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AmoyMagic-- Travel , Resident and Business Guide to Xiamen and Fujian
Xiamen Gulangyu Kulangyu Kolongsoo Kolongsu KulongsuGulangyu
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Jinmen Quemoy Matsu Taiwan
Jinmen
Zhangzhou  changchow Zhangzhou
Discover Quanzhou, ancient start of maritime silk route ( or Zaytun Zaitun Zaiton ) from which Marco Polo sailed,  Sinbad the Arab visited.  ChinchewQuanzhou Wuyi Mountain Guide Zhuxi  tea Wuyi
Favorite Fujian tourist sites , in order: Xiamen Quanzhou Longyan Hakka earthen houses Wuyi mountain Ningde
#1Fujian Sites!
Photographs of Fuhken places like Zhangzhou, Longyan, Ningde, Sanming, Wuyi Mountain
Fujian Foto Album
Guidebooks about Fujian and Xiamen Fujian Adventure Discover Quanzhou Discover Gulangyu Magic Fujian etc.Books on Fujian
Letters from AmoyMagic ReadersReaders'Letters

Ningde Taimu Mountain ZhouningNingde Zhouning Carp VillageZhouning
Longyan Yongding Hakka round houses earthen architectureLongyan Sanming Scenic Wonderland Mingxi Gem bed rubies Sanming

Putian Fujian Xianyou Mazu TemplePutian Fujian covered wooden bridgesBridges
Xiamen travel agents and ticketing for trains, planes and automobiles
Travel Info,
Hakka Earthen architecture Hakka Roundhouses

Xiamen Travel Agents and Tour Guides English SpeakingTravel Agents

MISC. LINKS
Historical and Modern Amoy People -- Colorful Characters!Amoy People! amoy mission missionaries
Darwinian Driving Survival of the Fastest DarwinDarwin Driving
Darwin Chinese Driving Survival of fastest
South China Tigers -- our Amoy Kitty CatsAmoy Tigers
Chinese inventions compass gunpowder printing paper zoos newspaper etc.Chinese Inventions
1994 80 day 40,000 km drive to Tibet & backTibet in 80 Days!forty thousand kilometer drive around China
Dethroned Perils of Chinese Potty ToiletDethroned!
Chinese bathrooms
Writings by Bill Brown about life in China,  Fukien Xiamen etc. Includes 80 Day Drive to Tibet  Darwinian Driving Misc.Writings
Latest news tips ideas updatesLatest News
OpiumWars short history and background of the Opium Wars between China Britain Europe missionaries battle against opium addiction etc.Lord of Opium
Kite Flying in Xiamen ChinaBack to Main Page

Chinese Kung Fu and Martial Arts Korean Tae Kwon Do  Japanese JujitsuMartial arts Chinese Kung FuKung Fu

AmoyMagic--Guide to Xiamen & Fujian
Copyright 2001-7 by Sue Brown & Dr. Bill Help Build an online  community for foreigners.  Join the Xiamen Guide forumOrder Books Common Talk Xiamen Dailys Weekly English SupplementXiamenguide Forum Guide to Xiamen and Fujian business tourism history culture cuisine entertainment investment Guide to Xiamen hsiamen amoy fuhken fukien
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"China--our Matchmaker"
Brown Family Links  AmoyMagic-- Travel , Resident and Business Guide to Xiamen and FujianBrown Family Main Page   AmoyMagic-- Travel , Resident and Business Guide to Xiamen and FujianChina-our Matchmaker!
AmoyMagic-- Travel , Resident and Business Guide to Xiamen and FujianBest Home on Planet
AmoyMagic-- Travel , Resident and Business Guide to Xiamen and FujianHow we Got Here (Sign from the Heavens!)

AmoyMagic-- Travel , Resident and Business Guide to Xiamen and FujianPhoto Page of our 2 Little Laowai in Amoy with Clara (90-93)Photos of Shannon Matthew and Aibei (Clara) from about 1990 to 1903

(Were it not for our mutual interest in China, I’d have neither met nor married my “Made in Taiwan” blond haired, blue-eyed wife! Here’s the story…)Bill and Sue at the dancing fountains of Yuandang Lake Xiamen Fujian China

When I was in 5th grade I was forced to sing in the girls’ section of the chorus because I had a bell-like soprano—the highest voice in school. As boys taunted “Bill's a girl!”, I prayed for puberty, and a “manly” voice. My prayers were answered all too soon. The bell cracked, replaced by an ungainly, adolescent alt, but now that adolescence was upon me with a vengeance I no longer disdained the company of sweet sopranos. I struggled to belt out those high notes that used to come so easily, but my vocal contortions were in vain. The upper octaves were denied me and I was unceremoniously expelled from Eden. Of course, by the time I wanted girls I was too shy to talk to them...

