China Elevator Stories

“Next Time You Have To Sit On My Bike”

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


Ruth Silbermayr
Ruth Silbermayr


At the exit of the subway stop near my place, usually around half a dozen drivers of black motorcycle taxis wait for passengers. I’m passing by this place every time I get off the subway on my way back home from work.

While most of the drivers shout things like “Hello, sit on my bike” or “Where are you going? I’ll take you there”, one young fellow I pass by always says: “You’re beautiful, you’re pretty” and gives me a thumbs up.

One evening when I get off the subway, the last bus has already left, so I decide to get back home via a motorcycle taxi. I ask a guy in his 50s about the price. When the young fellow, who is also there, hears that I can speak Chinese, he says: “I’ve told you many times that you’re pretty, but you still don’t take my bike. Next time you have to sit on my bike!” I laugh, not taking his words too seriously.

This is the last time I see the young fellow waiting at the subway stop, trying to lure people into taking his bike. Maybe he moved to a different subway stop in search of passengers; maybe he changed his job, or maybe he went back home for spring festival. I’ll never know.

Have you ever taken one of these motorcycle taxis?

Follow me on: