"...he talked of marriage and how after three or more years he would find a wife. There were often schedules like this for the young Chinese I knew; they were pragmatists about love as well as politics and nearly everything else. The young man explained his reasons - in three years he would be twenty eight years old, which was neither too young nor too old, and by then he should have enough money to get married."
This is another quote from Rivertown by Peter Hessler that I identify with. My students here in China and many people in Korea when I go back to visit ask when I plan to marry. Well, if my plans would actually work, I would have planned to get married a few years ago. I guess, if I look at it from their perspective, they are young and can still have ideas that life can be planned out according to what is expected of them and what they want.
When I am asked this question, I smile and ask them how it's possible to plan things like that. They smile back and admit that it's difficult, but I can still see the question in them wondering about this single girl.