This is China part 1 – Review

A huge thanks to the reader who left the following review of This is China : Misadventures in the Middle Kingdom Part 1: The North on Amazon.

“This guy writes really, really well!

Alex Coverdale tells a compelling, revealing story. He hooks you right away, is fun and funny, and, seemingly, extremely honest.

Through Coverdale relaying his encounters and stumbles during his first couple years in China, an uninitiated Western reader is introduced to many of the unique — and sometimes delightful — quirks of Chinese culture. And some of the ins and outs of a young man romancing young Chinese women.

A thoroughly enjoyable read.”

5/5 stars.

What People are Saying…

When Alex Coverdale’s first book was published in 2018 it was an immediate sensation, quickly attaining Amazon #1 Bestseller status.

Here are the views of some of the customers.

“The writing felt very personal and real. At the end of the book I felt like l had lived another life…an interesting one to boot. Good job.”

“The author was the forbidden fruit to Chinese girls and in describing his experiences he gives some insights into the Chinese remake mindset. And this is the most valuable part of his book.”

“Highly recommended for those interested in the expat teacher lifestyle in China.”

“A great insight to how another part of the world works.”

A new, updated version of the book is available in serialized form on paperback and ebook now.

See here for more information.

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This is China: Misadventures in the Middle Kingdom Part 2 – Hunan Province (Extract)

After fleeing recession-hit Britain in September 2007, I spent a year living and working as an English teacher in Beijing before meeting a girl and moving to Tianjin, northern China, which is very much like a Chinese Middlesbrough. If you’ve never heard of Middlesbrough, then you get my point. Needless to say, the girl promptly dumped me for another guy leaving me in a strange city in a foreign country with no friends and a job I hated. I taught in a primary school, and though they were sweet and adorable on the outside, on the inside those kids were the embodiment of evil. They almost broke me. I spiralled into a life of booze, solitude and borderline depression, punctuated only by the occasional bout of meaningless sex. I didn’t think I would survive another Tianjin winter, and overall the place didn’t leave a good impression on me, so I decided to run down my contract at my school and move somewhere else in China. Hopefully, somewhere warmer.

I didn’t want to teach kids anymore, so I found a job as a writing instructor at HMMC (Hunan Mass Media College) in Changsha, Hunan Province, which was about as close to journalism as I could get at the time. I didn’t know anything about Changsha. But by this time I’d learned not to jump into anything blind, so I did some research. Located on the Xiang River, Changsha is described as a ‘culturally important’ city, though not internationally recognized in the same way Beijing and Shanghai are, and has over 3,000 years of history. It was occupied by the Japanese for a short time during the Japanese-Sino war of 1937-45, and is the place where Mao Zedong (Chairman Mao, the revolutionary founding father of the PRC) went to school and converted to communism. These days, it is better known as both a commercial center and an entertainment hub, and is home of Hunan TV, one of the biggest channels in the country which pumps out endless variety and talent shows which the Chinese lap up.

Juliet, a girl I’d met whilst travelling in Shanghai two years earlier, came to meet me the day I arrived and brought a suitcase with her meaning, I assumed, she planned on staying for a while. That was fine by me. I hadn’t seen her for ages, and we had a lot of catching up to do. The very first night, things started getting hot and steamy. While we were kissing and fumbling on the sofa, she asked if I had a condom. I didn’t. But I remembered my contact from the college telling me there was a twenty four -hour supermarket nearby. I didn’t remember exactly where, but how hard could it be to find?

I grabbed a handful of money, ran out the door, down three flights of stairs, out of the apartment block and down the road. It took a while, but I eventually found the supermarket and stocked up on condoms and soft drinks. As I left, I was hit with a realization. I didn’t actually know where I lived. I was completely lost. I’d been so excited about the prospect of finally bedding Juliet that I’d left the apartment without my phone. I didn’t even know the name of my street. I’d only got off the plane about six hours earlier.

So I stumbled around for most of the night clutching a pack of unopened condoms and whimpering softly to myself. I tried to retrace my steps, but found that almost every building looked the same, especially in the dark. I eventually found my apartment again a few hours later but by then, Juliet was sound asleep and the moment had passed. I figured having waited over two years already, another day or two wouldn’t matter too much.

