So I'm going to talk to the one person who might be able to analyze my neurosis -- Dr.Peter Loewenberg, historian, psychoanalyst and my father." She then sits down with him at a lakeside cafe in Hangzhou for a discussion.For Loewenberg, history was the reason, and a powerful one at that but wasn't there more to it?
"You usually see Jewish women married to Chinese men." Arnold's words hit me like a jolt of caffeine — I'd never heard this before. When I first visited Kaifeng, China in 1999, I learned about the city's Sephardic Jewish community, which lasted over 700 years.
As a Western woman married to a Chinese man, I knew I was a minority when compared to the ubiquitous couples of Western men and Chinese women around the world. Later, when I lived in Shanghai, I read a magazine article about the Jews of Shanghai, who found refuge there in the 1930s during the Holocaust.
Suddenly, I remembered what a Chinese-American Ivy League graduate once told me -- that the 80 percent of Chinese men at his university who didn't date Asians dated Jewish women.
While that statistic might be difficult to verify and is likely inflated, the statement was nonetheless an interesting observation, intriguing.
"Let me ask you a psychoanalytic question," said Loewenberg.
"What do you think my obsession with finding a Chinese husband has to do with my relationship with my father, and his relationship with his mother?"As my father returns to America and I return to Beijing, I can't help but wonder if perhaps one day my Chinese grandchildren will look back at the choices I made in life and love, and marvel at how their family survived the burdens of history," said Loewenberg. Her romance with Chinese men had such an epic background, intertwined in the history and culture her people shared with China for thousands of years.My story, on the other hand, began with a serendipitous, last-minute decision to teach in China.After seeing Sexy Beijing's two-part "Freudian Episode," I think Loewenberg would agree with her."Why is it that I find Chinese men so fascinating, so masculine, and so very sexy? "I just can't seem to get over this obsession with Chinese men.When he asked me, over coffee, I shook my head and smiled. " I waited for the usual explanation — my name — but it never came.