By my late teens, when my friends were chasing football players, I had developed a thing for men with long hair.
This is a period that my friends tagged my ‘yeti’ phase.
His mother, although I adored her, was overbearing.
I learned so much more about the country, its people and their values during the three years we were together.
Well, yes, but also having to open their eyes to the possibility of romance with expat men that under any normal circumstances they wouldn’t go near.
Quite why I once agreed to a second date with a guy from Sweden who wore white socks that came up to his mid-calves and who rattled on endlessly about his Chinese ex-girlfriend, I can’t be sure.
Most Western women shy away from the prospect of having a Chinese boyfriend: they find them too traditional, overly effeminate (it doesn’t help that many carry handbags and adore boybands such as Westlife), and the cultural barrier too immense to overcome.
To me, though, these obstacles seemed like things that would make a relationship more interesting.