China Elevator Stories

“Are Foreigners And Chinese The Same?”

I take the subway in Shenzhen.


Ruth Silbermayr
Ruth Silbermayr


A 4-year-old girl is sitting right next to me on the subway. She looks at me and asks her mother: “Mum, are foreigners and Chinese the same?”

I reply, instead of her mother: “Almost.”

She looks at me surprised and asks her mother again: “Mum, why can she speak Chinese?”
I tell her: “I’ve studied it for a long time.”

The little girl then looks curiously at my phone. I had been on my phone, writing a text message in English.
I ask her: “Do you understand what I’m writing?”
She replies: “No!”

Have you ever had a similar experience?

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