Another day in Cambodia

I’ve been back in China for a while now and I still miss the sound of music playing in the background, a little bell ringing for an order that is ready, water splashing from the swimming pool and the joy and excitement in stories told by each backpacker to another.

Well, here is my story of being in Cambodia.

At the second day of being in this magical place, I got into the routine of waking up at noon, taking a shower, walking down the steps and ordering the best ( and yes, I mean the best ) banana smoothie made in this huge jug and a different breakfast each morning. I would decide what adventure to take on, what museum to see or just enjoy the sunny day next to the pool with either more banana smoothies or a cocktail. Time does not exist when you are on vacation, so feel free to drink that cocktail at 10:00 AM!

This does sound like an amazing vacation, so here’s the twist!

Two weeks before the date of leaving for Cambodia I asked my girlfriend to come with me, 7 days of no work and exploring! How exciting! Plus it would be the first trip I would take on with my partner! Yes, if you are wondering I’ve never been on a couples trip to another country! So I’m bursting with excitement!

Unfortunately, she could not join the entire trip, only the last 2 days. Meaning we would fly back to China together. This already made everything great! I get to spend two days with my favorite person in such a cultural place!

-FYI

This is still the good part!

Days have passed and only two days till I leave!

I get this text message from a friend saying she will join me in Cambodia the first week and leave the Sunday night my girlfriend arrives! Wow, could things get any better?

The two days passed slowly but it finally came! Our flight left at 18:00 PM so we left our places around 15:00 PM and arrived at the airport at 16:00 PM all excited and ready to take on this journey!

Standing in a line for nearly 30 minutes,finally we made it to the front! Super excited!

The excitement stopped there.

We got told my friend cannot go to Cambodia for certain reasons that made us both go into fighting mode and my passport number was incorrect. Struggling for an hour to solve all this, I got on the airplane alone and she went to my girlfriend’s house for wine and cheese.

At this point, I didn’t know if I should be happy or upset.

First, I’m going to Cambodia, Woooo! Without my friend, Ahhhh! No work for one week, just exploring and sipping drinks, Woooo! She gets to spend a relaxing night with my girlfriend that I already miss, Ahhhh!

Just a little bit of what is going on in my head at that moment.

I video called my girlfriend before boarding, told her the entire story while drinking my fruit shake and slowing eating a croissant.

Trying to lift my spirit up she made a silly joke saying she can’t come, I did not take it as a joke so I will end this part of the story right here.

Two and a half hours later I got to sit in a “tuk-tuk” ( this is hard to explain, maybe just search it if you do not know what it is ) on my way to our accommodation. I got a few tips from friends saying the amount I should pay from the airport to accommodation, that made me feel cool and calm.

Finally, I got to the hotel, paid double the amount I was supposed to, not so cool and calm anymore.

Booked in, left my bags in the room, ordered a beer and smoked a cigarette after this long day!

Like I said the second day I already got used to waking up like this!

Everything turned out just fine and well being an amazing first few days on my own!

Met new friends, got to go to this amazing Sky Bar called “Eclipse” with a view over the city and a tour walking around the markets, Royal Palace, Independent Monument and exploring new places to show my other half when she arrives!

Time flew by and Sunday finally arrived! I enjoyed my day by spending time next to the pool, having the best banana smoothies ever and ending with a few beers talking to new friends I met!

Still four more hours, then I get to pick up my girl from the airport, so we killed the time by sharing backpacking stories and the life here in China since they never been. I did tell them the LGBT+ community is great since the one girl said she’s bi-sexual.

Let’s skip the rest and get to the part of actually having my girlfriend with me now! Picked her up and all settled in at our accommodation.

We stayed up a little longer planning to go to the Sky Bar, that ended up to be closed when we arrived. Although we did get to play with puppies on our way there so it pretty much made my night!

The first night, BEST SEX EVER AFTER BEING APART FOR 5 DAYS! I know, it is not even that long!

The two days went by extremely fast! Woke up on Monday with breakfast in bed and after we explored the Genocide Prison, that was quite a sad experience and ended the night with dinner and a few drinks or maybe a lot…

Tuesday waking up with someone being a bit hangover, getting a nice breakfast downstairs and yes with my banana smoothie we planned our little adventure for the day!

