China Elevator Stories

“Where’s your Soviet companion?”

I chat with the employee of a bathhouse in Siping.


Ruth Silbermayr
Ruth Silbermayr


It’s January, 2015. I go to a bathhouse. When the employee opens my locker, she asks me: “Where’s your companion today?”
I reply: “Who do you mean? My husband?”
“No. The tall woman who came to the bathhouse yesterday. The Soviet.”
“Umm, I don’t know that woman. Actually, I don’t know any other foreigners here.”

The employee stares at me, incredulously.

Interestingly, many people in Siping still refer to Russians as “Soviets”.

Have you ever had a similar conversation?

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