“You can live with me and my wife.”

I have just arrived at Chongqing airport on this Friday in early June 2012 and am taking a cab to my hostel. After the usual small talk the cab driver points at my jeans and asks:

“Foreigners really like wearing jeans, don’t they?”
I: “We do. Don’t Chinese people like wearing jeans too?”
He: “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.
I: “That doesn’t matter. I still want to go there.”
He: “You can live with me and my wife. We love foreigners. We hardly get the chance to chat with them. We’d be delighted to have you stay at our place.”
I: “That’s very nice, thanks, but I don’t want to be a burden.”
He: “You’d really be welcome.”
I: “Thanks, but I’ve already booked a room.”
He: “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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4 thoughts on ““You can live with me and my wife.”

  1. I have, actually! I drove to Boston once from Montreal and got lost. After asking this woman for directions, she ended up saying that it was late and that I could stay with her for the night. The next day, she drove me around the city and showed me around. I don’t think that the U.S. is such a foreign country from Canada, but the kindness of strangers always shocks me.

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  2. I find this “Chinese people love foreigners” mindset really bizarre. Compare that to the mentality of whites, asians (south) and even South east asians (Malaysia), they are quite the opposite i.e. “we don’t need to speak to foreigners, we look down on them” . Would be interesting to know how this mentality came to be

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  3. Pingback: 1st anniversary of China Elevator Stories | China elevator stories

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