China Elevator Stories

“Do People In Austria Have Their Eyes Made Bigger?”

I chat with Ling, who works at a massage parlour in Shenzhen.


Ruth Silbermayr
Ruth Silbermayr


Ling looks closely at my eyes, and asks: “Do people in Austria have their eyes made bigger? And do they like to use Botox and have plastic surgery? There are a lot of people in China who do that.”

I tell her: “I’m not sure. I don’t think there are many people in Austria who have plastic surgery. At least none of the people I know do. Our eyes are big already, so we don’t usually need to make them bigger.”
She replies: “People in China often have eye surgery. Some people want bigger eyes, others want to have double eyelids instead of a single eyelids. Europeans usually already have double eyelids, so you wouldn’t need surgery.”

She then points at my nose and says: “You have a really big nose. It’s pretty. Many people in China will have a surgery just in order to make their noses bigger.”
“When I was younger, I always thought that my nose was too big. I didn’t like it too much.”
She says: “So is that why you came to China, because people like your nose here?”

Have you ever had a conversation like this?