China Elevator Stories

“I Have The Heart Of A Boy”

I chat with a young female massage therapist in Shenzhen.


Ruth Silbermayr
Ruth Silbermayr


I ask her: “When did you move to Shenzhen?”
“I moved here just 2 months ago. I’m not familiar with this city yet. I went to Mangrove Forrest twice, but I got lost every time I went there and could not find the way to the next public transport station, so I had to take a cab back home. I’ll never ever go there again.”

“Have you finished secondary school just before you came here?”
“I haven’t. I went to school until I was 13. After that I started working. Going to school isn’t for me. I prefer to work.”
“You have started working at a really early age. In Austria you can only start working legally when you’re 15.”

Chinese woman illustration - Ruth Silbermayr heart

She tells me: “In China, noone really cares about your age. Actually I dropped out of school. I was quite good at primary school, but in middle school I was a really naughty kid. My teachers all didn’t know what to do with me. Once, I wanted to go to the restrooms during class but my teacher wouldn’t let me. So I just kept being loud and disrupted class. In the end, my teacher let me go to the restrooms. I went there but didn’t go back to class afterwards, I was really mad at my teacher.

I liked to get into fights with other kids. And not just with kids. There was one teacher who treated me unfairly, so my friends and me beat her up together. I left on my own before they could throw me out of school. I never went back to school afterwards.

My mother was very unhappy and often told me that I lack intelligence. But luckily, I’m not as stupid anymore now as I grow older.

I have the heart of a boy and I met the wrong kids when I was younger.”

Has anyone ever told you a story like this?

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