The general brief of people is that rich children are always happier and successful than those who come from moderate or poor family. I am the true victim of such ideas. I was always neglected and underestimated by the surrounding environment I lived in. This is something that has disappointed me since my childhood but also turned out to be a blessing in disguise.
To prove my capability I planned to study abroad and pursue a foreign degree. Many nations in this world have influenced my country in many ways. A country that caught my attraction most is China. Their economical and technological developments have fascinated me. Moreover it is much affordable with best learning experience and culture offered ever. Therefore I made my mind to China and got my admission to China Three Gorges University (CTGU). With the blessings of Almighty I successfully passed all the steps to reach Yichang airport, Hubei.
Stepping to Yichang Airport was almost a disaster. I was surrounded by hundreds people speaking a language that was out of my mind. Neither they understand my words nor did I. I roamed around the airport for about 2-3 hours but still could not figure a way to my university. That moment I realized living in Yichang will be a difficult time as communicating with the local people is almost impossible without learning their language. In spite of these I observed the people here are very welcoming and helpful. They tried helping me in many ways and offered me food to eat. Finally, someone caught my words and hired me a taxi to CTGU.
I went to my room, arranged everything and looked around and cried “where am I lost in this world!!” I kept myself locked inside the dormitory for almost a week. But once I opened myself to the surrounding world I tend to explore excellent opportunities. From here a second chapter of my life begins. I found here a unique bond of ancient and modern civilizations as well as a blasting night life. I met many other students with in the university from around the world and different parts of China. I begin to realize that I just did not open my eyes to china but to the whole world.
Before starting my major, I joined to the Chinese language class. Firstly Chinese language seemed very difficult to me but once I started practising it I felt very interesting. I was so enthusiastic about it that I mostly keep mixing Chinese words with my mother tongue whenever I am in conservation with others. The teachers here are totally different from the others I have ever learned with. They are extremely friendly and kind. They always stepped forward to help us for educational as well as personal issue. Learning with them made education much easier and practical for me and so I always have scored more than the average on my annual report and loved by my mentors as well. Similarly the international department of our university is so well behaved and cooperative to us. They worked with me in hand to hand solving my problems that I requested for. I am overwhelmed by them.
Meeting the Chinese friend and learning more about the Hubei and Chinese culture make me run into a unique custom that I never could get from the text books. Believe it or not I just have started being new and fulfilling. I immersed with a new way of visualizing the world with peace and harmony. I have attended and explore some of the Chinese festival like spring festival, dragon boat festival, and Chinese happy New Year eve. The most memorable part is when I participated in a ‘’fashion show’’ program during spring festival last year. My picture was clicked by many viewers and was posted in a Photo Exhibition Corner. Along with the cultural program I have gone through some spectacular breath-taking moments during my visit to China Three Gorges Dam, which is the world’s largest dam and Xialaoshi in Yichang, Hubei. What a unique combination of mountains and rivers was that!!! Truly it was a marvellous view.
One more thing that amazes me is the Chinese food. It is so different from the one I had in my home town. The food is just so delicious and fresh and remarkably very healthy. One thing that I come to know is that Chinese people use a round table during their dining time so that everyone from elderly people to young child can seat together and enjoy various dishes. I become so nostalgic when I see such moments. My favourite food in china so far is ‘Baozi’, steamed bread with stuffed meat in it. There has always being confusion in eating a baozi. This is because being a Muslim I am forbidden to Pork. But the Chinese name of pork baozi ‘‘Zhu rou’’ is so similar to chicken baozi ‘Ji Rou’’ that I often confuse it with chicken and eat the pork baozi. It has always been a funny part. As well as these Chinese restaurants, many international restaurants like KFC or Mc Donald’s is also available here. And the foods are excellent and affordable.
Other thing that I have driven crazy with is shopping. Whether it’s about clothing, shoes or electrical appliances, shopping here is fun, affordable and always worth it in anything you buy.
When it comes to transportation you have variety of choices. Yichang is very small and active town so for me I have always preferred travelling by bus. One thing that surprises me is that, wherever I travel with in Yichang city, the bus fare is always 2RMB. How simple and affordable it is! Also people can use bus card to pay the bus fare which I never have known earlier. Nevertheless whenever I am in the bus no matter if all the seats are occupied, the local people have always shown gratitude towards students like us and allow us to seat on their place. The people are so kind hearted and down to earth. I am amazed by their attitude of an extraordinary person being so ordinary.
The most magnificent moment that made me proud of being here is my visit to a teacher house. Her name is Maggie Teacher. In honesty, I am a bit grumpy about visiting others or going to parties. I am not clear about what to wear as I don’t like dressing up fancy. But our teacher requested us so I had to go. I was a bit conscious but as I entered I put on a smile and said ‘‘that’s great!!’’. May be this was how Chinese houses look like. It was so beautiful with wooden polish floor and very simply decorated with fairy lights, painting and traditional sculpture. She greets us with flowers and chocolates. As we roam around her house, she served us food. The entire table was decorated with delicious meals of all kinds. There are more than 50-60 food items served and more to go. And most interesting every single thing was home made by our teacher .She brought us everything possible. I felt the table was almost collapsing under the weight of such delicious food. After that she played a low piano music. We danced a bit and seat all round her and clicked some photos. We kept on chatting and mingling with our teacher and friends. Soon the times passed .I have never seen a teacher doing so much for their students. I wonder how she did!!. This may be the Chinese hospitality and culture that just keep us occupied. I have never been so honoured by an elder person or teacher as she did to me and all of us. She has symbolized how Chinese people make good relationship with others. From that day my respect and love for these people and this place have optimized. I learned a lot from the people here which will make me a better person. I enjoyed the moment every way possible.
It’s been more than 2 years I am studying in China. My time here is chock full of opportunities and adventure. Being in Yichang, Hubei is an unforgettable and immensely rewarding experience and yet has lots more to learn in future. I have witness the Chinese historic transformation in to major global power all over the world.
For me homesickness was an unavoidable part of living in Yichang. But now I end up looking for excuse to stay in Yichang, Hubei. I don’t know where I see myself in the next 5years. But no matter where ever I will be, I will surely visit this place over again and again to relive and refresh the most splendid time of my life here in Hubei.
College of Economics and Management
China Three Gorges University