We ended up going to the Killing fields to create the full picture of what happened 30 years ago in such an amazing place and after cheering yourself up by going to the Central Market so that my girlfriend could buy every dress she sees. I had fun carrying all the bags!

We planned to go out for dinner, but yet again the rain decided to keep us inside! We had a nice dinner at the hotel with one of our friends ( the bi-sexual one ) and went to bed early since our flight back was at 7:00 AM.

Again, being all excited since it is our first flight together! We ended up sleeping anyway but it was still a great flight being able to hold her hand most of the time and making silly jokes!

Sadly we left one day before a big LGBT event, but I’m sure I’ll attend it someday in the future!

Hands down an amazing trip! Maybe not from the start but I had time to be by myself and enjoy the small things in life, being able to walk barefoot, meet locals and just see the smiles on the people’s faces.

It is sad that something so tragic happened to them but I’m so happy to see that they stood up from it all and are growing more and more each day!

They have taught me to be grateful for so much more and I do thank the place and the people for that!

I’m sure you are already planning your trip to Cambodia, if you are, make sure to learn about their culture, their ways, and the history because it is truly amazing!

Around the world

Being on the road most of my time made me realize how much I miss home, and yes, if you were wondering, I’m from South Africa.

A place with so much cultural that everything you see has a story of its own.

A place that is filled with nature that died out from not getting enough rain.

A place where you will see people standing next to the road selling fruits or just something traditional made by their families.

A place that I most feel at home!

My time here in China has made me realize that no one really knows how amazing South Africa is.

I get questions such as:

“Do the animals walk in the street?”

 I’m proud to say that we have the Big Five native to our land (lion, leopard, rhinoceros <both black and white species>, elephant, and Cape buffalo) and animals can walk freely in wildlife camps or safaris without being trapped in a cage.

So my answer is NO, they don’t walk down the streets, shopping in the local grocery shops, but they do have their own home that you can feel free to visit and experience the beauty of being around their presence.

“Do you guys even have big buildings?”

Like any other town, we have big buildings, yes.

The Capital city is Cape Town and it is quite breath-taking with a beautiful beach you can spend your summer days at.

What I can add is, every city has his own story.. and once you know that you will truly see the beauty behind each building and not just the big shiny ones.

“Sorry to ask, but why are you white?”

I hope no one takes this one too personally as it is quite funny!

The answer to this is simple… look up colonialism!

I am who I am and I’m sure you will get a huge shock when you visit South Africa and realize it is the total opposite of what you thought.

Enough with the questions, for now, let’s get a little more in depth with the details of the trip and the great LGBT+ scene there!

The first Pride I attended was in South Africa, it was not as big as in other countries but it was definitely one to remember!

It was quite hidden until the day of the event so no one really knew about it! The day I arrived in Cape Town I had already seen posters up with the Pride date coming closer and I was so amazed!

For a small place that not a lot of people know, they are growing quite fast! The joy felt by me was indescribable, just seeing people being proud of who they are!

Of course, I was sad that I could not attend this event in my home town but I knew China had another plan for me.

On my way home, I saw all the lands of farmers dried out and remembered we were struggling with water, I couldn’t have felt emptier that I know we have no idea what is actually going on in other countries, it made me open my eyes again to how privileged I am. Then again, as the farmers always said, with a little bit of faith and hope everything will be fine! And it turned out to be!

My days passed so quickly, maybe it was because of the jet lag and I woke up at 4 AM each morning and went to bed at 7 PM the first week.

All the time that we had I mostly ate, slept and spent time with my family, that is what it is all about, isn’t it? Seeing your family after so long! But I would be lying if I said all the time.

I took a day or two to just admire the beauty of Africa

  • The people
  • The buildings
  • The old traditional huts
  • The animals
  • The clear sky
  • Each night having a million stars above you
  • People driving on the wrong side of the road
  • The food
  • The languages
  • The club music
  • The traditional music

I heard a lot of people saying “don’t go there, it is dangerous”, well everywhere is dangerous.

I’m not going to lie and say it is the safest place on the planet but I would be lying if I said it’s not worth the visit.

My final days couldn’t go slow enough, I spent my time saying goodbye to old friends, saying hello to new LGBT+ friends I met along the way, eating as much traditional food as I could and just spending time with loved ones!