This is China: Misadventures in the Middle Kingdom Part 2 – Hunan Province is available now on paperback and ebook

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Dating Chinese Women – The Phone Number Conundrum

When you’re out and about in China, don’t be surprised if girls come up to you and ask for your phone number. Guys do it, too. That’s a little disconcerting, but is a product of the general kudos that comes with having foreign ‘friends,’ especially in the smaller towns and cities where it’s more of a novelty.

Take it in your stride and don’t get too excited. The phone number thing can lead to all kinds of misunderstandings. In Western culture, if a girl comes up and asks for your number, or even better, gives you hers, you could be forgiven for thinking you’d be onto a winner. Otherwise, she wouldn’t give you her number, right?

Wrong.

It’s not that simple in China. Most things aren’t that simple in China. There are huge cultural differences.

Let’s, for example, say that you are out walking one afternoon, meet a woman, make a bit of small talk and exchange phone numbers. You might go home and send her a text message. The odds are, she won’t reply.

Yeah, she might be busy, so you leave it a day or two and text her again.

No reply.

If she is especially hot, or you are especially desperate, you might try one more time.

Still no reply.

It’s at this point that most Western guys give up, because in our culture if a girl doesn’t reply to your messages she isn’t interested.

Not necessarily so in China.

There, they value patience and persistence much more than western girls do. If you ask Chinese couples to tell you how they met, it’s not unusual to hear slightly creepy tales of overly possessive behaviour and what, to our Western minds, sound a lot like stalking. One girl I know told me that her then-boyfriend won her over by standing outside her dormitory every night and following her whenever she went out. In the end, she just gave in and ‘accepted’ his love, whereas most Western women probably would have called the police.

If you concede defeat the girl will conclude you didn’t really like her much anyway, otherwise you wouldn’t have given up so easily.

Get it?

Extracted from the book Dating Chinese Women: Tips, Tricks & Techniques. Available in ebook and paperback NOW

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Lisa, the Thai Bar Girl

The moment we walked into this bar, the girl he’d met before made a beeline for Chris, and one of her friends, who happened to be one of the hottest girls I’d ever seen (at least with beer goggles on) came over and started stroking my leg. She was in her early twenties, and had platinum dyed blonde hair. I called her Lisa because I couldn’t pronounce her real name. She didn’t seem to mind. As we swigged beer, with me paying for the drinks, obviously, she told me she was a member of the Shan ethnic minority, predominantly from Myanmar but also to be found in China (some historians believe they originally migrated from Yunnan province), Laos and, yes, Thailand. Especially Chiang Mai.

For the next two hours, Lisa was the perfect companion. She was attentive, charming, funny. She laughed at my jokes and went to the bar to get my beer whenever my bottle ran empty. She didn’t ask for any expensive cocktails. She did ask me to buy her a beer, but then she gave it to me anyway.

At some point, she asked me if I would like to take her home. I absolutely did, but I needed to check something first. I told her that I was wary of ladyboys. “You think I’m a guy?” she asked, plucked, shaped eyebrows arching in surprise. She looked a little offended, which made me feel bad.

“You can never be too careful,” I said. I’d seen some very impressive-looking dudes during my time in Thailand. My fears were allayed when Lisa took my hand and put it up her skirt. There was no penis. The only thing hiding in her underwear was a deliciously shaven pussy, and it was already wet.

When the bar closed at midnight, we went for a meal with some of her colleagues, a ladyboy and a lesbian. It was possibly the most bizarre supper I’ve ever had, but they were good people. They even offered to pay for my meal. When we finished, Lisa and I walked back to Zz House. The place was quiet, the communal area deserted. Thankfully, everyone was in bed. There was no shame in taking home a bar girl. It’s pretty much accepted, and I made no secret of my intentions that night. I just prefer being discreet.

My room was on the ground floor. We went inside, sat on the bed, talked for a while, then she took off her dress. Her body was flawless. Soft, silky, slender and smooth. I put on a condom and pulled her on top of me so I could penetrate her from the bottom. She had large, pert breasts for an Asian girl, and I wanted to take full advantage of them.

