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looking for a penpal [Copy link] 中文

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Post time 2004-9-24 21:52:45 |Display all floors
I'm looking for a female/male penpal to share thoughts on long distance relationship. By doing so I hope to help you and myself deal with the difficulties in such a relationship.

I'm F, 22, Chinese, studying art history and philosophy in Berlin.

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Post time 2004-9-25 02:05:55 |Display all floors


Dear Xieyang,

Before traveling to Germany for study, where in China did you live?  I have a penpal in Guangzhou (Canton) which has slowly evolved into something more serious.  For this I am glad, but it is difficult as you know, to maintain a relationship separated by such a great distance.

I am in the USA, but intend to visit Guangzhou, perhaps within the next six months.  My penpal speaks very little English but is learning and my capability with Cantonese is fairly nonexistent.  We plan to contribute much effort studying each other's languages in order to better  communicate.

Hope your academics are proceeding well!  Peace!


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Post time 2004-9-25 02:40:37 |Display all floors

Im from Hangzhou

Hi, Scott, I come from Hangzhou.

Interesting. I studied in Guangzhou (Guangzhou University of Foreign Studies) for one year before I went to Germany.

Perhaps your friend is also studying there. Do you plan to learn Cantonese or Mandarin? I guess Mandarin is much more useful nowadays. Many Cantonese do speak Mandarin with difficulty, but they can understand pretty well.

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Post time 2004-9-25 02:52:55 |Display all floors


Sorry, hit submit button prior to completion of message.  I will start over.

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Post time 2004-9-25 03:11:13 |Display all floors

Good luck

My partner and I also fell in love while I was studying in Guangzhou. He also came to Guangzhou to visit me ( We first met in Australia though). I took him to Guangdong Art Museum, to "Shamian", Beijing Road and a very good vegetarian restaurant (Cai Gen Tan). Maybe you will do the same things with your girlfriend or something even more interesting! Enjoy your time in Guangzhou.

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Post time 2004-9-25 03:36:54 |Display all floors

message edited. Sorry!

OK, let's try again!  : )

Thank you for your rapid response.  I have read that only about 6% of Chinese speak Cantonese, predominantly in Guangdong province, some also in Hong Kong and Macao.  I wish that my penpal and her family spoke Mandarin.  I agree that under normal circumstances it would be a much better choice for me to learn Mandarin Chinese.

I wish to make a good impression on her family and feel that an attempt (regardless of how futile) to learn some conversational Cantonese will allow for a more gracious acceptance.  I lived in Vietnam for several years in the distant past.  Therefore the customs, traditions, philosophy and culture of the East are not beyond my comprehension and appreciation.  In fact, I prefer it in most cases to that of the West.

What was your impression of Guangzhou while attending the university?  There is much information on the web and I've researched it widely.  It appears to be a very modern city and significant hub of economic activity in the South.  I look forward also to the many historical sites and beautiful mountains (such as near Baiyun and others).  I have even considered the possibility of one day teaching English for a year to become more immersed in the culture and language if the relationship progresses.  Some institutions in Guangzhou and elsewhere in the province have shown much interest in my resume.  However, I've been told to proceed very cautiously with an evaluation of any potential offers.  I will accept that advice!

Enough for now.  I apologize for writing a novelette here.  Hopefully you are still awake!  : )

Please write back when you have time.  By the way, I sent my first post to you prior to reading your other posts.  I hope things work out regardless of the path you choose.  This takes much thought and searching of the soul.  I know relationships are difficult enough without the additional stress long distances interject.  If love is true then hearts cannot be unjoined.

Stay safe and study hard!

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Post time 2004-9-25 10:27:45 |Display all floors


Dear Scott,

Guangzhou struck me as being a very liberal city. There is for example surprisingly little bureaucracy and patriarchism in the college I studied at.

China's most liberal newspaper Southern China Weekend is based in Guangzhou. And probably the best Chinese writer in the last 50 years Wang Xiao Bo, was fist allowed to be published in Guangzhou. I think this says something about the city.

At the same time the Cantonese are quite "conservative" in the sense that they still hold on to many old traditions. Many of them trust traditional local medicine more than western medicine. They drink "Liangcha" (a kind of herbal tea) instead of taking tablets when they get a fever. Family connection also seems to be much stronger there.

I think if you want to teach English there, the best institution will be the universities there (salary not very high though but enough for living). Both students and teachers speak better English so it can help you immerse into the culture easily. I dont suggest you taking job offers from outside Guangzhou. All other cities in Guangdong are boring to live in. Shenzhen is rich but decadent.

I hope my reply is somehow useful!

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