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By age 25, as intimidated as ever by the fairer sex, I swore off girls. With an iron will, I ignored the pretty coeds and glued my eyes to my textbooks. My world shrank to the confines of my dorm room, classrooms, library and cafeteria. My steely resolve lasted all of—two weeks. On Easter Sunday, 1981, a couple I had known in Taiwan invited me and a couple dozen youth to their home for dinner. My fate was sealed.Susan Marie Allison playing guitar in Pasadena California in 1981

No sooner had I crossed their threshold than my eyes were riveted to a young blue-eyed beauty with waves of flaxen hair cascading down her white and blue ski jacket. Mesmerized, I sauntered past her with studied indifference but covertly memorized every inch of her face and form; in my nonchalance I nearly walked into a wall.

I ached to introduce myself, but she was besieged by bolder young men the entire afternoon. By evening I was still a nonentity in her eyes, until my friend told everyone how the county rescue team had tried to rescue me from halfway up a 300 meter cliff the night before, and when their flashlight failed, I rescued one of them instead. My Venus eyed me curiously and I groaned, “Great. Now she thinks I’m a nut.”

Then our host asked her, “Sue, did you know Bill lived in Taiwan and wants to go to China?”

“Really?” she exclaimed. “When were you in Taiwan?”
My mouth went dry, my heart pounded. Don’t blow it, Bill. Keep cool. Just count backwards on your fingers and toes and figure out the years. “Oh, from June 1978 to June 1976,” I said. “No, from ‘76 to ‘78. Have you been to Taiwan?”

“I was born and raised there!” she laughed. “But from June 76 to June 78 I was in the States, so we missed each other!”

The ice broke and I plunged beneath, never in this life to surface.
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For hours we discussed our mutual interest, China. When Sue said she planned to visit her parents at Christmas, I deftly conjured up excuses for me to visit Taiwan as well. “Let’s go together.” And when I overheard she was having car troubles, I gallantly loaned her my car. I roller skated to school anyway—and it gave me an excuse to see her again. . But I needn’t have worried; she agreed to attend a free campus concert on Friday night.

The five days loomed over me like eternity but when the momentous day arrived, we hit it off as if we’d known each other forever, right up until time to say goodbye; then I froze. Timidly, I gave her a friendly hug goodnight; she reciprocated with a kiss that sizzled my socks.

The ice was not only broken but melted. From that date until our marriage in Taiwan ten months later, we saw each other every single day.

The following night we attended a free dinner with African grad students, but freebie dates can’t last forever. Sooner or later I had to put my money where my heart was. For our third date in as many evenings, I invited Sue out to dinner and she showed up in a stunning evening dress and heels, expecting that, like her previous boyfriend, John, I’d take her to a fine restaurant. John was a smartly dressed gentleman who gave her flowers, opened doors for her, took her to elegant restaurants. The consummate gentleman, John was everything I was not.

After years of crushing conformity in the military, I now reveled in playing student and dressing however I felt. I grew a patchy beard and wore ragged, holey army-surplus clothes—a decade before it became fashionable to pay high prices for new clothes that looked old.
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Fortunately, Sue overlooked my slovenly exterior. She also ignored my seeming poverty when I took her to a cheap fast food place rather than a nice restaurant. John spent more money parking his car than I spent on dinner.

Good old John: I met my predecessor the next Sunday at Sue's church. Although he’d already found another girl, the sight of my arms around Sue rekindled his flagging ardor. Sue squirmed awkwardly in John’s warm embrace as he and I stared daggers at one another. If looks could have killed, blood would have flooded the church aisles.

To Sue's chagrin John started haunting her apartment, and I was relieved when she finally exorcised him—until I realized how serious our relationship was becoming. Cold feet!

I knew, of course, I'd never find a more perfect match. American girls born and raised in Taiwan and interested in moving to China don’t just grow on trees. And fewer yet would put up with someone like me. Sue was definitely one of a kind, but I told her frankly that I did not think she could cope with the simpler lifestyle we’d probably face in China.
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She repeatedly reassured me, “Whatever you do, I’ll do.”

I was unconvinced. One evening, in the dorm parking lot, I began to list all the reasons I thought we could never marry. As she listened silently, eyes moist, I mentally kicked myself. Then out of the blue I blurted, “Since we'’e visiting Taiwan in December, maybe we could get married there?”

To this day I’ve no idea how this most unromantic of marriage proposals leaped straight from my heart, bypassed my brain, and dove off my tongue. Sue merely laughed, “You’re joking, aren't you?”

Frankly, I was as surprised by the proposal as she was—but to have her laugh in my face was a bit much. “No, I’m serious!” I protested.

Her eyes widened. “Yes, I’ll marry you!”