Unusually for a working girl, it seemed she genuinely enjoyed it. Especially when I put her on her hands and knees and did her from behind. Believe it or not, I’ve fucked a lot of girls, including a fair amount of hookers, and I can tell when the moans are real and when they are fake. It felt like we had a genuine bond, which fit in with what other working girls in Thailand I’d talked to said about picking and choosing their clients.

At one point, I opened up and told her about the Lucy situation, and she said, “What do you expect? We have a saying in Thailand. If you date a Chinese or Japanese girl, you have a baby.”

I could see her point.

The whole experience with Lisa was like the perfect one night stand, from meeting an attractive girl in a bar, buying her drinks and making small talk all evening, then taking her home and fucking her brains out.

When we finished, she asked if she could stay the night because she was tired. I’d already hidden my passport, credit card, and cash, just in case, so I agreed, and we curled up naked and sweaty in each other’s arms.

This is an extract from Thailand: 27 days of Sin, available now on ebook and paperback.

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Finding Women in China – Off the Beaten Track

If going to bars and clubs isn’t your thing, don’t worry about it. You will also find an abundance of single ladies in shopping malls, cafes, supermarkets, parks, museums, libraries and public attractions of all descriptions.

Chinese women have pre-conceived ideas of what a ‘gentleman’ is, and it’s easy to play up to that. Introduce yourself and pretend to be lost, or ask for directions. A nice trick is to ask her opinion on something. This gives the impression that you value her thoughts and ideas. You can expect to be rejected a lot, obviously. But this is a numbers game, so the more women you approach the higher your chances become. It’s like being a footballer. The more shots you attempt, the more goals you score.

Approach them in much the same way you would a western girl, but with one crucial difference:

You don’t need any fancy openers here.

You’re foreign, so she’s already interested in what you have to say. Just be non-threatening, smile a lot, and over polite. Preface whatever you say with, “Excuse me, miss. Do you speak any English?” The vast majority speak at least some, but you are also giving her a convenient ‘get out’ clause. If she isn’t interested she can just say “no” and you can both move on.

Taking part in extra-curricular activities is another good way to meet women. Join a gym, a social club, or a Chinese class and look out for cultural events and activities like dumpling making and tea ceremony classes. Chinese women are very proud of their culture and history, and would love to tell you more about it. Also, the male-female ratio at most of these events is heavily weighted in your favour. Bonus.

If that’s too much trouble, volunteer for English corners or English clubs. You won’t have to spend too long looking for them. As soon as the people who run them find out there is a new foreigner in town, they’ll be begging you to get involved. Many private schools run such events to attract new students, and it isn’t unheard of for teachers at different places to swap duties and appear at each other’s English corners just to meet new women.

Extracted from the book Dating Chinese Women: Tips, Tricks & Techniques. Available in ebook and paperback NOW!

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Meeting Anna – A Chinese Love Story

One afternoon I was having lunch with a student in the school canteen, when I spotted a girl in a pretty yellow dress. I watched her for a while from a distance. She was fascinating. She was quite tall, slim, and moved with the kind of graceful finesse you only ever see in dancers. I couldn’t take my eyes off her.

“What are you looking at?” asked the student I was with.

“That girl,” I replied, wistfully. “She’s beautiful.”

“Which one?” he said, craning his neck. “I don’t see her.”

“She’s right there, in a yellow dress.”

“That one?” he asked, standing up and unashamedly pointing a finger.

“Yes.”

“Not beautiful,” he said, sitting back down. “What’s wrong with you?”

The conventional Chinese idea of beauty is very different to the western idea. To be considered attractive to Chinese guys, girls have to fulfil certain criteria. They should have big eyes, a small nose, high cheekbones, narrow jaw, and fair skin, and there is quite a lot of pressure on girls to tick as many of those boxes as they can. During my time in China, I was faced with more than one girl crying on my shoulder because she thought her eyes were too small.

That said, at least the student knew what he was looking for in a girl. When he asked me to describe my idea of beauty, I had no answer. Instead I just nodded at the girl in the yellow dress and said, “She’s fit.”

“If you like her,” he said, “Go ask her phone number. With face like that, she’s definitely single.”

