大家好。All the time when people ask what is my name, I have difficulties with providing an answer because it actually doesn’t exist. Don’t get me wrong, I have a name, but it is not an English one. That is why, to make things easier in China, I decided to adopt the Chinese name Wukong悟空. Yes, exactly, the same name as the protagonist of the famous novel “Journey to the West”, the Monkey King, but with a different surname, 但是他姓孙，而我姓陈。And Sun Wukong travelled to the West, but I did so to the East.
My journey to the West started back in Europe, where I did 打工 (worked) and earned some euros in one of Amsterdam’s building sites. After I went back to Ukraine, I felt bored about European life and was very excited about life in Asia (all I knew about Asia was just from books, movies and some stories). So, I found a job in China through a Ukrainian job portal online.
Fortunately, I had enough money, that I had earned back in the Netherlands, to prepare all the visa documents and book a one-way flight ticket. And, so far, I haven’t booked the return ticket.
I have lived in Beijing, Guangzhou, Dali, Kunming and Xiamen. I have travelled to Shanghai city, Xinjiang, Tibet, Qinghai, Inner Mongolia, Gansu, Ningxia, Shaanxi, Sichuan, Yunnan, Guizhou, Guangxi, Hainan, Guangdong, Fujian, Zhejiang, and Jiangsu provinces hitchhiking. I really love the Western part of China for its wilderness and cultural varieties which makes it the perfect place for travelling. But about a place to live, I prefer Xiamen or Dali.
About the city that became my home – Xiamen what I like best is a combination of developing atmosphere and at the same time slow, relaxed temp of life. Of course, I can’t forget to mention the weather, seaside and mountains, food, people and authentic Minnan闽南 culture.
What I like most about China as a whole is that it is a huge territory of different cultures, minorities, landscapes, food and lifestyles. China is a place where people can have a happy, modern and safe life and we can choose whether to live next to the sea or the mountains, the countryside or the metropolis, cold and snowy places or warm tropical islands, all can be found here.
I am fascinated by technologies, infrastructure, fast developing, and the monetary system of modern China. All this enriches and simplifies the life of residents. Also I am fascinated by the Chinese characters, 汉字, Chinese medicine 中医, and culture of ancient China. Knowledge of Chinese civilization gives a very specific taste of life.
My unique China story happened 3 years ago in one of Sichuan’s Buddhist temples in the mountains next to Tibet. It was the time when God decided to save my life. One day during my first big trip around China by hitchhiking, I had a chance to stay overnight inside a Buddhist temple. The next day, when monks were busy with their lessons, I have gone for rock climbing next to the temple. I have climbed almost half of the rock and bumped into a male mountain goat. After a few minutes of staring at each other, the animal attacked me. It sounds funny – the goat attacked a human, but on the high rock where you barely can keep balance with the frightening angry king of that mountain attacking me, it wasn’t funny at all. We have started to fight. The goat used his horns to attack and I was kicking, bunching him, trying to push him down. At that moment, time slowed down, heartbeat quicken, my mind was cold and 100% concentrated. I had never had this kind of feeling before, but I guess it happens with humans when the life is in danger. Well, after 3 rounds of high altitude martial arts, the animal was gone. Nature gave me the chance to keep going on this life journey.
我讲讲三年前在中国的独特经历。那是在四川的一个佛寺里，就在西藏旁边的山上。那段经历是上帝对我的救赎。第一次搭车环游中国的时候，有一天我在一个佛寺里过夜。第二天，和尚们忙着修行的时候，我就去寺庙旁边攀岩了。我爬到一半的时候，碰到了一只山羊。对视几分钟后，它攻击了我。这听起来很滑稽——山羊会攻击人，但在高高的岩石上，你几乎无法保持平衡，那只羊就像愤怒的山中之王，横冲直撞，这一点都不好笑。我们进入战斗。山羊用它的角顶我，我用脚踢它，双手抱住它，想把它撂倒。那一刻，时间仿佛变慢了，心跳得更快了，精神百分之百集中，没有一点杂念。我以前从来没有过这种感觉，但我想，当人的生命受到威胁时，每个人都会有这种感觉。最后，经过 3 轮高空决斗后，那只山羊消失在了我的视野。大自然给了我机会，让我继续我的生命旅程。
Ukraine is second largest country in Europe which has a beautiful land with mountains, sea, forests and vast open plains. Its black soil produces plenty of fresh fruits, vegetables and grains which feed not only Ukrainians but also many other European countries. Ukraine is one of the Slavic countries which has its own beautiful language and folk music. During centuries, our country has got an impact from different civilizations and cultures, but it still keeps its authentic traditions so far. For example, torch festival when we are jumping over the fire, Water-Sprinkling Monday with water fights, harvest festival, diving to the ice shell during the winter, traditional weaving of flower crowns and many others.
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