China Elevator Stories

“Does It Taste Good?”

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


Ruth Silbermayr
Ruth Silbermayr


I am sitting at a Lanzhou-style noodle restaurant across the street from my apartment, head bent over a bowl of daoxiaomian noodles. I feel that somebody is watching me and I look up. On the table opposite mine, a guy in his 30s has just paid and looks at me. He smiles and says: “Hi!”

don’t reply because I’m not sure about what he wants from me.

“Does It Taste Good?”

He goes on: “Does it taste good?”
I answer: “It does.”
“Are you used to the food here?”
“Yes, I am.”

Before I can say anything else, he gets up, takes his notebook, and leaves the restaurant to get back to work.

Were you ever surprised when a stranger started to talk to you?

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