That was a damning verdict if I ever heard one. It had a lot to do with the language barrier. He was trying gamely to communicate in something other than his native language. But the Chinese in general can be quite abrupt and pragmatic when they want to be. There’s very little room for niceties. The challenge also put me in a bad position as I’d spent the past hour giving the kid a motivational speech about being brave and going after what he wanted in life. I’d left myself no other option but to pull myself together and strut over.

I caught the girl just as she was leaving. Stepping into my confident shoes I introduced myself and asked for her phone number. The girl looked shocked and bewildered. For one awful moment, I thought she was going to run for the door.

“Mine?” she said, looking around.

“Yes. Yours.”

“But I never talk to foreigner before.”

“Cool. I can be your first.”

Her English name was Anna, and she was from Inner Mongolia, studying at a university in Tianjin, a city just north of Beijing. She was in town visiting her friend, and my student had been right, she was single.

We exchanged a few messages over the next couple of days and she came back to Beijing the following weekend, this time to see me. We went for a curry at a restaurant on one of the top levels of the U Centre, a shiny new shopping mall in Wudaokou. It was the first time she’d ever tried Indian food. In fact, it was probably the first time she’d tried anything else other than Chinese food. Anna was blessed with a childlike innocence it was hard not to like, and her enthusiasm knew no bounds. When she looked at me, her eyes would widen and everything I said or did was, “Very interesting!”

At the end of the evening I walked her to her friend’s place where she was staying, thanked her for her time and turned to walk away. Then I heard her call my name and turned around.

“I miss you,” she said.

“You can’t miss me,” I replied, a little confused. “I haven’t even gone yet.”

“I want to see your apartment.”

I tried to do the right thing and dissuade her. Honest. I had plans to meet Phil and Dave, the other foreign teachers, at a nearby bar for a drink that night. But she was adamant. They say it’s the quiet ones you need to watch, and in this case ‘they’ were right. The moment we were through the door, she was tugging at my jeans.

I have a theory about this. I think Chinese society is so restrictive that a lot of people feel they have to rebel against it, though not in an overt way because that would draw attention to them, so they contain themselves until opportunities like this arise. Then, with all the pent-up tension and frustration, all hell breaks loose and they over-compensate. Within minutes, Anna had my cock in her mouth and was slurping at it greedily.

And that was when Phil and Dave decided to call.

I did what anyone else would probably have done, and let the phone ring. Fuck it.

“Aren’t you going to answer that?” asked Anna, through a mouth full of cock.

“It can wait.”

“Answer it.”

I answered it. Then proceeded to have a very awkward conversation with Phil and Dave about why I couldn’t meet them.

“Tell them what I doing to you,” Anna said, looking up at me.

“Are you sure?”

“Tell them.”

“I can’t come out because a girl I met in the canteen is giving me a blow job.”

“Fuck off!”

“Seriously.”

It soon became apparent that Anna wasn’t so innocent, after all. She loved sex, and had a penchant for doing it in public places. The more risqué the better. In the coming weeks we did it in at least two public parks and next to the lake at the Summer Palace, which I’m pretty sure is a crime punishable by death. She just undid my flies, hitched up her dress, and sat on me while I was relaxing on a bench.

One day, she asked me what the worst word in the English language was. I thought about it for a while, then decided ‘cunt’ was about as bad as it gets and told her what it meant. A few weeks later, she sent possibly the most disturbing text message I’ve ever received in my life.

MY HONEY, TODAY I AM NOT FEEL SO GOOD. MY CUNT IS BLEEDING.

Wow.

Extracted from the #1 Amazon Bestseller Yellow Fever: Love & Sex in China, out now on ebook and paperback.

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Interview with Alex Coverdale – Part 4

Last time, we discussed our two favourite topics – sex and women. Now, in the final instalment, we talk about the ‘best’ and ‘worst,’ future projects, and some random shit.

Of all your adventures, what’s the most incredible thing you’ve ever done?

That would be a long list. I couldn’t possibly choose just one thing. I’ve been lucky enough to meet a lot of celebrities in my line of work. I’m almost disappointed at the fact that the vast majority of them are just normal people, except they all have more money than me. As for activities, looking for dinosaur eggs in the Gobi desert, which I talk about in Yellow Fever – Love & Sex in China, is right up there, so is taking a helicopter to the top of a mountain to watch people ski off it in Zermatt, Switzerland. Just visiting America is an eye-opening experience. It’s just like being in a TV show. As for specific places to visit, I would recommend Granada in Spain, Pingyao in China, Milan, Italy, and London has a special buzz about it that’s unlike anywhere else in the world.