And of course, seeing the most powerful animal ever that made me realize how small I am, the elephant.

I don’t want to bother you further with my amazing trip, so I will leave you with …

If you ever feel like getting lost in nature, taking hiking trails that will lead you to unknown places, climbing in caves and seeing drawing from millions of years ago, jumping in pure mountain water, feeding any animal that you desire, talking with the natives and learning their ways, getting to know a few more LGBT+ bars and people along the way, beating the heat and cold and well maybe just finding yourself under a million stars… I know a place.

Feel free to take a trip there, I promise it will be an adventure of a lifetime!

Lolz in Translation

Learning Chinese is intimidating. Some tourists in China aren’t even willing to try for fear of saying the wrong thing. The following are true stories from my life.

While giving an introduction to the different kind of dances of the Dai Minority group, what my teacher actually said was: “This group of dances includes the Elephant Foot (xiàng jiǎo) Drum Dance…”

Giggling about the ridiculous image in my head, I had to ask: “The banana (xiāng jiāo) dance? How can there be a banana dance?”

That same week I came back to my room to find my roommate in a bad mood. “Ugh I’ve been working on getting this form (biǎo gé) filled out all day!” she exclaimed.

This statement left me very confused, so I had to clarify “You and your cousin (biǎo gē) have been doing what now?”

When I was having a tough time, my friend came into my room and sympathetically said “You have really born hardship.”(chī kǔ nài láo)

But thinking of the quesadilla I’d eaten for dinner, I just thought, “Why is Cat telling me that I have eaten bitter cheese?” (chī kǔ nǎi lào)

Then there was the time I ordered a veggie burger… And was awarded with a salad on a bun. Or the time I ordered a margarita and got a full glass of tequila with salt on the rim. Or asked for hot sauce and got black pepper.

Last but not least, a classic mispronounced Chinese phrase is one that almost every traveler will want to say: “I want to see pandas (xióng māo)!”

But to several foreigners’ chagrin, and their Chinese friends’ delight, the response could well be “What? Looking at chest hair (xiōng máo) sounds disgusting!”

Share your silly mistranslations in the comments!

Weekend Getaway: 水底山 Hot Springs

Let me tell you about your upcoming peaceful weekend. Verdant tunnels of diverse foliage line the meandering pathways between secluded hot springs. Pagodas constantly heat their floors for you lay your sore back on. Steam rises in clouds from a pool as you cross a romantic footbridge.

Do you want this to be you? Let me help you prepare for a weekend escape from the city! A hot-springs paradise in the hills of Guangdong awaits!

Name: 汕尾水底山温泉庄园

Location:

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Ok, but how do I get there?!

  1. Take high-speed rail to Hou Men (鲘门),about 40 minutes from Shenzhen North
  2. 30-minute drive to the resort. I recommend you arrange a taxi from the hotel to pick you up. If you book through Ctrip’s English site, get them to help you arrange. Or bring a Chinese friend and that will make the whole process easier. (See https://la-la-shenzhen.com/2018/02/07/mandarin-for-lalas/ if you need help breaking the ice.)

On-Site Accommodation:

https://english.ctrip.com/hotels/shanwei-hotel-detail-3042540/shui-di-shan-hot-springs-manor/

Cost/day: 148RMB on weekdays, 168RMB on weekends

Description:

  • All flavors of hot spring – do you love red wine so much you want to steep in it? At ShuiDiShan, you can!
  • Infinity pool along the river – gorgeous, very long pool along the riverside with a backdrop of rolling green hills
  • Wave pool – this and current pool weren’t open when I was there but they looked awesome
  • Children’s play areas (but thankfully there weren’t too many children or people when I was there, in fact it was extremely peaceful for a Chinese attraction)
  • Warm tile pagodas to roast on – Ahhhh, someone might come around and offer you a foot massage!
  • Tea/water/juice kiosks – Stay hydrated
  • Snacks and beer – Again, stay hydrated 😉
  • Clean, spacious bathrooms with quality shampoo, conditioner, body wash, towels and slippers, Q-tips, hair-dryers etc.

