China Elevator Stories

“My Pregnant Friends Completely Disappear”

I chat with a woman from Aksu on a train ride to Xinjiang in July 2016.


Ruth Silbermayr-Song


At the beginning of July 2016, I make my way to Xinjiang in China’s Far West 28 weeks pregnant. I plan to travel around Xinjiang solo with my baby bump for two weeks.

It takes me 2 1/2 days by train to get from Siping in Northeast China to Turpan in Xinjiang. A young Chinese woman from Aksu tells me: “You are so brave. My Chinese friends who have become pregnant completely disappear. They only stay at home and sleep and eat all day long. They don’t even use the computer or pick up the phone because they fear the radiation will hurt the unborn child!”

Have you ever encountered a similar problem?