Where is the best place you’ve ever visited?

I think Beijing just pips London. I lived there for a year during Olympic year in 2008, and there was such an air of excitement. During that time, I learned a lot about China, the media, and the world in general. I loved hanging out in the Hutongs, and being able to visit world-famous places like The Great Wall and Forbidden City whenever I felt like. The only downside is all the people. It’s overcrowded and polluted.

And the worst?

I lived in the St Mary’s district of Southampton for a while when I was a student. That was an experience. It used to be the red light district. The house was falling to bits, and there was a crazy German girl living upstairs. She used to catch mice and keep them in glass jars in her room. Very weird.

So far, you’ve only really written about Asia. Any plans to address some other continents?

Maybe. I’ve been considering writing a book about my younger days when I travelled around Europe more. I spent a lot of time in Spain. The problem is, that was so long ago I can’t really remember much. It doesn’t help that I was wasted most of the time. It would have to be more of a memoir, because any information I could give will be outdated by now.

What do you do when you are NOT writing or travelling?

I write horror fiction under another name. As I explained before, I have different names for different kinds of writing as they generally don’t cross over very well. Other than that, I am a big sports fan. I love football  and MMA. I did karate to a reasonably high level when I was younger. Now I prefer to just read about it, haha.

If you could teleport to another place, right now, where would you go?

It would be a toss-up between Selena Gomez’s bed, or Rio de Janeiro. Probably Rio, I wouldn’t want to freak Selena out too much. She’s far too delicate.

My latest release, Dating Chinese Women – Tips, Tricks & Techniques, is available now on ebook and paperback.

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Interview with Alex Coverdale – Part 3

Last time, we talked about travel destinations and offered some advice for solo travelers. Now, we turn our attention to sex and women.

What kind of women do you go for?

I get asked that question a lot. I love oriental women. If I was explaining this to a woman, I’d be more sensitive about it and say something about how much I love their character and caring attitude. But the truth is, my attraction is way more physical. I just love dark hair, skin and eyes. I haven’t dated a Caucasian woman in years.

Let’s talk about sex!

Okay.

How old were you when you lost your virginity?

Fifteen. In a cold, wet alley on Christmas Eve. She was Eighteen. It was shit. I was drunk, and had no idea what I was doing anyway so she had to go on top. I remember going home with all the skin on my ass shredded. I saw her again a couple of weeks later and asked if I could walk her home. She said, “No, I’d better not. My fiancé is here and we’re getting married in two weeks!”

How many women have you slept with?

I don’t know. I stopped counting in my mid-twenties. Back then it was a dozen or so. Things moved up several gears when I moved to China. Suddenly, I didn’t even have to try any more. I just had to be there, and girls would flock to me. I’m not special, they do it with most white guys. After I learned a bit about them, and adjusted to the various social differences, I couldn’t fail. You can read about all this in Dating Chinese Women – Tips, Tricks & Techniques. By the time I left China I suppose my grand total would be fifty or so. If you include ones I’ve paid for it would be double. Plus another dozen since I left.

So you still meet Chinese girls? How?

Sure. I dated three last year alone. I have my methods, none of which would be possible without my smartphone. The last one I slept with I met on Facebook about two years ago. We had a mutual friend and she just popped up in my feed. A few months ago she visited England on a student exchange program, so I went to the city she was staying in, took her to dinner, and then back to my hotel. It was one of the best nights of my life.

What kind of lover are you?

Very generous. Here’s my Number One tip; make sure the lady comes first. Use your tongue, you fingers, whatever it takes. Then, you can pretty much do what you want with her, and she won’t even care if you manage two pumps and a squirt. I am quit vanilla, though. I’ve been around and had a lot of experiences, but nothing too weird.

What’s the weirdest you got?

