The Shanghai Express

“Chopstick Pro”, as he called himself, is the English name for the Chinese word “Dumpinlap”.

Story by Shay Neary - Photos by Citizen Brooklyn
Photo © Citizen Brooklyn

Man-Eater Photo © Citizen Brooklyn

Dating. God Damn Dating… When you’re from a small town, dating can become a trivial thing. In high school, my dating life included dating the only uber-masculine, in the closet, bisexual, Italian/German boy in school. No one would have assumed he liked boys. He had a beautiful body that was built like a god’s, but a face that looked like it was hit by a Fung-Wah bus. We never actually went out in public together, but he called me his boyfriend. The fact that I was an out, homosexual, chubby male with feminine tendencies meant nothing to him really. I think he was attracted to my drag persona more than me. Our relationship consisted of him playing with me in the privacy of his own room and a lot of note passing into lockers. I assume he liked my blowjobs. I’m plus size… Never put something in front of a skinny woman and expect her to eat it. 🙂 At least he had a great dick to make up for his face. A fat girl needs at least nine inches to fulfill her insatiable appetite.

Photo © Citizen Brooklyn

Soup dumplin’, you’re my baby Photo © Citizen Brooklyn

For college, I went to a private school in rural Pennsylvania. I was also in the process of becoming a woman, so dating was interesting… There aren’t many people, so most of my dates were off of Craigslist; which really doesn’t attract the sort of people that want to date necessarily. I went on a few dates here and there. A lot of men wanted to take me out at night, when their wives were sleeping. Just Kidding… No… Really, like midnight on Wednesdays. It was pathetic really. I had a lot of sex. To be honest, I stopped dating for three years in college. I worked as a transsexual escort. So men would pay me for my time, not for sex! Some guys wanted sex, of course, but I had this man, let’s call him “The Rock”. Not because he was hot, muscular, and built like a horse; more because he was old as the earth itself. 🙂 The Rock, used to take me out on Sunday mornings. From seven am to ten am, I would attend church and breakfast in my Sunday best with this man. HOW TWISTED IS THAT?!?! I once asked him why he wanted a trans-girl to go and not a basic girl. He said to me, “Shay, I don’t want to fuck in the name of the lord. You’re a beautiful, young lass. I just like some nice company during a dry sermon.” I used to laugh, talk about my life and take his five hundred dollars. *I’m not a cheap date!*

Photo © Citizen Brooklyn

Carnival Crane Photo © Citizen Brooklyn

I graduated college, stopped escorting, and moved to New York City. I wanted a new take on dating. I got online and signed up for dating sites; POF.COM, OKCUPID.COM and TRANSGENDERDATE.COM to name a few. There was a whole world of people attracted to transsexuals and our wondrous ways. Also, being in NYC, I was getting noticed a lot more by men. I didn’t ever think I was attractive, but NYC changed that for me and gave me a new confidence. To this day men still hit on me every week on my way to and from work. So I started “DATING”, which is a madhouse in NYC! 🙂 You end up going on dates with people just for a free meal. I am an old fashioned lady. If you can’t pay for the first date, then why am I wasting my time? I have no problem paying Dutch or entirely after the first date… But come on! Don’t be stingy… Pussy has a price, sweeties. You either pay for the dates, the car, the house, the kids, the dogs, the gifts, and the dinner; or you pay for it in advance, with no strings attached.

Photo © Citizen Brooklyn

Hanging by a… Noodle Photo © Citizen Brooklyn

I decided I needed a system for these dates, and so told them I would pick the place, the time and the date. They would only have to pay for the date and trust me. So, my favorite place to eat in the city is Joe’s Shanghai. It has been a staple in Chinatown since the nineties. They are known for soup dumplings, Xiao Long Bao in cheap, English-based Chinese. These little morsels are all over the village, but I went to Joe’s during culinary school and couldn’t stop once I started. Make note, these dim sum are not easy to eat. They don’t offer forks and you must use chopsticks. So I thought to myself, if these boys wanted to date me in real life, they would need to make an effort. (Joe’s Shanghai has forks, but I wasn’t going tell them.)

Photo © Citizen Brooklyn

“Footloose” Photo © Citizen Brooklyn

The trials of The Shanghai Express began, and here are some attempts that didn’t work out…
James: Came to the restaurant in business attire, spilled soup all over himself after thinking he was a pro dim sum eater and left mid date.
Mark: Sat down, asked our server if they served burgers and fries. I walked out, displeased with his humor.
Chris: Ordered food, looked at it funny, sent it back and refused to eat during the date.
Steve: Watched the female hostess and sucked on his spoon as he stared.
Andrew: “Chopstick Pro”, as he called himself, is the English name for the Chinese word “Dumpinlap”.
Peter: Focused way too much on my mouth than I was comfortable handling.
Levi: After I told him they didn’t have forks, he persisted and they gave him one. Not for me.

Photo © Citizen Brooklyn

Chi-natown’s Finest Photo © Citizen Brooklyn

Failures… But, then there was my current boyfriend, Michael. He couldn’t have been more of an awkward date. No clue how to use chopsticks, not a fan of Chinese and was not exactly my type. He let me order everything because I told him I went there all the time. So I ordered everything, and we began our meal. He tried harder than ANYONE I know to use those chopsticks. I am a good teacher, but he just couldn’t get it down. He had a plate of soup instead of dumplings in his mouth. I showed him countless times and laughed so hard. But, his effort was most honorable. I said to myself, if I want a boyfriend, I want someone who was going to try hard and make an effort. He seemed to do so.

We have been dating eight months and I couldn’t be happier. Thanks Joe’s Shanghai! Don’t give up on love, but don’t let it walk all over you either. Put up a challenge like I did! 🙂
-Miss Shay

2 Responses to “The Shanghai Express”

  1. Catherine Neary says:


  2. Kay Bee-Sting says:

    Luv this story Miss Shay, thanx for sharing. Would luv to hear more of dating in NYC and Asian food as these are 2 of my fav subjects as well. Do you have a blog or any ongoing type site? I’ll check around and see if I can find anything. Glad to hear that U’re happy w/Michael, it really makes everything so much more enjoyable when u’ve got a special friend to share it with.