Country of Origin : South Africa
Occupation : Former business analyst, current educator
Years in China : 2 years
To me, China was always this place on my had-to-see list. Since I was little boy, I was fascinated and intrigued by this magical place with its rich culture and many different dishes that I only saw on TV. My dad and I used to watch all the kung-fu and Bruce Lee movies over and over again.
Before moving to China, I worked as a business analyst in South Africa. I worked at the same company for 5 years. And I felt I was stuck in a trap so many people get into working in big cities. I was in traffic for 2 hours in the morning and 2 hours at night, working long and exhausting hours… Yes, I did that for 5 years! Till one day, I realized life was just passing me by and I was going around in a circle year in and year out. I was determined that there was more to life than that and took the decision of moving on to a more exciting next stage. So this is where my story begins.
搬到中国之前，我在南非做商业分析员。我在一家公司工作了 5 年。和许多在大城市工作的人一样，我陷入了瓶颈期。我早晚通勤时都要堵上两个小时，工作时间很长，很累……没错，我就这样做了 5 年！直到有一天，我意识到生命在不断流逝，而我只是年复一年地原地踏步。于是我下定决心，要赋予生命以更多的意义。然后我决定开始一段激动人心的崭新生活。那一刻起，我的故事就此开始。
I needed a change of career and change of scenery but I wasn’t convinced that China was the right place for me. It took my sister convincing me to finally take the plunge. Before coming to China I had my own ideas of what it would be like and boy was I wrong! It turned out to better than I ever expected. The thing that I fell in love with first was the transport system, for the first time in 5 years I didn’t have to be stuck in traffic for hours to get to work!
I didn’t really know what to expect arriving here but I knew I wanted to take in everything and savor every moment. I only planned to be here for a year and after 2 years I’m still here.
I didn’t know this little gem existed. I did some research on the Internet and I read something about a piano island and the music in Xiamen and I was sold haha.
I’ve seen a few places in China but to me, Xiamen is by far the best. The local people are friendly, there’s beautiful scenery and I made a lot friends on my journey.
My unique China experience is that I learned to cook Chinese food while assisting a friend in a Chinese restaurant in 2020, not being able to speak a word of Chinese. The naming food part of my Chinese vocabulary is pretty good because of that experience. When I’m back home and make those dishes it’s a little part of China that I’ll always have with me. Like a gift that I will use for the rest of my life.
Fun fact: I lost 25 kg in 6 months being in here, so thank you China for that!!
有趣的是，感谢中国，因为我在中国 6 个月内减掉了 25 公斤！！
My diet here changed radically, from fast food and sugary drinks, I started eating more vegetables and I wanted to keep up with the elderly I saw doing exercise in the morning in the park. Some of them were 3 times my age and were way more fit and active than me! The pressure was on and, thanks to this, I lead a healthier lifestyle now.
A little background on his hometown
I’m originally from Pretoria, South Africa and every October the flowers bloom in a purple color, it’s amazing!
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