Many of Sue’s former classmates participated in our Dec. 1981 wedding in Taipei’s Christ College, though I remember little about the wedding ceremony. I was in shock and might well have abandoned Sue at the altar had her father not had my air tickets. And doubts continued long after the ceremony, but we worked through them over the years, one by one, and our marriage is stronger for it.
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Too many marriages today, built upon mere infatuation and raging hormones (which I well relate to), fail because they lack growth, commitment, and that unpopular word, sacrifice. This is my wife’s most admirable quality: her capacity for sacrifice.

True to her wedding vow of “for better or for worse,” Sue never complained about my grad student’s Spartan lifestyle. This made me all the prouder when my small company flourished and a six-figure income helped me to give her a better lifestyle than she’d expected when she married me. But my heart was still on China, and the more we lived the so-called American Dream, the more I worried, “Could Sue abandon all of this and move to China? Or for that matter, could I?”
In 1987, I hesitantly asked her, “What would you think of selling our business now and moving to China?” My timing was not the best. Sue was nursing one baby and about to have another. But more confident than I, she assured me, “If you feel its right, let’s go.”
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Within a year we’d burned our bridges and, with two young sons, moved to Xiamen. It was a stressful transition, but we’ve never regretted it. Life in China has been more rewarding than we could have ever imagined.

The Browns--Susan, Matthew, Shannon and Bill, in the Mongolian Restaurant in Xiamen  Amoy Magic--Guide to Xiamen and Fujian  tourism, history, culture, business, investment, trade, xiamen university Looking back, from 5th grade chorus to marriage was an awfully long row to hoe, but it was well worth the harvest! I could not imagine life with anyone but my “made in Taiwan” wife, or anywhere but in China!

Arranged marriages might indeed have their advantages—such as sparing us insecure males the agonies of dating. But who on earth could have ever arranged such an unlikely marriage as mine? Such marriages aren’t arranged, they’re made in heaven.

And since it was our mutual interest in China that brought us together, you might say that China was our matchmaker!
Thank you, China!

Brown Family Links  AmoyMagic-- Travel , Resident and Business Guide to Xiamen and FujianBrown Family Main Page   AmoyMagic-- Travel , Resident and Business Guide to Xiamen and FujianChina-our Matchmaker!
AmoyMagic-- Travel , Resident and Business Guide to Xiamen and FujianBest Home on Planet
AmoyMagic-- Travel , Resident and Business Guide to Xiamen and FujianHow we Got Here (Sign from the Heavens!)

AmoyMagic-- Travel , Resident and Business Guide to Xiamen and FujianPhoto Page of our 2 Little Laowai in Amoy with Clara (90-93)Photos of Shannon Matthew and Aibei (Clara) from about 1990 to 1903


TRAVEL LINKS Hakka Earthen architecture Favorite Fujian Sites Photographs of Fuhken places like Zhangzhou, Longyan, Ningde, Sanming, Wuyi MountainFujian Foto Album AmoyMagic-- Travel , Resident and Business Guide to Xiamen and FujianXiamen Gulangyu Kulangyu Kolongsoo Kolongsu KulongsuGulangyu Guide to Fukien Fuhken Fujian Guides Mystic Quanzhou -- the fabled port of Zayton ( or Zaytun Zaitun Zaiton ) from which Marco Polo sailed,  Sinbad the Arab visited.  ChinchewQuanzhou Zhangzhou  changchow Zhangzhou Longyan Yongding Liancheng Changting Amoy Tigers LianchengLongyan Wuyi Mountain Guide Zhuxi  tea Wuyi Mtn Ningde Taimu Mountain ZhouningNingde Putian Fujian Xianyou Mazu TemplePutian Sanming Scenic Wonderland Mingxi Gem bed rubies Sanming Zhouning Carp VillageZhouning Hakka Earthen architecture Taimu Mtn. Hakka Earthen architecture Roundhouses Fujian covered wooden bridgesBridges Hakka Earthen architecture Jiangxi Hakka Earthen architecture Guilin Help Build an online  community for foreigners.  Join the Xiamen Guide forumOrder Books   Letters from AmoyMagic ReadersReaders' Letters

Gulangyu Kulangyu Kolongsoo Kolongsu Kulongsu
Gulangyu

Guide to Xiamen University Historic and modern, including departments -- Arts Science computers mathematics accounting management law department etc.Xiamen Univ

Mystic Quanzhou -- the fabled port of Zayton ( or Zaytun Zaitun Zaiton ) from which Marco Polo sailed,  Sinbad the Arab visited.  Chinchew
Quanzhou

AmoyMagic-- Travel , Resident and Business Guide to Xiamen and Fujian
XiamenGuide


Fujian Adv

Guide to Fukien Fuhken  Bilingual Chinese English Parallel with MP3 CDFujianGuide