A couple of years ago I met a Chinese student in London. One thing led to another, and we ended up in bed back at her place. It was all going well until she started saying things like, “Fuck me harder, daddy,” and asking me to hurt her. I’m not into sadism. Each to their own, but I think sex should be a pleasurable experience, not a painful one. I didn’t mind the daddy talk. That was hot. But that got old when, after we’d finished bumping uglies, she turned to me and asked me to tell her a story.

Do you worry about your sexual health?

Not at all. I almost always use condoms, and I get regular health checks. By the way, when you travel, especially to Asia, always take condoms with you. There are a lot of fake products available, even in big stores, and one thing you can’t afford to take chances on is condoms. In some countries, notably Thailand, you might find the sizes are naturally smaller which means they are less comfortable and more prone to breaking.

My latest book, Dating Chinese Women – Tips, Tricks & Techniques, is available now on ebook and paperback.

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Interview with Alex Coverdale – Part 2

Last time, we talked about the pseudonym, the books, and the message. This time, we cover travel destinations and offer some advice for solo travellers.

Which places have you visited?

All four countries in the UK; England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales. A lot of people outside Europe don’t appreciate the fact that the UK consists of four distinct countries. But it does, and they are all very different. Then there’s China and Thailand, which I’ve written about at length, and Spain, Italy, France, Germany, Holland, Belgium, Switzerland, Greece, Russia, Azerbaijan, America. I have a real soft spot for Ibiza and Majorca, the Spanish islands. I love the climate and the lifestyle in Spain.

Why do you love travel so much?

It’s a big part of my life. Sometimes I travel for work, other times for pleasure. I just want to see and experience as much as I can. It’s such a rich and diverse world out there. I read that Lonely Planet quote when I was quite young (‘The world is a book, and if you don’t travel, you only read one page’) and that had a profound effect on me. I grew up in one of those small towns where everyone knows each other and everyone knows everyone else’s business. Frankly, I couldn’t wait to leave.

Where else is on your list?

Anywhere I haven’t yet been. I’m planning a trip to Vietnam, Indonesia or Cambodia within the next year. I’d like to stay a while, though, so I might try to find a job over there for a few months. That’s the best way to truly experience a place. If you just go on a holiday and then come back you only get a taste. It’s like going to a bar, ordering a beer, and only having a few sips. I want to drink the whole glass, then probably get another. No doubt there’ll be a book about my adventures.

What general advice would you give to solo travellers?

Do your research. Get to know a bit about your destination before you leave. Don’t only look for the night spots, read up on the climate so you’ll know what clothes to take and things like local customs and, political situation, and other things that may affect your trip. If you are trying to save money, spend a bit of time on price comparison sites and factor in things like departure and arrival times. If, for example, you arrive in a city at 6 am, remember you won’t be able to check into your hotel until one or two o’clock in the afternoon, so make sure you have somewhere to go. Book an extra night if you have to. Sometimes, it’s much cheaper to fly into less fashionable cities or airports. Finally, travel light. I see a lot of people dragging too much stuff around with them. All you really need should be able to fit into a decent-sized backpack. If you only have one bag, you won’t have to check it in then wait for it at baggage reclaim. Bonus!

What do you look for when you travel?

I’m a man of simple pleasures. I like hot girls, sunshine, pretty places and cold beer. I’m generally more attracted to places of natural beauty rather than cities, but they obviously have their advantages.

What’s the worst experience you’ve had whilst travelling?

When I was younger I travelled from the UK to Rotterdam in Holland for a concert by coach. That was a gruelling experience. It took about 20 hours to get there, and soon after I arrived I got robbed in a cafe. I bought a cup of coffee, turned around for a moment, and when I turned back, my bags were gone. Luckily, all my important stuff like money and passport were in my pockets.

On the way back, our coach passed through France and was stopped by French border police. They made us all get off the coach and take our luggage into this little room. They were looking for drugs. I smoked a lot of weed back then, and I had some cigarette papers on me. The police found them and took me into this little room to be strip-searched and interrogated. I remember being freezing cold, wearing only a pair of socks, being questioned at gun point. Those police searched everywhere. And I mean everywhere. Except in between my toes, where I’d stashed my dope.

My latest release, Dating Chinese Women – Tips, Tricks, & Techniques, is out now on paperback and ebook.

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