Name : Renatto Aguilar
Country of Origin : Ecuador
Occupation : Trader
Years in China : 7 years
How did your journey in China begin?
Back home I was working for a Chinese company, since then I started getting close to China. I decided to get my master’s degree in Xiamen after hearing some recommendations from my former colleagues. It has been a wild ride since the very beginning, there was a misunderstanding between me and the university and I received my admission notification just 2 weeks away from my deadline to arrive to the registration day. In 2 weeks I had to resign, do some paperwork, look for flights, and more. Since I didn’t have time for a proper preparation I found some bumps on the road. When I arrived to Xiamen I was relying on some apps like Google maps to move around in China, I mapped the city and marked the places I needed to go, including hotels and the university. Back then I had no clue about the restrictions on some apps so I could not move around as I planned and I had my family worried because I could not contact them. Without even knowing how to say hello in Mandarin I was alone in China trying to communicate with locals using Pleco and with some Chinese-English paper signs that I prepared myself. I was not admitted in the hostel that I booked because foreigners were not allowed (I came on a student budget, without scholarship so I booked a nice bed and breakfast kind of place), I struggled to find a new accommodation in the middle of the night, and later to arrive to the university; one issue right after another. Things started to get smoother after I managed to arrive to the university.
在厄瓜多尔的时候，我就在一家中国公司工作，自那时起我就和中国结缘了。听了以前同事的推荐，我决定去厦门读硕士。从一开始，中国之旅就十分刺激。我和我的大学之间可能发生了一些小误会，导致我在离开学注册还剩两周的时候才收到我的录取通知书。我必须要在两周内辞职、准备文件、寻找航班等等。因为准备不充分，所以来的时候遇到了一些麻烦。当我到达厦门时，我只能依靠谷歌地图等应用程序出行，我尝试了解这座城市，并标记了我需要去的地方，包括酒店和大学。当时我不了解一些应用的限制，所以我不能按照设想的那样出行。家人们也很担心我，因为我没法联系他们。我甚至不知道如何用普通话打招呼，只能自己一个人尝试用 Pleco （一款汉语词典 APP ），或是我自己准备的一些中英文纸质标牌与当地人交流。我预定的旅店也没有接待我，因为他们不接受外国人入住(我是靠学生预算来的，没有奖学金，所以我预定了一个有大床和早餐的旅店)。没办法，我只能在半夜重新找一个新的住处。后来在去学校的路上，问题更是接踵而至。然而一切都在入学之后变得顺利起来了。
What do you like most about your city and China as a whole?
Xiamen is a nice, tropical, super green place to live in. It has an interesting mix of hills, parks, lakes, coast line, track, etc. No matter where in the city, you will be just few minutes away of a nice place to have a walk, rest, chill. There are coffee shops everywhere and the weather is nice, a windy summer with a mild winter.
What fascinated you the most about living in China?
What I like the most about China is how safe it is, no matter the time of the day, or the place. Having the freedom to walk anywhere anytime for me is priceless. It is so easy and convenient to move around, to buy things, to order food, to pay, etc. And also, I have to mention that China’s railway and subway system blows my mind.
Some background on his home country：
Ecuador is known for its location right in the middle of the world, there are other countries laying on the Equatorial line, but Ecuador is the highest among the others that is why it gets this distinct characteristic. In Quito you will be in one of the highest capitals in the world and you can step in the north and south hemisphere at the same time. Another interesting place about Ecuador is the Galapagos Islands, the same place that inspired Darwin to create the theory of the evolution.
作者：Renatto Aguilar 翻译：余欣阳
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