Name : Mihail Varivoda
Country of Origin : Serbia
Occupation : Teacher
Years in China : 4 years
How did your journey in China begin?
My first time in China was back in 2015 when I was employed for a cruise ship company. We’d been cruising around the world visiting different countries and at one point the journey around Asia started. Among many Asian countries China was on the list to visit. Places we visited were Tianjin, Shanghai and Hong Kong. To me, Hong Kong was the most impressive of these 3 and we had a blast every time we returned there. A year later I stopped working on board the cruise ships and returned home. At that time I had no idea I would move to China just a year after. I heard about the possibility to work in China and that definitely made me curious to know more about it. In August 2017 my adventure started and the first stop was Beijing, but just for a few days, after short sightseeing I boarded the train and headed to Hefei , Anhui province, where I spent a year. Surprisingly I got used to the lifestyle here quite fast and it felt like a second home within months.
我第一次来中国是 2015 年，当时我在一家游轮公司工作。我们一直坐着游轮周游世界，去了许多国家，在某一时刻，我们开始了亚洲之旅。在众多亚洲国家中，中国赫然在列。我们去了天津、上海和香港。对我来说，香港是这三个城市中让我印象最深刻的城市，我们每次回到那里都玩得很开心。一年后，我辞去了游轮公司的工作，回到家乡。当时，我还不知道自己会在一年后来到中国。后来我听闻可以去中国工作，这让我十分好奇，想要更多地了解这个国家。2017年8月，我的中国之旅开始了。第一站是北京，但只待了几天，短暂的观光之后，我登上了前往安徽合肥的火车，我在那里待了一年。让我惊讶的是，短短几个月时间，我就适应了这里的生活方式，感觉像是自己的第二个家。
What do you like most about Xiamen and China as a whole?
It took a very short time to realize that Xiamen is the place where I want to live. After living in Hefei for a year summer came and with it came the summer vacation. I was doing research about interesting places in China and Xiamen kept appearing as one of the recommended places to visit. I booked a ticket to Xiamen north railway station first and then took the metro to a station on the island which was near by the hotel I stayed in. Basically since the first moment I stepped out on the street I noticed the huge difference. Clean streets, no motorbikes all over, quiet atmosphere, great weather and the most amazing BLUE sky. For all people living in Anhui province they know, blue sky is rare because of the pollution. It’s gray most of the year. I was amazed! Immediately I started looking for a job here. Three weeks later I left Hefei and moved to Xiamen haha! What I like the most about Xiamen is there’s everything you need in one place. You want to go hiking? Not a problem! There are great places all over. You want to go to the beach or close to the sea? Not a problem, it’s an island. Lots of streets are perfect for photography, local markets, great views all around the island and what is most important, it is very convenient to go from one place to another. What else do we need?
What fascinated you the most about living in China?
I do love exploring, traveling and adventure and China is a country that doesn’t lack places to do all of the things above. Endless places to travel, even just around the province you live there are many small cities and villages with interesting things to offer.
– Technology. Life is super convenient. There are lots of apps that make our lives easier. Everything is done with just few clicks online. Do you remember the last time you used paper money? Although this can be a disadvantage sometimes, it is much easier to spend money, especially on Taobao
— 技术 生活非常方便。这里有许多让生活轻松的 app，只需要在网上点击几下，几乎所有事情都能搞定。你还记得你上一次用纸币是什么时候吗？即使有时候这也会成为一种缺点——花钱变得更随意了，尤其是在淘宝上。
– Transportation. With fast trains traveling is easy, city transportation is also great with lots of buses and subway lines. I come from Serbia where just 7, 8 years ago you had to travel by train for nearly 5 hours to go across 150 km, haha. Imagine the difference!
— 交通 快车让旅行变得简单，再加上充足的公共汽车和地铁，城市交通也很便捷。我来自塞尔维亚，七八年前你得坐近 5 个小时的火车才能穿越 150 公里。哈哈，想一想与现在的差距！
– People and food. Chinese people live in a certain harmony with each other and the atmosphere is mostly relaxed at all times. Luckily there are lots of different choices when it comes to food and many dishes taste good. Chinese food is not expensive compared to western restaurants and that is great too!
— 人和食物。 中国人之间的关系比较和谐，气氛通常也很放松。幸运的是，关于食物的选择有很多，味道也很好。中餐比西餐便宜，而且也很好吃。
Some background on his hometown:
Serbia, land of good food, rakija and Novak Djokovic as some will say. Serbia is a small country in East Europe, with a population more or less similar to the number of people in Xiamen. If you ever travel there you will love the food, great Balkan taste and the prices will amaze you. Rakija is our traditional drink and many people enjoy drinking it, although it is quite strong, the taste is great and every guest will be offered to try it as some people are quite proud of their homemade rakija (if they have some). I am not into tennis but Djokovic is definitely someone most people know Serbia for in the recent years. Our nature is amazing and we have lots of mountains that are a paradise for hikers and nature enthusiasts. To mention one, mountain Rtanj, is famous for its pyramid-like shape and some people claim it has healing powers. Some people even claim to have seen aliens from up there! The 360º view from the top will take your breath away and you can see really far in the distance. If you want an unexpensive travel experience and lots of fun, then Serbia should be on your list.
塞尔维亚，美食之乡，水果白兰地酒 rakija 和职业网球运动员诺瓦克·德约科维奇（Novak Djokovic）也很出名。塞尔维亚是东欧的一个小国，其人口数量与厦门大致相当。如果你去那里旅行，你会喜欢上那里的食物，因为它不仅有丰富的巴尔干风味，而且价格也会令你吃惊。Rakija 是我们的传统饮品，很多人都喜欢喝。虽然它很烈，但是味道很棒。有些人对于他们自制的 Rakija 很自豪，如果他们刚好有酒的话，就会热情邀请每个客人去尝试。我对网球不感兴趣，但德约科维奇肯定是近年来远近闻名的塞尔维亚人。塞尔维亚有令人惊叹的自然风光，有许多山脉，是徒步旅行者和自然爱好者的天堂。比如，勒塔尼山，它以金字塔状而闻名，一些人表示这座山有治愈能力，甚至有些人声称在上面看到过外星人！站在山顶，你可以眺望远方，360º 无死角的美景让你叹为观止。如果你想来一场便宜但有趣的旅行，那么应该将塞尔维亚列入名单。
Serbia.com: “One of the scientifically proven facts is that Rtanj emits a type of energy which is very beneficial to human health.”
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