“Why do you look so sad?”

Three guys who probably just turned 18 come up to me. One asks me if they can take a picture with me. I say yes, but it will cost 100 Kuai per picture. He takes out his wallet, jokingly. After taking a picture with every single one of them, he says:

“May I ask you a personal question?”
I: “Of course.”
He: “Why do you look so sad? Have you just fallen out of love with someone?”
I: “I haven’t. I have probably just heard too many people call me laowai today. It can get on your nerves if you hear it too often.”
He: “I see. You know, we’re from Guangdong, we would never call you laowai.”
Another one chips in jokingly: “We’d only call you gweilo.”

The literal meaning of gweilo is actually much worse than that of laowai, with the former often being translated as “foreign devil” and the latter as “foreigner”. But seeing as they were only joking, I feel a lot more cheerful already. We chat for a little longer before they get on the bus that will take them back to Guangdong and I walk back to my guesthouse.

For the latest updates you can also follow me on facebook, twitter and/or google+.

5 thoughts on ““Why do you look so sad?”

    • This story didn’t take place in Shenzhen, it took place in a mountain villge near Chongqing. Shenzhen surely is a migrant city. Although they do exist, people who were born and raised in Shenzhen are probably the minority of people living here.


  1. Pingback: “I’d like to find my son a foreign wife” | China elevator stories

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s