Restaurant in Hou Men:

新东餐厅

I was blown away by the food at this restaurant in Hou Men, where we dined before catching the train back to Shenzhen. It is on the opposite side of the main road about two minutes away from the train station (turn left if you are facing out of the station entrance.)

It was one of those places that looks like it’s about to host a wedding but is spookily empty:

But the food exceeded all expectations – oyster egg dish, crispy tiny squid, fresh fish, savory eggplant, sweet and sour tofu. Recommend the oyster egg the most!

I enjoyed my time at the resort so much that I would even bring my mom there! I hope you find this recommendation helpful, it may be a bit of an adventure to get there, but in my opinion 100% worth it!

Best Apps for Picking up Girls

Honorable Mention #1: Tinder

If you’re a single Lala, I am sure you have tried Tinder. So why didn’t I ever find you? Probably because you compulsively download, delete, and re-download it due to your cycle of boredom and frustration.

Tinder is FULL of hot girls with boyfriends, looking for a unicorn. I think that’s great but I wish there could be a box to check when you’re not into couples. Not that saying you’re not into boys even works… Tinder always shows me boys anyway. So after swiping through all the unicorn hunters, my Tinder experience goes like this:

Screenshot_20170830-190934

However, due to its popularity, I still give tinder and honorable mention. If you’re looking for that wild card kind of date, or just to creep on pictures of cuties, you can always give it a go. (Just remember to be safe!)

Honorable Mention #2: Spicy/HER/Lesbian-Specific Apps

Are the girls on these even real? Where are they? In lesbian fashion, these apps don’t tend to filter based on proximity. In my experience the interfaces are not as well designed as other more mainstream apps, but again, it’s cool to look at pictures and chat with other Queerios. Who knows, maybe that girl in Seychelles will really be the one for you.

imageedit_3_3184896361

3rd Place: Mobike

Mobike+Singapore+-+1

For all my Laowai Lalas (Laolas??) I’m awarding Mobike (or Ofo, whatever you prefer between your legs) the bronze medal. Get out on that town! Keep it tight! Get your ass and legs on point!

I love biking around Shenzhen, it’s so freeing knowing I can bike as far as I want, ditch my bike, and take the subway home if I want to. Biking will get you to parts of the city you won’t discover in your usual rut. Explore your city and enjoy your single life while you can. Maybe you’ll bike up to a hidden cafe and She will be waiting for you there.

2nd Place: Wechat

Lez be honest, if you’re a Laola, Wechat is your online life. But how can you use it to meet cuties?

wechat-thing

  • Join queer groups!
  • Join activity/social groups – lots of hiking or sports groups out there that organize meetups. Then go to the meetups and add the cuties directly.
  • Add babes in the club when you’re out, you can text them in the morning and see if they want to share hangover coffee!
  • Start a group… For um, the community. Yes for the community. Definitely not just in hopes of meeting someone.
  • Keep in touch with your friends from home so they can comfort you when you find out that cute girl from last night has a boyfriend.

1st Place: Duolingo

Remember that awkward screenshot from honorable mention number two? Well I have the solution for how you can prepare to talk to hotties from around the world. Open up your options by learning a new language with Duolingo!

Duolingo is a free app that will teach you a foreign language through daily game-like exercises. It is SUCH a good use of your time! Lonely? Don’t worry, Duolingo will text you if you leave it alone too long. It cares about your progress! If you wake up in the morning without that someone special to text, Duolingo will be there for you. The setup is validating and rewarding, and honestly addictive. (Seriously, I have struggled with addiction with this app, but I have no regrets.)

Duolingo offers multiple languages of instruction as well as multiple languages to study. Most importantly, some of the languages offer a special section on flirting. Are you into Latinas? Want to learn how to say “Do you come here often?” “Do you want to be my girlfriend?” or “Are you lost, heaven is far from here!” in Spanish? Or are you more into blondes? Start doing those German lessons. Have a weakness for French accents? You know what to do!

The algorithm is extremely effective, and there’s nothing sexier than a smart, multi-lingual Lala like you!

duolingo

What are your tech tricks for picking up baes in the modern world? Share them in the comments!

