China Elevator Stories

A Night Out At Christmas

I spend Christmas 2012 with drunk co-workers at a Karaoke bar in Shenzhen.


Ruth Silbermayr
Ruth Silbermayr


On Christmas Day 2012, I have been with my then-boyfriend for less than two weeks. Since we haven’t made our relationship public, our colleagues don’t know about our relationship status.

Christmas 2012 is not much like Christmas back home. On December 25th, our boss treats me, my boyfriend, and a few other colleagues to dinner at a Yunnanese restaurant in Shenzhen. Since I love Yunnanese food, I appreciate the effort. My boss and colleagues are all busy drinking strong bright green liquor. Since I am not much of a drinker, I don’t drink with them.

We leave for a Karaoke place together, when most of them are already quite drunk at the end of this three-hour Christmas dinner. To Chinese, Christmas doesn’t come with the same connotation as it does for a Westerner. Christmas is known as a celebration, but quietude is not part of the Chinese way of celebrating it.

At the Karaoke place, my boyfriend sings a Chinese song called “Addicted”. His deep voice is perfectly suited for this song. The others are cheering him on and applauding him.

Only a few days later I get to know the lyrics. The first lines go like this: “Every single day I’d like to get dirty with you. Without you, my whole body feels weak (…) I think I’m addicted.”

I laugh at the thought that he sang this song at Christmas.

Have you ever celebrated Christmas abroad?

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