China Elevator Stories

“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.


Ruth Silbermayr
Ruth Silbermayr


One day after work, my fiancé, another colleague and I walk to a nearby street side restaurant in Shenzhen for dinner. The road leading there is surrounded by mango and durian trees.

illustration tree - Ruth Silbermayr

On our way there, three guys cross our way, each one of them carrying a really huge durian fruit. I stop to take pictures in front of one of the restaurants lining the street. A durian tree right in front of the restaurant with a few dozen fruits has caught my attention. It’s mid-May, and the trees are bearing huge fruits. The mangos are still green, but the durians are ripe and are beginning to fall from the trees.

The owner of the restaurant watches me take pictures and asks: “Do they look good?”, referring to the durian trees.
I reply: “The fruits are just huge. We don’t have these kinds of trees where I’m from.”
“They are huge indeed.”
I state: “It must be really dangerous working here.”
“It probably is. If a durian falls from a tree and hits your head, you might die.”
“You should really take care of where you sit then.”
He says: “You’re right.”

And on I walk, carefully, watching the oh-so-dangerous durian trees.

Have you ever had a similar experience?

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