Blog Post for Queer Newbies to Shenzhen: The Top 5 Q&As

Hello my dear lalas and boys, after a few weeks of absence, I’m back with a topic that I’m sure interests everyone. Being queer and new in Shenzhen is not easy,or anywhere else in Chinafor that matter, I’ve been living here for almost 10 years and believe me when I tell you that things are very different and to a certain extent easier, so for all those who are new, not so new, are half lost or plan to come to Shenzhen,herearethe top 5Q&As!

 

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  1. I am Queer, is this legal in China/Shenzhen?

Yes, it is legal! In 2001, China’s Psychiatric Association Remove homosexuality as a mental illness. However, it is still a big taboo within Chinese culture

The Economist:

“In 2016 Peking University’s sociology department carried out the largest survey of attitudes to, and among, homosexuals and other sexual minorities on behalf of the UN Development Program. It found that 58% of respondents (gay and straight) agreed with the statement that gays are rejected by their families—a higher level of rejection than occurs at work or school. Fewer than 15% of homosexuals said they had come out to their families, and more than half of those who did said they had experienced discrimination as a result.” The Economist Chinese attitudes towards gay rights

However, within the LGBT community of foreignersand locals alike,you will feel accepted and you don’t need to worry about rejection, please follow the local laws of behavior,which are very standard,and you will be able to live a happy and queer life.

Info source

2. Which is the best district to live in Shenzhen?

Shenzhen is a great city and a big one. The city is made up of ten districts, however, the 3 main districts and where the most people are concentrated in are: Nanshan, Futian and Luohu, these three large districts havea great mix of locals and foreigners, if you are looking for a place with an excellent mix of local people, a hint of Hong Kong and foreigners:Luohu is the place for you,but if you prefer to live in the center of business, Futian is the heart of the city. If you like family life more and want to surround yourself with a strong community of foreigners Nanshan (including thesubdistrict of Shekou) is where you live.

Info source

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3. Are theregay bars in Shenzhen?

 There are few bars out there, mostly underground so it is not easy to find them,however we have for you our Night Life section : Night Life!, You should know we have a big gay scene happening in Shenzhen here are the 4 most important current events:

  1. Rainbow:Thisisnew and they promise to come strong!
  2. Oosh:This a regular event for HK but it has move to Shenzhen, we will also be posting about their events.
  3. O’Garden: This bar located in Futian is not gay bar but every Wednesday, ladies night special, you will see a lot of queer faces that have taken this place as their meeting point.
  4. SaturGays:Reviews for this can be found on this blog also.

 

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4.  I am queer, I am marriedand I am coming with my family to Shenzhen.Will the government recognize my status?

 Unfortunately, although it is not illegal to be homosexual or to have a relationship with someone of the same sex, the Chinese government does not recognize a homosexual marriage no matter if it is between two foreigners or a foreign person with a Chinese person. If you have planned to come to China, you have a family, your partner can not get a couple visa, you will have to apply for the visa that corresponds, consult an agent!

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5. If I come out of the closet at work, can I be fired?

If the company for which you work has done everything legally, it is not so easy to fire you asthe investment to obtain your work and residence permit is very large, likewise,the cultural pressure is not as strong for a foreigner as itis for a Chinesecitizen.I have personally worked for Chinese companies in the past and I simply did not discuss my private life with any ofmy colleagues because I did not consider it necessary.

Captura de pantalla 2018-04-06 a la(s) 15.26.01

Of course,it is possible that you have a more positive experience, if you are a teacher and you workfororarelooking to work for an international school,there are some good alternatives where they give support and accept their employees who are part of the LGBT community.

If you have a question that needs to be answer leave a comment! 

 

The 7 gay-friendly “Unofficial” destinations to travel in China

Hello! My Lalas and others, I am back after few days and this time with a topic that I believe you will be interested at because who hasn’t asked the question before: I am gay and I want to travel in China, Where can I go?

Either if you are new in China or you have been few years, as I have, we all know that to this day China is still very conservative about the LGTB+ community and most people feels the need to hide, However, I believe that there has been progress and there are places where we can go and be ourselves! For this really I give you my selection of the 7 gay-friendly destinations in China you can totally visit and have fun!

