profile picIf you’ve ever wondered what conversations are like in elevators in China, this blog is for you.

Why “China elevator stories”?
In China, it’s the little things that will make your day. Like for example a conversation with a stranger in an elevator. Or in a cab. Or on a bus. On the metro. On a train. In a street side restaurant. In the supermarket. On the street. In public toilets. Or in other words just anywhere you can imagine.

Who writes all this?
Hi, I’m Ruth, an Austrian illustrator and graduate of Chinese studies in my mid-20s. I live in Shenzhen with my Chinese husband. Shenzhen is a beautiful city of more than 15 million right across the border from Hongkong. I share anecdotes from everyday life with you, one or the other story of how I and my husband fell in love with each other and conversations with locals. Although sometimes really short, these conversations are what will make me smile at the end of the day. For those wondering why someone might choose to live in China, I hope that these conversations are also what will make you understand some of the reasons. If not otherwise stated, conversations are direct translations from Chinese.

Posts are published twice weekly on Tuesdays and on Saturdays. Make sure to check out my blog on these days! You can also check out my illustrations here.

If you’d like to get in touch with me, just drop me an e-mail: chinaelevatorstories[at]gmail.com.

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39 thoughts on “About

  1. Such a great idea for a blog, chinaelevatorstories! Love the idea of glimpsing a culture through conversations on elevators. I could see you making a great New York Times Lives column out of this.


    • Thanks for your lovely comment! When I came up with the idea of posting conversations with locals – often small talk – two names came to my mind: One was “China cab stories” and the other one “China elevator stories”. In the end, China elevator stories won, imo it just sounded better.


      • haha no prob, it took me less than two hours to finish reading all of them.. but might have taken you forever to do that.. i have been reading blogs about shenzhen, you are absolutely the most positive and encouraging one, which made my day lol


  2. I know it’s totally irrelevant, but I am totally/already looking forward to seeing you write an article about the Boston blasts and the responses from the people you met lol..


    • If someone talks with me about it, I’ll definitely post it here. Can’t predict if people will actively talk about this topic with me though. My boyfriend asked me this morning if I’ve read about it on the news, it seems that he was shocked about it and thought about the consequences it might have politically speaking if it turns out that these are terrorist attacks.


  3. I love your blog! I too am living in Shenzhen and love the random stories taxi drivers here tell me. Sometimes I understand half of what they way but I let them prattle because they just love the fact that a foreigner talks to them.


    • Thanks!

      Driving a cab through the city all day long must be quite tiring, so I think they sometimes also love to talk with strangers in order to get some distraction. It surely makes for interesting conversations!


  4. Hi R, Thanks for visiting my blog and the follow. What an interesting blog you have here! I quickly browsed thru your posts, and can’t wait to come back to read them slowly. Fascinating ! Though I am a Chinese from Hong Kong, I must admit that there is still some culture shock for me when I visit China. I look forward to exploring more of your blog soon. Cheers, Mom of Dragon Boy


  5. Hello R,

    My name is Rufus and I am native Chinese. I just found your website today and started to read your posts. It’s quite interesting to read some short Chinese stories. As a native Chinese, I still feel very interesting.

    I started a website couple of months ago(www.mynewchinesewife.com). A resource for foreigners on finding a Chinese wife and dating Chinese women. I would like to see if you could consider to put our website on the list you recommend. Also is there any possibility in cooperation like guest posting for each others, right now my authors could help to cover some topics for your readers interests. We could talk more in details if you are interested in it. Thanks and all the best to you!

    Look forward your reply.

    Best regards,



  6. Love your blog topic, R. I’m living in NE rural China and even though I can only have very very basic conversations with our local neighbors (like on my morning walks on the country roads), a few words go a long way. These brief exchanges, coupled with the huge smiles I get for attempting to speak Mandarin, is one of my favorite things about living here.


  7. Hi R, aw you totally didn’t have to feel obliged to follow my blog back! I write about… Really random stuff mixing dramas and Real Life everyday happenings haha, kinda embarrassing. I stumbled upon yours (quite literally) totally by chance couple hours ago and really love the stuff you have here and especially your writing! I can so relate when it comes to these random-but-meaningful conversations haha, and those other posts you write about your life as one-half of a couple are also wonderful reads (very cute!).

    I’ll be around (subscribed to your blog through my Feedly) – glad I found your space here. Take care!


  8. Pingback: Guest Post: Apartment Hunting in Shenzhen | Behind the Story

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