Monday, February 12, 2007

marriage as a global institution

I recently learned of a very personal way to increase international ties to a country: marriage. Some of you may not find this surprising, but after much exposure to lost, Chinese-learning white men teaching English for money/years on end (read: not businessmen) getting it on with (sometimes several) Chinese girls (many of them university students, and some wanting the bonus of getting a way out of the country) in Kunming, I never really felt that vibe of let's-get-hitched-so-I-can-make-billions-of-dollars. But it's happening!

Example one: A fellow FBer, who is African-American and researching banking in Chengdu/Beijing, says that she gets Chinese male friends (given her field, I assume her Chinese friends are much more powerful than mine are) asking her to introduce them to African women (even though she's not from there). Given the recent Forum on China-Africa Cooperation, I suppose some parties on both sides are excited about tapping into each others' respective markets (and as a bonus, in producing hot babies).

Example two: I met an older woman here in Shenzhen whose daughter went to France to study law and came back with a husband. Her husband is now getting good at Chinese in Shanghai, where they have settled, and his mother-in-law is helping him in importing and selling very expensive French wines. Even my father picked up a couple of 300-rmb bottles. Traitor. What about Great Wall Wine, the official Olympic wine? I suppose to even a non-wine connoissur, the differences can be vast. Well, despite them running Chinese wineries out of business (a slight exaggeration, perhaps), at least the couple will produce some hot babies.

If you're interested in joining in on this, I suggest you move fast. The woman told me I need to find a husband NOW, at 22, because in a year I won't have as many prospects. I'm not sure what I can offer to the Chinese market, or to the men, because it's certainly not skills nor money nor connections, and, after my upcoming vacation to the Philippines (Feb 19-26), I -hopefully- won't even be able to offer pale skin. But I suppose if you want to visit me in Yunnan Province, I may be able to help you out with a little translation-flirting!