  1. Hong Kong 香港

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According to GOOGLE:

Hong Kong is an autonomous territory, and former British colony, in southeastern China. Its vibrant, densely populated urban centre is a major port and global financial hub with a skyscraper-studded skyline. Central (the business district) features architectural landmarks like I.M. Pei’s Bank of China Tower. Hong Kong is also a major shopping destination, famed for bespoke tailors and Temple Street Night Market

It is also the city where you can find a city with a big expat influence (around 5% of total population in Hong Kong come from other countries. You can also find several LGTB+ Bars and it host an annual Gay Pride.

 

2. Shanghai

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According to GOOGLE:

Shanghai, on China’s central coast, is the country’s biggest city and a global financial hub. Its heart is the Bund, a famed waterfront promenade lined with colonial-era buildings. Across the Huangpu River rises the Pudong district’s futuristic skyline, including 632m Shanghai Tower and the Oriental Pearl TV Tower, with distinctive pink spheres. Sprawling Yu Garden has traditional pavilions, towers and ponds.

Shanghai is the New York of mainland China, it is a cosmopolitan city that host an annual pride event [The Shanghai PRIDE last one week and it is part of the TOP 10 Gay Prides in the world], there are multiply LGTB+ Bars, they have cultural events as well as Job fairs for the LGTB community.

 

3. Guangzhou

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According to GOOGLE:

Guangzhou is a sprawling port city northwest of Hong Kong on the Pearl River. The city features avant-garde architecture such as Zaha Hadid’s Guangzhou Opera House (known as the “double pebble”); the carved box-shaped Guangdong Museum; and the iconic Canton TV Tower skyscraper, resembling a thin hourglass. The Chen Clan Ancestral Hall, a temple complex from 1894, also houses the Guangdong Folk Arts Museum.

I, personally , believe that if you travel around China this is a City that you must see, specially if you are in the south, it is one of the biggest cities, with a growing expat community and important financial centers as well as markets, you have find BARS and a relative big LGTB community.

 

4.  Shenzhen  [South of China, border with Hong Kong]

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According to GOOGLE:

Shenzhen, in southeastern China, is a modern metropolis that links Hong Kong to China’s mainland. It’s known for its shopping destinations, including Luohu Commercial City, a massive mall with a vast array of wares, from tailors’ custom clothing to faux designer bags. The city also features contemporary buildings, such as the 600m-tall skyscraper Ping An International Finance Centre, and a number of amusement parks.

I love this city, probably because I have been living here for the last 7 years, it is a new city [just over 30 years] and well planned, with tourist friendly public transportation, restaurants and a growing cultural scene that makes this city ideal for work and living, the LGBT scene is relative new but growing, for 2 years in a row they have been hosting parties during GAY Pride in Summer and there are monthly events for those that visits.

5.. Xiamen

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According to GOOGLE:

Xiamen is a port city on China’s southeast coast, across a strait from Taiwan. It encompasses 2 main islands and a region on the mainland. Formerly known as Amoy, it was a British-run treaty port from 1842 to 1912. Many Europeans and Japanese lived on Gulangyu, today a vehicle-free island with beaches and meandering streets lined with old colonial villas.

This is what many people think will be the next Shenzhen, or the Miami of China, also with a big expat community that influence how this city is becoming more and more cosmopolitan .

 

6. Yangshuo

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According to GOOGLE:

Yangshuo, a county and resort town in southern China’s Guangxi region, is known for its dramatic karst mountain landscape and outdoor recreation. The town is set amid pinnacles like Bilian Feng (Green Lotus Peak), which has a hiking trail to the top. Tour boats offer cruises on the Li River past picturesque countryside from the town of Guilin to the north.

If you are or were a big fan of Dragon Ball [Yes the Japanese anime] You should visit this place or if you just like nature, it is one of the best places to visit, the local food and people are kind and helpful to the tourist, if you go please go around the river!

 

7. Qingdao

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According to GOOGLE:

Qingdao, in China’s eastern Shandong province, is a port city of skyscrapers, parks and beaches bordering the Yellow Sea. It’s known for its beer, a legacy of the German occupation (1898-1914). The Tsingtao Beer Museum celebrates the namesake brewery, founded here by Germans in 1903, and the Qingdao International Beer Festival is major event. There’s also German-style architecture in the old city center.

How should you visit this city? I will explain in a simple sentence: They have their own Oktoberfest! The city where the most famous Chinese beer is made it is a must!

