dated an ABC in China whom I met in Beijing in 1999. We dated for more than three years. Very similar backgrounds (in fact, our parents, as it turned out, all knew one another): We both had parents who had left the mainland for Taiwan during the Civil War, emigrated in the 1950s to the U.S., and had their kids in the States.
There’s a ton that just doesn’t need to be said. You have a huge range of things in common that span two worlds. You have childhood piano lessons, Chinese school, being the brainy ones in the class, the Chinglish that comes so naturally, and especially the shared perspective as you both experience China. Maybe the best thing is that you don’t feel quite as alone in facing the difficulty of trying to inhabit two worlds.
Ultimately, we weren’t compatible, but the breakup wasn’t at all ugly. She was acquainted with the woman I ended up marrying, just as I was friends with the guy she ended up marrying. They both came to our wedding. She was one of the most brilliant people I’ve ever known and I’m incredibly glad to have gotten to know her.