November 7th ,2013; 9:45 p.m.,Yichang airport.This was the starting of my Hubei story.I came from Bangladesh,a very small south Asian country, with a huge dream in my eyes. A dream to build up my life, prepare myself for the hardest challenges I will have to face in my future life; a dream to be an electrical engineer.
I still remember, I was so nervous while coming to China, and it was on the rise when I was received by my university officials at the airport. My life is full of adventure and challenges; I had faced many strange situations in my life. But, undoubtedly, leaving the homeland at a young age is the most challenging decision I have ever made.
Since my childhood, I have been learning that China is a “land of mystery” where everyone knows Chinese Kong Fu. I said “land of mystery” because while studying the world history in my middle school and high school, I found that almost all the important inventions took place thousands of years ago, in China. And Chinese movies, especially Jackie Chan gave me the idea that all the Chinese people are Kong Fu experts. But within a week, I realized that I was wrong. Kong Fu is hard to the Chinese people in the same way as it is to me.
Yichang is quite calm and peaceful city. “Rush of life” is something like a fairy tale here. But it doesn’t imply that people here are not hard working. In fact, they maintain a good balance between their professional life and daily life. The great Yangtze river passes through this city. To me , this city is a great combination of mountain and river. A perfect natural beauty!
Forasmuch as China is a “land of mystery” to me, I was eager to talk to the common people; and from their attitude it was obvious that they also want to communicate with foreigners. But it was not possible for any of us to overcome the language barrier so quickly. So I started learning Chinese.
Here in Yichang, every day I feel that universal truth -“learning is a continuous process”. Even until now, I learn something new, gather some new experiences not only from my classroom, but also from my daily life. When my Chinese friend Musa makes “la mian(拉面)” using his fingers, I mesmerizingly keep looking at this. This is something that can never be seen in my country. This skillful work always stuns me.
Spending time with my Chinese friends always gives me a splendid feeling. During our first days, they used English to talk to me. Now, as I can use Chinese language a little, they don’t use English anymore. Even sometimes they talk to me so fast as if I were a native Chinese speaker! But, frankly speaking, I love it; because of this action, both sides never feel that we bear different passports, different nationalities. They have given me a Chinese name- Li An(李安), a famous Chinese director who won Oscar for the movie “life of Pie”. This name was given according to the pronunciation of my real name. I am grateful to my three friends- David, Moon and Rain, for choosing such a far-famed name for me. Wherever I go, this Chinese name gives me a special importance among people.
If someone asks me what attracts me most in Yichang, I will name only one thing – the Yichang people. They are so generous and friendly. The lady in the dumpling shop, the “a yi(阿姨)” of the tea shop, the “shushu(叔叔)” of my college building and so on- this is going to be an endless list. Whenever I have free time, I go to them, and talk about our daily lives. We have no specific topics; anything can be chosen as our topic- history, culture, movies, from where I can buy spices and vegetables at a cheaper price, how was my exam and so many things to share. Sometimes we can’t express our exact feeling with words, still we don’t give up. Use google translator or Chinese – English dictionary, but never leave any story incomplete. This is the real beauty of Yichang , two strangers who have cultural differences with different mother tongue can feel like a family. Isn’t it great?
And the same environment is found in my college, my classroom. The teachers here are so helpful. Dr. Xu, Dr. Bo Yu, Lu Ling madam- I am very grateful to them. They have helped me from the very beginning of my life at CTGU. No matter what is the time and what is the matter, their doors are always open for us. Sometimes I wonder whether they are our teachers or our parents, a tough question, indeed!
Yichang has given me almost everything I can demand from my university life- good academic facilities, best friends, the opportunity to know my “mysterious land” very well and so on. But there is something else, for which this city will remain immortal in my memory- Love! This city has blessed me with true love. This city has introduced me with the person with whom I would love to go a long way, till the last breath of my life.
Sitting on the bank of the Yangtze River reminds me of my hometown. In my hometown we have a river, called Yamuna. In my childhood, when I felt so sad, I went to that riverside, kept sitting for a long time until all my sorrows were washed away with the river flow. The same thing happens here. Whenever I miss my home, I feel sad, I go to the riverside. I sit there for sometimes and keep remembering the beautiful moments I spent here- the celebration of spring festival, my visit to dang yang(当阳),taking part in “happy Chinese bridge(快乐汉语桥)” arranged by my university and be awarded, the peach flower festival organized at our campus, and most importantly- experiencing first snow fall. When the snow was falling, the whole area was colored uniformly white, as far as the eye can reach. I will experience this phenomenon many times in my life for sure, but the feeling that I got after experiencing the first snow fall,will remain as the best in my life.
While standing in front of the Mo Ji Mountain(磨基山),I can feel, one day I will have to leave this city. Then I can remember the first day of my Yichang story again. I was anxious that day, was thinking a lot about my career, my life here. I was uncertain whether I would love this city, whether this city would accept me warmly. But now, I am sure, when it will be the time to leave, I will say to this city, “thank you Yichang, my perfect school of life! I will come back again, to see you.” I know, she will say,”I shall wait for you, my son! Ai ni(爱你)!”
Name: Niaz Morshed Bhuiyan
College of Electrical Engineering and New Energy,
China Three Gorges University.