We all know that in China there is still a long way to go for the LGBT + community to be accepted, but step by step there have been changes, so if you plan to travel do not worry, just remember that we must follow the rules of behavior and registration of the police, for the rest just enjoy the trip with friends or as a couple!

If you liked this post don’t forget to follow us and give us a like! and if you really like the post please share!

 

Lalas, who are they and where to find them?

Hello Lalas!

Have you ever felt like you are the only Lala out there (specially if you live in China)?, I felt it like most of the time the first few years, I came to china in 2009 and I  arrived to the city of Hangzhou a place full of traditions and little foreign community, a place where the locals ask two basic questions when the first meet you:  1. How much money do you make? 2. Would you like a Chinese boyfriend?, If I had a dollar for every time I had to reply those two questions I would have probably bought a fancy watch, it is also common knowledge that China does not accept LGTB+ community, at least not so much 8 years ago, so meeting Lala girls foreigners or Chinese was really hard, the western girls were only looking for tall European guys or latin guys and the Chinese girls were into the western boy.

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And there I was, 24 years old and single but I was feeling like the only girl in the world (I am listing to Rihanna right now)! It was after the first six months in China that I understood an effective way (or one I recommend) to meet girls was to be out! Really out of the closet! Being unafraid of being judge, if I Was out  and honest about my sexuality there will be no misunderstanding of my intentions if I ever talk to a girl and I also decided to actively look for gay bars and I noticed the following points in my search.

  1. Gay bars are still underground (if it is not Beijing or Shanghai)
  2. You will mostly find gay guys and not Lalas
  3. It is going to be hard to find publicity of these places

After a little search I was able to find one bar in Hangzhou, two bars in Shanghai and one more bar in Shenzhen, back in the day it was a very small place in the Luohu area. I was able to be out there and meet few locals that were actually very shy to speak with a gay girl and wester like me, they thought I was just a weirdo, I also notice that if you meet a Chinese Lala you can find usually two kind of (not a rule)

  1. Very fem girl
  2. Tomboy girl

Captura de pantalla 2017-12-22 a la(s) 18.49.42

I personally don´t like to label myself into any stereotype but I notice those very obvios styles, in a City as Shenzhen you will see those girls walking down the street, the subway or any regular place, it is more and more open to spot them (if you have the gay dar), I did try to date a local girl but  me as a Latina woman as I am it was very hard to communicate my likes and dislikes, so after two fail tries I went on looking for those western girls that seems to be only one kind: The straight kind!

Captura de pantalla 2017-12-22 a la(s) 18.34.35

This was one of the most difficult things for me, how do I meet other foreign lala girls?, I just couldn’t really be so sure about it until one day out of the blue I met that amazingly cute german girl that spotted me in a club, she invited me over to a party and without me  planing it we were dating for few months (ah yes people is temporary in China but that will be for another post!) before I move to Shenzhen and she move back to Germany, I did ask her: How did you know? How did you know I was also a lost lala girl?. And she said people told me, once more, it was me being open about my sexuality and my life that got me a date, I became more and more confident about telling people around me.

But if you say, hey, I am confident and open but I still cannot spot them, well after few years I have learn to notice few things and I hope they will help you to find them!

Captura de pantalla 2017-12-22 a la(s) 18.47.49

How to spot a foreign lala girl?

  1. They were flip flops! (Not pink!)
  2. Jeans with holes or shorts (specially in summer)
  3. They love t-shirts (Rock and Roll)
  4. They love ponytails if they don’t have the hair short
  5. Baseball caps! (probably this is the less common one)
  6. They drink beer (from the bottle!)
  7. Shirts with squares (I love those!)
  8. They play guitar (it is like the un-offical lala instrument)
  9. They do Yoga (I still don´t know why)
  10. They are usually teachers (For those in Shenzhen)
  11. Play soccer or do some kind exercise

Just be careful because you can find that straight girl that can have all those things I just mentioned but the ultimate test is: Invite her to a gay party! (We have Saturgays now in Shenzhen -we will have also another post for it-)

As I mencione before there are no rules to this thing, I have lots of lala friends and they are super fem or not so much and this is not link to their sexuality, and you know what also works (after make them feel comfortable)?  You can simply ask!

For me I always start with jokes! Because there is nothing as making a woman laugh !

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