Scottish Mandarins by Greg Simpson

New Beginnings.


Ever since I enrolled in Stirling University my cultural understanding of different countries has increased ten-fold, in particular one of those countries being China.  The town in which I live (Cumbernauld) is not a very diversified town in terms of culture, so before going to university I would see a Chinese person maybe once or twice every 4 months.  Which wasn’t very fortunate for me because i’ve always had an interest in far eastern countries and the culture, but knew very little.

Coming from such a background, it is surprising to hear that when I started dating a Chinese girl I am sometimes very similar to a Chinese person.  Please don’t misunderstand this, I am Scottish and I am proud to be Scottish.  I’m not one of these people who take an interest in another culture and try to model myself to be similar to someone from that country.  However, I found it funny to hear this because, back in high school, we did have one half-Chinese student.  Well one day, I was sitting next to him at lunch and someone was just staring at us and I asked him if he thought I was pretty.  Anyway, he noticed that out of everyone in the room ( we were in the highest year for students in our school, so we had a private room for lunch) we were the only two guys with natural black hair and he understood why the Chinese guy had black hair…because he was Chinese, but couldn’t understand why I did.  Needless to say he was convinced I dye my hair.

Later that day I obviously asked my family about our origins and nothing could prepare me for what I was about to hear.   Apparently (it’s hard to type this without laughing), my great great great grandmother had an affair with a Chinese traveler who then gave birth to my great great grandmother.  Naturally, I laughed and disregarded this is an actual credible story.  However, at that point I realized why one of my aunties has a slight asian look to her, she even tells me many people mention it to her.  On top of this I remembered that ever since I was young I don’t think i’ve ever had a hairdresser who hasn’t told my how thick and dark my hair was.  Telling me like it surprised them. I even used the same 3 hairdressers for about 2 years and they told me the same thing.  Every.  Time.  I.  Went.

Now, i’m still to this day not sure if this story is even true.  I’ve never had clarification, but it was a funny reminder after being told how similar to a Chinese person I was.

Anyway, now that i’m dating a Chinese girl and having quite a few Chinese friends in University I’m going to use this blog as an outlet to document things I learn being around Chinese people often and compare it to what I have been used to before I joined this university.  I don’t expect a lot of readers because this blog isn’t entirely original or have a hook to draw people in.  However, hopefully I can reach a few.

As it stands right now, i’m using a default theme with it’s default CSS.  I will be designing a new background to make my blog a little more original. (As many other blogs will look like mine).

A lot of blog posts won’t always be “great food” etc.  Some will, but mainly you can find out the normal stuff everywhere else.  For example, my next blog post is going to be about why Chinese people consistently like confuse genders when talking about other people.  Men suddenly becoming women, and women becoming men, and why you should understand the reasoning behind this if it ever happens to you!


PS. Two weeks ago a drunk guy in a pub thought I was Chinese until he sobered up haha.  Just thought I would squeeze that in.


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