Weddings and gifts

This is part 3 of a conversation I had with a taxi driver who took me to the airport in Shenzhen. The conversation was rather long, so I’ve split it into 6 parts. Click here if you’ve missed part 1…

“Are you pregnant?”

One day in October 2013, I wait for my husband to get ready for getting off work near the entrance of the company. One of the female coworkers comes up to me. She touches my belly and asks: “Are you…

“Do you know Deng Xiaoping?”

This is part 2 of a conversation I had with a taxi driver in Shenzhen. The conversation was rather long, so I’ve split it into 6 parts. Click here if you’ve missed part 1 (“Is learning English hard for you?”)…

“Is learning English hard for you?”

This is part 1 of a conversation I had with a taxi driver. The conversation was rather long, so I’ve split it into 6 parts. Stay tuned for the other parts: “Do you know Deng Xiaoping?”, Weddings and gifts, “Do…

“I’ll make you gain weight”

“I’ll make you gain weight. 2-4 kilos the first month, 4-6 the second month and 6-8 the third month. Believe me, it will work.” It wasn’t that I didn’t want to believe it. But rather that I’ve heard this all…

“Your breasts are almost non-existent”

This is part 2 of 2 of a conversation with L, a woman in her mid-twenties working at a massage parlor. Click here for part 1 (“Can pregnant women have massages?”). This post is about women’s issues and might not be…

2013 in review

I’d like to share this summary of my stats for 2013 with you. Just received it from wordpress. Thanks to everyone who has dropped by, read, shared, liked and followed China Elevator Stories in 2013. Here’s an excerpt: The concert…

31 Dec 2012

31 Dec 2012 is the second time that I celebrate New Year’s Eve in China. In the morning, Y and I arrive in Nanning. We walk down a crowded street to explore the city, when he suddenly proposes to me….

Shenzhen blogs

I’ve been trying to find some more English language blogs written by people living in Shenzhen. The list is still short and comes in no particular order – let me know if you know of any other interesting blogs that…

my Chinese husband and I

A change of plans

Today, I’m sharing a photo with you that was taken at about the same time last year. On this day about a year ago, Y and I visited Dafen Oil Painting Village in Shenzhen (大芬油画村 dàfēn yóuhuàcūn). The village has…

“Can pregnant women have massages?”

This is part 1 of 2 of a conversation with L, a woman in her mid-twenties working at a massage parlour. I have talked to her before, click here if you’ve missed the last conversation with her. Stay tuned for…

“I think you’re biracial”

One day in August 2013 I’m at the gym. It’s a hot and sweltry evening. After only 15 minutes of working out, my head is red like a tomato. A guy in his 40s stops in front of me. He…

“Did you miss me?”

If I miss my fiancé, I’ll often text him, telling him directly that I miss him. He, on the other hand, usually doesn’t tell me that he misses me in such a direct way. More often than not, he’ll ask…

“I always take my bike”

Right across the street from our building is a guy in his 50s who repairs all different kinds of things. One day in the summer of 2013, I take my bike to him to repair a puncture. While he’s mending…

Top 10 posts on China Elevator Stories, post 51-100

In celebration of publishing the 100th blog post on China Elevator Stories today, I’ll take a look at the top 10 posts of posts 51-100: 10. “What are you doing to get pregnant?” My co-workers share tips on how to…

“Did you have to use guns frequently?”

One day in the summer of 2012 I’m in Shangri-la at a restaurant with two acquaintances. My friend has to work and has asked them to take me around town. They have both worked as police officers in the past….

Being introduced to people in China

In the summer of 2012 I visit my friend in her hometown Changsha. We became friends while she was studying in Vienna and I was working there. In the summer of 2012 we’re both in China at the same time….

Being a highly sensitive person in urban China

What does it mean to be a Highly Sensitive Person (short HSP) living in one of China’s biggest cities? It means that there’s a lot of external stress. Maybe much more external stress than you’d have to cope with back…

“Who takes care of the kids?”

I have lunch with my new coworker, a woman in her mid-to-late 30s who has a 2-year-old son. She asks me: “Who takes care of young kids in Austria? In China, it’s often the grandparents who look after the kids,…

“Go die, idiot!”

Sometimes people in China will hear me tell Y: “Go die, idiot!” What the hell? Who talks like that to her husband, you might wonder. Let me explain. Actually, what people hear in Chinese is not what I tell Y…

1st anniversary of China Elevator Stories

I started writing this blog one year ago. In celebration of China Elevator Stories’ first anniversary and for all of you who haven’t been following this blog right from the beginning, I’d like to share five early conversations with you:…

Hiding our love and a romantic morning walk

Shortly before spring festival 2012 my company goes to the countryside. We visit Cengcheng, a small village not far from Shenzhen. Y and I have avoided being seen together too often by our co-workers except for lunch which we usually…

cross-cultural relationship

The hardest part of learning Chinese

What’s the toughest part of learning Chinese for someone with a mother tongue like German (it probably also applies to people with other mother tongues)? After having studied Mandarin Chinese at university for 4 years and after having lived in…

Guest Post: Be Careful What You Teach Your Kids

Today I’m featuring a guest post by Nicki Chen who blogs at Behind the Story. The first time I came across her blog was when Nicki had just published her fourth post. Four sounds like a small number, but every…

“Did you come here with your family?”

This is part 2 of a conversation I had with a woman called L who is working at a massage parlour. Click here if you’ve missed part 1 (“How come you married so young?”). Stay tuned for part 3 (“Do…

“What are you doing to get pregnant?”

One day one of our co-workers treats us to dinner after work. The reason? He recently became a father and it’s tradition in China to treat your friends and co-workers to a nice big meal once your child is 100…

“How come you married so young?”

This is part 1 of 3 of a conversation I had with L, a 25-year-old woman working at a massage parlour. Stay tuned for part 2 (“Did you come here with your family?”) and part 3 (“Do people in Austria…

Russian in Northeast China, American in the Southeast

“Canadian.” “German.” “American.” “British.” These are all nationalities I’ve been associated with in Northeast China’s Jilin province. Often, people don’t say it directly, rather they’ll tell their friends: “Look, a German.” I don’t really mind if they say that I’m…

After the family dinner

This is part 3 of a story of a family dinner. If you haven’t read what happened at the dinner, click here for part 1 (“A family dinner and to raise your glass or not to raise your glass”) and…

Saying your age in China

When people in Austria ask Y how old he is he’ll say he’s 31. When people in South China ask him about his age, he’ll say he’s 32. And when people in Northeast China ask him, he’ll say 33. So…

A loss of face

This is part 2 of the story of a family dinner with my husband’s extended family in their hometown Siping in Northeast China. In part 1 (“A family dinner and to raise or not to raise your glass”), daye, my…