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To me, it seemed like mothering had been taken to a whole new level, but it’s the kind of mollycoddling that’s common between mother and son in China.
It has given rise to a cultural phenomenon dubbed the ‘Little Emperors’ – spoiled boys who expect to get everything they want, and whose parents break their backs trying to make their precious heirs happy.
Living as I do in a city as vibrant and bizarre as Beijing has its good points – and its bad.
However, as in any relationship, small things – which at first made our relationship unique and extraordinary – started to become exasperating after a while.There’s a common joke here that a girl should never ask her boyfriend who he would save first if she fell into a lake with his mother.These girls are already aware that if you want to be the number one woman in a man’s life, you’ll just have to wait until you have a son of your own.By the time I arrived in Beijing, I found Chinese men a fitting replacement for my ‘yetis’ – they differed from what Western society deemed conventionally attractive, and to me they represented adventure, rebellion and a whole new way to escape the status quo.I’ve had two Chinese boyfriends while I’ve been in China and the second relationship was serious, the kind in which the idea of marriage and children wasn’t petrifying.
It was fascinating to be with someone from whom I learned something new every day.