This is part 2 of 4 of a conversation with a 17-year old girl working at the hairdresser’s doing massages. Click here if you’ve missed part 1 (“Do you have brothers and sisters?”). Stay tuned for part 3 (“I have the heart of a boy”) and part 4 (“Is your hair dyed or is this your real color?”).
After talking about our families, she asks:
“How tall are you? One meter seventy-something?”
I: “I’m exactly 170.”
She: “You could be a model.”
I: “Working as a model is really exhausting, I’m pretty happy with the job I have.”
She: “What’s your job?”
I: “I work as a graphic designer.”
She: “That’s a great job. How many hours do you have to work a day?”
I: “8. How about you?”
She: “We have to work more than 12 hours a day.”
I: “Wow, that must be really exhausting.”
She: “It is. How much do you earn? Your salary must be really high I guess.”
After I tell her, I ask: “How much do you earn?”
She: “A little bit more than 2000 RMB (around 250 EUR or 325 USD). Do you live closeby?”
I: “I do. How about you?”
She: “We live in a dormitory closeby. Our employer pays for it.”
I: “How many people share a room?”
She: “No, four.”
I: “I see. Four is still okay I guess. At least it’s better than 10, isn’t it?”
*Four (四, sì) and ten (十, shí) sound similar in some Chinese dialects, where both are pronounced as “shi” and only the tones are different.
Have you ever had a similar conversation? I’d love to read your stories.