“Do you have a boyfriend?”

I’m at a Spa getting a massage and start talking with the girl working there. A while into the conversation she asks: “Do you have a boyfriend?” I: “I do.” She: “Where is he from?” I: “He’s from Northeast China.” She: “Do your parents approve of your relationship?” I: “Of course, why wouldn’t they?” She: […]

March 8, International Women’s Day

More than a 100 years ago, over a million people took to the streets in Austria, Germany, Switzerland and Denmark to celebrate the first International Women’s Day in Europe and to demonstrate for women’s rights at the same time. Today, this holiday is almost forgotten in Austria. The same is the case with many other […]

“Are foreigners and Chinese the same?”

A four-year old girl is sitting right next to me on the subway. She looks at me and asks her mother: “Mum, are foreigners and Chinese the same?” I answer her instead: “Almost.” She looks at me surprised, and asks her mother again: “Mum, why can she speak Chinese?” I tell her: “I’ve studied it […]

“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 […]

“Are you married?”

As I walk down the street looking for the entrance to the supermarket, a guy in his 70s comes up to me. Chinese grandpa: “Excuse me, I’m looking for Sunshine Western Restaurant, do you know where it is?” I: “I’m sorry, I don’t. I’m not familiar with this area. Cg: “Where are you from?” I: […]

If you could choose a city, which one would it be?

I took a cab to get to my new flat the other day. Cab driver: “Where are you from?” I: “Austria, and you?” Cd: “I’m Chinese!” I: “But where are you from in China?” Cd: “Hubei. How old are you? Twenty-something?” I: “Yes, I’m 25. How about you?” Cd: “I’m 32.” I: “You look younger […]