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.
A Night Out At Christmas

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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