Visit to Harbin Ice City in 2017 for Valentine's Day

Valentine’s Day: How WWAMs Embrace the Holiday

Valentine’s Day is a time for love and romance. How do WWAMs embrace the holiday in their own unique ways? We asked our contributors to share their Valentine’s Day stories:

Our Marrentine’s Day
By Laura Nutchey-Feng

When I was young, I always used to put quite a bit of pressure on Valentine’s Day. It had to be celebrated! Something special had to happen! Chocolates, gifts, fancy dinner – I wanted it all.

However, in recent years, I have undergone a slight transformation in my way of thinking. I just got a little bit irritated with the incredibly overpriced Valentine’s menus that we would get in Nanjing or Beijing that were just horrendously expensive. I didn’t see the point of paying so much money just because there’s some date that someone at some point decided is now going to be the day of luuuuurv.

This shift in opinion coincided with the fact that we got married in 2015 on the 9th of February. And so I decided the year after that we would stop celebrating Valentine’s Day on actual Valentine’s Day but rather merge both of them – our anniversary and Valentine’s day – into a fun little fusion love day of our own.

Which means we can go to restaurants on days that are not Valentine’s Day and therefore are affordable and we still have fun.

In February of 2017 I even decided to organise a trip to Harbin to see the ice city. This coincided with the end of the two-week CNY celebrations and so we could watch the fireworks for this occasion from our cosy, warm hotel. That “Marrentine’s” was probably my favourite in our 8 years so far.

A Very Green Card Valentine’s Day
By Jocelyn Eikenburg

The entry-exit bureau wouldn’t land on a list of most romantic venues. Furrowed brows, not smiles, prevailed under the fluorescent lighting, as foreigners, with expressions ranging from bored to bothered, waited to be called to discuss a visa application or renewal with a uniformed officer. And yet that’s where my husband and I kicked off our Valentine’s Day last year.

We had an appointment that morning at the bureau to submit my Chinese green card application. While Feb. 14 wasn’t the only date available when making a reservation, it felt apropos. Love had brought us together and sustained our marriage over the years, opening up the possibility for a Chinese green card.

When we left the bureau that morning, Jun said, “Just think — next year this time, you’ll have a green card.” I was skeptical, as some applicants had waited a year or more. But sure enough, in October 2022, I received the “magic call” — my Chinese green card was ready for pickup after nearly eight months.

On Valentine’s Day this year, we’ll mark the start of my green card application at the entry-exit bureau. It may not seem romantic, but this office will always stir up fond memories in our hearts.

Jocelyn Eikenburg
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