故事14 | Mea: Finding a Home in China

       
我在中国的家 2022
故事14 | Mea: Finding a Home in China

作者:Mea Andrews

翻译:潘泽彬

校对:Luz、Zuzana、Joanne

Hello everyone, I’m Mea Andrews and I’m an American living and working in Beijing. I just moved here from Chongqing, and I had been living there since 2017. I came to China for the same reasons I think most of expatriates can relate to: I wanted to explore a new culture, meet new kinds of people, and broaden my world view. I actually had a fourth, more selfish reason for coming to China, and that was to better my writing by experiencing new words, places, and people.

大家好,我叫 Mea Andrews,是一个在北京生活和工作的美国人。2017 年,我从重庆搬到北京,之后就一直住在这里。我来到中国的原因和大多数外国人是一样的:我想探寻新文化,认识新朋友,拓宽我的世界观。实际上,我来中国还有第四个理由,出于私心,那就是感受新文字,游览新地方,交往新伙伴,提升我的写作水平。

In Chongqing I encountered so many new things: the Sichuan pepper, hotpot, chuanchuan, mahua (love me some mahua), incredible mountain city views that rival Hong Kong, I could go on. Even when I was in a situation that felt uncomfortable, like the very nice lady who took me aside to tell me my organs were different than Chinese organs, or when people would take my photo without asking on the subway or in the streets, it was easy to get over because there was always something unique and new to see or experience.

在重庆,我遇见了许多新事物:四川辣椒、火锅、串串、麻花(我超喜欢吃麻花),还有与香港媲美的山城美景等等,不胜枚举。有一次,我身体不适,一位非常友好的女士把我带到一边,告诉我身体不适的原因——水土不服。人们在地铁或街道上偷拍我的时候,我也会理解,因为生活中总有新奇事物等你发现,等你探索。

I had not intended to make China my home, in fact, I hadn’t planned on staying more than one year. By the end of my first contract, I felt like I hadn’t done or seen enough, so I stayed on telling myself I’d leave after three years. By the time I was close to hitting the three year mark I had started to advanced my career and had met people I would consider good friends and, in one case, a second family. There was no way I could just leave all of these great people behind, so I stayed another year…and then COVID hit and right in the middle of that, I got married. 

我以前并没有打算扎根中国,事实上,我不打算待在中国超过一年。第一份合同到期的时候,我觉得自己做得不够好,看得不够多,所以我选择继续留在中国,三年后再离开。时间来到第三年,那时我的事业开始蒸蒸日上,遇见了许多好朋友,这里是我第二个家,我不会抛下这群优秀的人,所以我又待了一年……然后疫情爆发了,在这时候,我步入了婚姻的殿堂。

I was never the little kid who dreamed of their wedding, if anything I wanted to learn how to wield a broadsword and go on epic monster fighting adventures! Yet here I was, in a foreign country, getting married, right as a global pandemic was happening all around us. Of course, marriage is never easy, but it has an extra twist when it includes what can be exasperating cultural differences and trying to get acquainted with a new family. I’m from a relatively unstable family background, so of course there were concerns that as a foreigner, I would run away back to my country, or that I wouldn’t have much in terms of family values and would simply choose divorce if times got tough. There were actually a lot of things said that I wonder if other mixed nationality couples experience, but despite that, my husband’s immediate family was incredibly welcoming of me.

我小时候从来不会幻想自己的婚礼,而是想学习挥舞阔剑,与史诗级的怪物英勇战斗!但我最终选择了结婚,选择在中国,选择在全球疫情肆虐的时候结婚。婚姻向来都不容易,对我而言格外曲折,文化差异令人抓狂,而且还得熟悉一个新家庭。我的家庭背景相对不稳定,所以当然有人担心,作为一个外国人,我会跑回国,或者担心我的家庭观念不够强,如果日子不好过,我会直接选择离婚。我不知道其他跨国夫妻是否也有这样的忧虑,但尽管如此,我丈夫的家人还是非常欢迎我的。

We felt as a newly married couple we had a decision to make: where were we going to live? To settle down? We thought about his hometown in Henan and being closer to his parents, to moving closer to his sisters in the outskirts of Chongqing, about getting him a green card and moving back to the states. We had to take a moment and list what our goals are, what we want from a city we live in, what we could afford. In the end, we decided to take a risk and move to Beijing. Neither of us had lived in a tier one city before and both of us had places we wanted to visit and goals we could reach while living in Beijing, however neither of us believe Beijing will be our last stop.

新婚的我们必须做出决定:我们要在哪里生活?在哪里扎根?我们考虑过在他的家乡河南生活,离他的父母更近一些,也考虑过搬到重庆郊区,离他的姐妹们更近一些,还考虑过给他申请绿卡,搬到美国。我们必须列出我们的目标,必须考虑想从居住的城市得到什么,还得顾及我们能负担得起什么。最后,我们决定冒险搬到北京。我们俩以前都没有在一线城市生活过,北京有我们俩都想玩的景点,北京有我们追寻的目标,但我们都不相信北京会是我们的终点站。

My husband, a great guy from Henan, and I have decided that we want to spend our time together traveling more. As he says, ‘We want to live a nomadic lifestyle.’ Therefore, our home in China now is wherever we choose to make it together. Chongqing is a beautiful city nestled in the mountains, but after seeing many of the Chongqing hotspots, we chose to move on to Beijing for a bit to travel around some of the historical places and take stock of where we would like to go next. Our life in China looks very much open-ended, we know we want to go to Guilin, Guangzhou, Xian, and so many other places in the near future. 

我的丈夫是一位河南好男人,我们想多出去走走看看。就像他所说的:“我们想过一种游牧生活。”因此,我们共同选择了北京,我在中国的家。重庆是一座美丽的山城,我们游览了重庆许多热门景点,然后我们选择到北京游玩,参观一些历史悠久的景点,再思考下一站该去哪里。我们在中国的生活看起来非常随性,不久的将来我们想去桂林、广州、西安等等。

Where I’m from in Georgia (though technically I grew up shuffling around the majority of the southern states), many people never have the opportunity to travel abroad, much less live in another country for a long period of time. China has given me the ability to grow in ways I had not expected and will be my home for years to come. I suspect China will always hold a special place in my heart.

我的家乡是佐治亚州(但我是在南方的州之间辗转长大的),在我的家乡,许多人一辈子都没有出国旅行,更不用说在外国长期生活了。我从未想到,中国能令我成长,在未来的几年里,中国将是我的家。中国将永远在我心中占据一个特殊的位置。


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