- Posted May 9, 2014 by
This iReport is part of an assignment:
Life in China
Yuyao: the place I used to hate, the place that now I love
Living in China is not as easy as we can imagine, especially if you live in cities where so few foreigners live and chinese don't speak even a word in english.
This is my case. I arrived in China about 2 years ago, flying from Rome to Ningbo (Zhejiang Province).
I used to be a teacher for chinese kids in a district called Yuyao, such a small district that counts around 2 million people, where 10 or 20 are foreigners.
I was one of the 20 foreigners living in Yuyao.
I was supposed to stay there just for 4 months but destiny wanted me to end up there for 2 years, changing my job, my house, my lifestyle but especially..my mentality.
I was the typical italian girl who loved to eat italian food, going to the sea, getting up with sun and so on..
When I first arrived to China I had to wait about 2 months to see the sun shining on my face. It might look a bit stupid for someone, but for people who grow up with the sun, this is very important. It changes your daily life. It makes you smile. But in China..it was just raining (2012: dragon year).
Getting aound Yuyao and other places in Zhejiang province i realized that communciation was very difficult even if I was using my hand translator (dictionary) everyday and misunderstandings were a lot.
I just hanged out with 2 foreign girls at that time but just on weekends.. the other days were just adventures, that made my mind tired, everyday.
It is not easy to try to let people understand what you want to say.... really! even if I studied Linguistics.. It was so hard! and culture is so different... In Italy we are so passionate people, we need kisses, hugs and smiles. In China they dont kiss, they dont hugs, especially if you dont know each other. No contact! It was a shock for me.
But it was just for 4 months...so I kept going on and trying again, until the famous day arrived: a chinese company for import/export contacted me saying that they wanted me to be part of their team. It means: I should have lived in Yuyao for about 1 year. And at that time I didnt wanted. I just wanted to go back to Italy and take and give hugs to everyone, to not feel lonely again.
But it was the chance for me: it was a life and career chance. I studied business when in USA and working for an import/export company was one of my career goals.
I am honest, I cried a lot at that time. I asked so many people what I should have done. And the answer I had it on my face: my tears. That one was the opportunity for me to grow up, to show my abilities, to start a career path and walk/run to get my future goals.
I cried cause it was not on my life plan to iive in #China, to live in a different country, to speak chinese and to eat chinese. That #culturalshock was something not predicted.
Day by day, month by month I started to work in this company where just chinese worked (700 people). They were so kind with me, to help me being accepted by everyone there. Job organization was a bit different from my standards and this is was a difficulty in my daily life but I went on and on.
Today I work for Lutec since 2 years and I had the chance to travel around the world, to sell its products, getting to know different cultures and lifestyles, growing up, starting a career, learning chinese, and being thankful to my grandfather who gave me the strength to carry on, always, even if I felt lonely so many times.
And believe me #loneliness is the hardest part of a person's life.
Now I love China, especially Yuyao. I always call my chinese friends, even if I am out of China. I always look forward to go back and HUG my chinese friends.