Click to e-mail Dr. Bill Brown or Susan BrownClick to E-mail Email address for Bill and Sue Brown     Letters from AmoyMagic ReadersReaders'Letters

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DAILY LINKS
Frequently Asked Questions about Xiamen andFujianFAQs Questions?
Info on apartments or houses in Xiamen, real estate agentsReal Estate
Xiamen Shopping guide malls supermarketsShopping Download  Xiamen MapsMaps
Xiamen BookstoresBookstores
Train rail schedule for Xiamen, fukien Trains Amoy Bus ScheduleBusses
Car rental rent a car or van with driver in xiamen and fujianCar Rental

Xiamen hotels guesthouses hostels Hotels English News Services sources in Xiamen Fujian ChinaNews (CT)
Doctors Dentists Hospitals Clinics in Xiamen Jimei and Tong'an Medical & Dental
Xiamen YMCA and YWCAYMCA Volunteer! Xiamen International Christian Fellowship Expat Nondenominational interdenominational
Xiamen International Christian FellowshipXICF Fellowship 
Xiamen Churches Protestant Catholic Seventh Day Adventist Amoy Mission Missionaries AbeelChurches Islamic Muslim Mosques Ashab Quanzhou Damascus Fuzhou Xiamen
Xiamen and Fujian Buddhist Taoist Confucian Temples Mazu Manichean Hindu IslamicTemplesXiamen and Fujian Temples and Mosques  Buddhism Confucian Taoism Taoist Buddhism Mazu Matsu Meizhou IslandXiamen and Fujian  Mosques Islamic Muslim Ashab Mosque Quanzhou Fuzhou  Mohammed Disciples DamascusMosque

Xiamen Expat Association Welcome SupportExpat Groups
Hire a Maid Household help servant baomu amah etc.Maids Xiamen Emergency and Frequently used telephone numbersPhone #s

EDUCATION
Xiamen University GuideXiamen University
Xiamen International School  International Baccalaureate ProgramXIS(Int'l School)
Study Mandarin Chinese or Minnan Dialect at Xiamen University  or with private tutorStudy Mandarin
 
China Studies Program Xiamen University  Council for Christian Colleges and Universities Washington D.C. Jay LundeliusCSP(China Studies)
Piano Island Music Events Xiamen Philharmonic OrchestraLibrary Xiamen Museum Library Science Center  World's largest organ museum Asia's largest piano museum China's first anthropology museum Sino Eurolpean art museum etc.Museums
History of Amoy Changchow Chinchew Zaiton Fukien etc.History
DINING
Xiamen restaurants dining western and Chinese cuisineRestaurants Xiamen Asian restaurants -- Singapore Thailand Thai Malaysian  Japanese Korean PhilippineAsian
Xiamen Vegetarian cuisine Nanputuo Temple Seventh Day Adventist Health foodVeggie Xiamen Restaurants Fast Food McDonalds KFC Kentucky Fried Chicken Pizza Hut Burger King (just kidding!) Cafes Coffee shopsJunk Food
Xiamen restaurants dining western and Chinese cuisineChinese Xiamen Italian Restaurants -- over 40!  Pizza pasta cheeseItalian
Western (Internationall) Cuisine in XiamenInternationalAlien visa info -- Americans, Europeans E.T. Outer space visitors
Chinese visa and passport informationVisas 4 aliens
RECREATION
Hakka Earthen architecture Massage!
Hakka Earthen architecture Beaches Kite Flying in Xiamen ChinaFly Kites
Sports -- Golf, Badminton Tennis Bowling Paint BallSports Xiamen Boardwalk One of the most beautiful boardwalks in China or anywhere else.  Along the Island Ring road over 6km long so far.Boardwalk
Xiamen Parks, recreation, hiking boardwalk etcParks Xiamen Museum Library Science Center etcPets
Bird watching in Xiamen Amoy  SwinhoeBirdwatching
Martial arts Chinese Kung FuKung Fu Hiking around Xiamen BushwalksHiking
Piano Island Music Events Xiamen Philharmonic OrchestraMusic Events
Chinese festivals and culture minnanFestival&Culture
Chinese Jokes Humor Funny China photosHumor&Chinese Jokes Humor Funny China photosFun Fotosfunny photos of China
BUSINESS
Doing Business Invest in Xiamen Fujian ChinaDoing Business
Work or teach in Xiamen, Quanzhou or other Fujian schools and universities  English French RussianJobs!(teach/work)
Hire permanent or temporary workers labor craftsmen maids tutorsHire Workers
Foreign Companies in Xiamen Joint Ventures Foreign Companies
China International Fair for Investment and Trade and Cross Straits Exchanges
CIFIT (Trade Fair)
Common Talk Xiamen Dailys Weekly English SupplementMTS(Translation)

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