I’m at the grocery store. When I’m done with choosing the groceries I want to buy, I find a corner with massage chairs where I can sit down and wait for my husband (he went to another store and is the one carrying the backpack to store our groceries in). After a short while, an elderly woman sits down next to me. She asks me:
“Are you living in Shenzhen?”
I: “I am. How about you?”
She: “I live in …” She has a strong accent and I can’t understand the place name. “I travel back and forth all the time. My daughter lives here. Are you here with your parents?”
I: “My parents live in my home country. I live here with my husband.”
She: “How long are you planning to stay in China?”
I: “I plan to stay here for some time. My husband is from Northeast China.”
She: “Oh, your husband is Chinese. Do you have kids?”
I: “One is on its way.” And then, pointing at my non-existent bump*: “It’s still very little though. Only a few weeks old.”
She: “Will your mother come here when you give birth?”
I: “I plan to give birth in Austria. But my mother would come here if I was going to give birth in China.”
She: “How about your in-laws, are they staying with you?” She is quick to add: “I mean, if they are still alive.”
I: “They are. They are currently staying in Northeast China, though.”
My husband calls and tells me that he just arrived. I say goodbye to the woman and get up to find him.
*I had this conversation when I had been pregnant for only a few weeks and my bump didn’t show yet.
Have you ever had a similar conversation? I’d love to hear your stories.