China Elevator Stories

“What Is This?”

I chat with an elderly woman at Ikea in Shenzhen.


Ruth Silbermayr
Ruth Silbermayr


I spend time at Ikea in Shenzhen to choose furniture for my apartment. An elderly woman comes up to me, looking curiously at the items in my shopping cart. She points her finger at one item and asks: “What is this?”

Ikea - Ruth Silbermayr

I answer: “That’s a chair.”
“Where do you find these chairs?”
“Over there, right at the back.”
She (pointing her finger at something else): “And what is this?”
I tell her: “This is a small table.”
“Where are you planning to put that?”
“It’s for the balcony.”
She says: “Oh, I see.”

And off she wanders, enlightened by my Ikea expertise.

Have you ever been considered a foreign expert on imported goods?

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