Articles

articles on china elevator stories

50. “has he bought you an apartment yet?”

Three Chinese women in their 50s and 60s chat with a woman my age.

49. my mother-in-law and the crazy foreigners

A few weeks before our wedding, my mother-in-law takes a train to Beijing to help us apply for documents we need for our wedding.

48. “once you’re married, you’ll have kids”

One morning I buy congee at my favorite congee place near the subway stop in Shenzhen.

47. my in-laws’ old house

My in-laws have rented an old house for 100 CNY a month. The place is surrounded by fields, and they get drinking water from a well.

46. the beautiful tomatoes of siping

A lady at a market asks me to take pictures of the tomatoes she’s selling.

45. “is your hair dyed or is this your real color?”

I chat with a young female massage therapist in Shenzhen.

44. “i have the heart of a boy”

I chat with a young female massage therapist in Shenzhen.

43. “how much do you earn?”

I chat with a 17-year old girl who works as a massage therapist on the second floor of a  hair salon in Shenzhen.

42. shenzhen, the nastiest place in china, or is it?

Shenzhen gets a bad rap in China.

41. “do you have brothers and sisters?”

I chat with a young massage therapist in Shenzhen.

40. “he’s not your husband yet”

I chat with a TCM doctor in Shenzhen.

39. how i turned my husband’s life upside down

My husband’s life changed greatly after meeting me.

38. garden city

I chat with the owner of a plant shop in Shenzhen.

37. “it must be really dangerous working here”

I walk by mango and durian trees on my way to a restaurant in Shenzhen and chat with a local.

36. “you can’t like her too much”

A TCM doctor in Shenzhen diagnoses me with a weak spleen.

35. pre-wedding photo shoot

My fiancé and I take wedding pictures at a photo studio in Shenzhen.

34. “remember to wear a comfortable bra”

My mother-in-law sends me a message.

33. “promise me to be happy”

My fiancé and I pick up my wedding dresses in a wedding dress shop in Shenzhen and chat with the tailor.

32. “i’d like to find my son a foreign wife”

A TCM practitioner in Shenzhen asks us to find her son a foreign wife.

31. “do you speak foreignish?”

I chat with a little girl at a supermarket in Shenzhen.

30. “this is the only thing we can do for a living”

I visit a blind massage place in Shenzhen and chat with the massage therapist about the ox horns used for scraping.

29. a day like a week like a month like a year

Even though we have only just met, it feels like my boyfriend and I have known each other for much longer.

28. “your kids will be very beautiful … and tall”

I chat with a woman in Shenzhen who sells congee at a food stall.

27. my friend, the palm reader

A friend from Yunnan reads my palm and tells me about my future.

26. when saying good night means much more than just good night

Saying “good night” has a different implication in Chinese.

25. “do you have a boyfriend?”

I chat with an employee at a Spa in Shenzhen.

24. a night out at christmas

My boss invites us to Christmas dinner.

23. staying with your girlfriend or listening to your parents?

A property agent in Shenzhen asks me for advice.

22. “you should wear make-up and dress up”

I chat with a hairdresser in Shenzhen.

21. march 8, international women’s day

For International Women’s Day 2013, I get the morning off from work.

20. “are you a designer?”

I chat with a waitress and a chef at a food stall in Shenzhen.

19. falling in love over potato soup

I invite a co-worker and friends to have dinner at my place in Shenzhen.

18. “do you know how to cook chinese medicine?”

I visit a TCM practitioner in Shenzhen.

17. “next time you have to sit on my bike”

Motorcycle taxi drivers wait for passengers near subway stops in Shenzhen.

16. the last days of fall, the beginning of winter

I start work at a Chinese company in Shenzhen, where I meet my future husband.

15. “are foreigners and chinese the same?”

I take the subway in Shenzhen.

14. “where are you going?”

I chat with a stranger at a bus station in Guilin.

13. the torture that is called massage

I chat with a blind massage therapist in Shenzhen.

12. “do you teach english here?”

I take the elevator to my floor in Shenzhen.

11. a hurt toe and a new home

A property agent takes me around Shenzhen on his motorcycle to look for a flat.

10. “does it taste good?”

I eat lunch at a Lanzhou-style noodle restaurant in Shenzhen.

9. the chinese grandmother who didn't allow me to eat raw cucumber salad

I visit a little restaurant in a mountain village near Chongqing.

8. “you can live with me and my wife”

I chat with a cab driver in Chongqing.

7. “are you married?”

An elderly Chinese man starts talking to me in Shenzhen.

6. chongqing: city in the mist

In my imagination, Chongqing was a laid-back mountain metropolis next to the river with lots of culture and history.

5. “mum, she’s a foreigner”

A Chinese girl chats with her mother.

4. “what is this?”

I chat with an elderly woman at Ikea in Shenzhen.

3. lost in translation

I get lost in Beijing in 2005.

2. “if you could choose a city, which one would it be?”

I take a cab to get to my new flat in Shenzhen and chat with the cab driver.

1. “are you chinese?”

A Chinese woman in her 40s starts talking to me in an elevator in Shenzhen.