“Don’t go on the streets to do something stupid”

In March 2008, just a few months before the start of the Summer Olympics in Beijing and right after protests took place that would later lead to deadly riots in Lhasa, Q, a friend from Northwestern Yunnan gets a call from her mother. Her mother is an ethnic Tibetan while her father is Han-Chinese. Their […]

Guest post: How I met Judy, an animal saver by accident

In today’s guest post I’d like to introduce you to Rose from Life in Shenzhen. Rose has been living in Shenzhen for almost five years. She has a Master’s Degree in Educational Studies and works as a teacher and education specialist, with recent experience in special needs.  She writes for Afar Media at http://www.afar.com/travelers/rose-symotiuk/.  She […]

“Your breasts are almost non-existent”

This is part 2 of 2 of a conversation with L, a woman in her mid-twenties working at a massage parlor. Click here for part 1 (“Can pregnant women have massages?”). This post is about women’s issues and might not be to everyone’s taste – I’ve warned you. The whole-body massage includes back, arms, legs, stomach […]

Shenzhen blogs

I’ve been trying to find some more English language blogs written by people living in Shenzhen. The list is still short and comes in no particular order – let me know if you know of any other interesting blogs that are related to the topic of living in Shenzhen. Here are the blogs: Shenzhen Noted: […]

“Can pregnant women have massages?”

This is part 1 of 2 of a conversation with L, a woman in her mid-twenties working at a massage parlour. I have talked to her before, click here if you’ve missed the last conversation with her. Stay tuned for part 2 of the conversation (“Your breasts are almost non-existent”). L loves to tell me […]

Guest post for Behind the Story: Apartment Hunting in Shenzhen

Since I’m in need of new guest posts again, I’m publishing a guest post I’ve written for Behind the Story. The face behind Behind the Story is Nicki Chen, an American writer who has been living in the Philippines for 15 years with her Chinese husband and their children. Click here if you haven’t yet […]

1st anniversary of China Elevator Stories

I started writing this blog one year ago. In celebration of China Elevator Stories’ first anniversary and for all of you who haven’t been following this blog right from the beginning, I’d like to share five early conversations with you: “Are you Chinese?”: The very first post on China Elevator Stories and the conversation that […]

“How much does it cost to have a second child in Shenzhen?”

Me and my coworkers take a cab. One of them recently became a father for a second time. The driver asks him: “How much does it cost to have a second child in Shenzhen?” Coworker: “220,000 Chinese Yuan (around 27,000 EUR or 40,000 USD).” Driver: “Wow, that’s a considerable sum for a hukou*. We registered […]

Russian in Northeast China, American in the Southeast

“Canadian.” “German.” “American.” “British.” These are all nationalities I’ve been associated with in Northeast China’s Jilin province. Often, people don’t say it directly, rather they’ll tell their friends: “Look, a German.” I don’t really mind if they say that I’m German, after all, it’s as close as it gets. Even many Chinese who know me […]

Guest post: 5 common questions Chinese ask foreigners in China

Today I’m featuring a guest post by Sara Jaaksola. Sara wanted to go to China ever since she was little and has made her dream come true in 2010, when she  finally went to Guangzhou to study Chinese. She has stayed there ever since and gives advice on life, love and traveling in China on […]

“In a country really close to South Korea, there’s a guy who’s always making threats”

Y, his 9-year-old niece, her mother and I eat dinner together. Y’s niece has just asked me about the positive aspects of having a different citizenship. We start talking about something else. She says: “I’ve read in the news that in a country really close to South Korea there’s a guy who’s always making threats. […]

Guest post: Unconventional ways of learning Chinese

Today I’m featuring a guest post by Sarah, fellow Shenzhen-expat and the face behind the blog Reclaim Your Fearlessnesss that gives tips on how to live the life you want to live and not let others dictate it. I love her blog and have nominated her for the Liebster Award last month (see her answers here). Sarah has grown up […]

Guest post: The day that an elderly Chinese woman slapped me

Today I’m featuring a guest post written by Dan Clarke. Dan has been living in China for more than 6 years, first working as an English teacher and now focusing on writing and coaching, while looking after his daughter as a work-at-home dad. You can read more about him and China on his website Living […]

My in-laws’ old house

Four years ago, my in-laws bought an apartment in their hometown Siping in Northeast China’s Jilin province. Two years ago, they should have been able to move into their new apartment. But the apartment had not been finished at that time. It’s still not finished now, two years later. When my husband and I walk […]

Guest post: “I like men”

Today I’m featuring a story from Laura. Laura is a fellow-expat and blogger who is currently living and working in Shanghai. She blogs at Pausa Monk and will marry her Chinese fiancé at the beginning of October. Congrats! When I take the elevator the other day, one of my neighbours starts talking with me. He: “Hello, […]

“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: […]