Occupation : Master’s student
Years in China : 5 years
How did your journey in China begin?
I never thought I would go to China, let alone live here for so long. In 2016, I was invited by Xi’an Jiao Tong University to study Chinese for a month in the winter semester. Luckily, at that time I had a friend who was in Xi’an and when I received the news in the summer, my friend there suggested to me that I should visit Xi’an to experience the city first hand. Of course I agreed and came here for the first time! We travelled to other cities besides Xi’an, such as Changsha, Luoyang, and Zhengzhou. From the very first day, I felt like I fit even, I adored the food here and the climate was extremely suitable in my opinion. My Chinese friend was surprised because he had never seen a foreigner eat duck blood, 皮蛋, durian, 毛肚, hen’s paw, pig’s leg and so on. I was in China for five weeks and then came back home. After I went back to St. Petersburg, I felt like a foreigner in Russia because China felt more like home than my actual place of birth.
What do you like most about your city and China as a whole?
In the past five years I’ve done extensive traveling and visited cities such as Beijing, Datong, Xi’an, Xianyang, Changsha, Luoyang, Zhengzhou, Shangluo, Shanghai, Pingyao, Nanjing, Wuxi, Wuzhen, Suzhou, Hangzhou, Sanya, Tianjin, Huangling, Changzhou, Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Zhuhai, Xiamen and Wuhan. I would have to say that my favourite cities are Guangzhou and Shenzhen, which have had the most profound impact on me and will always be in my heart. Guangzhou and Shenzhen are quite modern, they have a subtropical monsoon climate, lots of high-rise buildings, a fascinating night view and there are even sandy beaches in Shenzhen! Personally, I think Cantonese food is the best compared with other Chinese cuisine. I can say that the Guangdong province is the perfect place for me, it’s paradise!
What fascinated you the most about living in China?
It’s so much more convenient to live in China than anywhere else in the world in my opinion! The hospitality here is definitely unmatched and everyone is extremely helpful. If you feel hungry, but don’t want to go to any café or restaurant you can go to whatever convenient store and buy some hot snacks. If you don’t want to eat their snacks, you can buy some instant noodles, they will pour hot water on them for you. Of course, If you need to use a microwave, they will warm some food for you. Nowadays, you can not only use QR-code for paying but also can pay by scanning your face! You can borrow a power-bank for your phone almost in every place, and the cost depends on how long you used it. And you may return it in another place! Also, I can’t ignore waimai. It’s overly convenient.
What is your unique China story?
Almost every day in China is a little story. In my opinion, I can’t live in China without some challenges and adventures. But these stories make me more and more “Chinese”, so even some native Chinese can’t believe how I adapted to live abroad. Especially when I go to Shanghai. I was there 5 times and every time I had some story.
在中国的每一天都是一个小故事。在我看来，我在中国生活不能缺少一些挑战和冒险。这些经历使我越来越“中国化”，即使是一些土生土长的中国人，也无法相信我是如何适应中国生活的，特别是我在上海的时候。我去过上海 5 次，每次都能发生一些新故事。
But I want to tell about my parents’ story. They don’t speak neither Chinese nor English, they know only German, so when they decided to come to China, I was nervous because they had to transfer in Shanghai to come to Xi’an.
My parents and I were surprised how Chinese people helped them a lot when they understood my parents couldn’t explain where they need to go. My dad bought a pocket translator, and the locals used this little machine to communicate and ask my parents how they could help. A lot of Chinese people ushered my parents, took their passport, and gave it to airport workers if my parents didn’t understand. And they did it wholeheartedly, without expressing the slightest annoyance! Chinese people smiled at my parents and were exceptionally friendly to them at all times!
Also, to sort out my visa, I had to leave China and leave my parents alone for one week. I was nervous, but my parents called me every day and told me how everybody helped them a lot, and they didn’t have any problem even without Chinese or English language!
It really amazed us how Chinese people are amiable, hospitable, and always ready to help foreigners!
Some background on her hometown
I’m from Russia, St. Petersburg. This is the most beautiful and the most European city of the Russian Federation. Its architecture is “heavy”, and it radiates power, strength, and wealth. The pearl of Petersburg is the Hermitage Museum. Originally a palace, today it is one of the largest museums in the world and the largest in Russia.
My hometown is the only Russian city in the top of the most beautiful cities in the world list!
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