China Elevator Stories

“Does Austria Also Have Birth Planning?”

I take a cab to the airport in Shenzhen and chat with the cab driver.


Ruth Silbermayr-Song


He asks me: “Does Austria also have birth planning?”
“It doesn’t.”
“I’ve heard that people don’t get that many children anymore nowadays, even if they are allowed to have more children.”
“You’re right. People in Austria will usually have 1-2 kids, or no kids at all.”

He tells me: “In my generation having a big family was the norm.”
I say: “I also have a large family. We’re 8 kids. Do you have brothers and sisters?”
“My mother gave birth to 4 kids. But my brothers and sisters are all gone (走了). Do you know what that means?”
“I do. We have a similar expression in German.”
“One brother died when he was a toddler. The others died as adults.”

Have you ever heard about a tragedy like this?