China Elevator Stories

“You can live with me and my wife”

I chat with a cab driver in Chongqing.


Ruth Silbermayr
Ruth Silbermayr


After I arrive at Chongqing airport one Friday in early June 2012, I take a cab to my hostel. I chat with the cab driver, who, after inquiring where I’m from, points at my jeans and asks: “Foreigners really like wearing jeans, don’t they?”

I say: “We do. Don’t Chinese people like wearing jeans too?”
“Chinese people prefer to wear normal trousers. Are you sure you want to live in that hostel? The area the hostel is located in is really old and not very central.
“That doesn’t matter. I still want to go there.”

He then says: “You can live with me and my wife. We love foreigners. We hardly get a chance to chat with them. We’d be delighted to have you stay at our place.”
“That’s very nice, thanks, but I don’t want to be a burden.”

He goes on: “You’d really be welcome.”
“Thanks, but I’ve already booked a room.”
“That’s a pity. You know, Chinese people really love foreigners!”

Have you ever been invited to stay at a stranger’s place in a foreign country?

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