I was feeling a bit apprehensive on my first day in China. I came to tianjin as an exchange student, but did not speak a word of Chinese. Upon leaving the airport and looking at the dull and grey sky, I panicked. Everything looked so strange and unfamiliar, I was as good as deaf and worst of all, I was on my own. I somehow managed to grab a taxi, only to find the smell inside nasty and the taxi driver rude. I finally arrived at the campus and after every arrangement was made, I was served with a meal but really didn't felt like eating. After dinner, I arrived at my dormitory and lied down on my cold bed, and thought of home. I was supposed stay at china for a year, but I wasn't sure if I could live that long. Little did I know that I was not far away from realizing that china is actually interesting. In fact, China is a place full of charm.
For one thing, the city is dynamic and bustling. My gloomy heart vanished instantly when I first saw the overall view of the campus. There is long row of trees lined up with the lake of sparkling waters by the side. The greenness and the glint fill the place and spread its bright energy to everyone in the place. Some are pouring over books by the lake enjoying sunshine and fresh breeze, some are talking animatedly to their friends, and some are scurrying about so as not to be late for their classes. You can literally feel the lively spirit of youth. Outside of the campus is lively too, so much so that the word 'lively' doesn't suffice. It is like a jungle. The big wide road is always packed with automobile, lorry, taxi, bus, motorbike and sometimes even people jaywalking all swarming in disorderly fashion. Some might think this is an absolute mayhem, but I thought it was powerful and full of life and soon joined in the massive parade of drivers on my bicycle.
Also, the food is amazing. True, it does takes time getting used to, but once after that, you wouldn't miss Korean food for a while. Being a gourmet, I tried every food possible within my reach during my visit and soon found my favorite, which is hugguo, translated as 'hotpot'. You are given a steaming pot of stew, which can be plain or spicy according to your taste and you dip thinly sliced meat, leaf vegetables, mushrooms, dumplings, and seafood for a moment then enjoy with a dipping sauce. It has a scrumptious taste, and I miss it dearly.
But what made my stay in china most enjoyable was the people I associated with. There are people everywhere I go, and I learned that I could be friends with anyone. They can be a street vendor, a caretaker of the campus building, bicycle repairman and just about anyone you encounter. They can look a bit hostile at a glance with their booming voices, but they are actually quite eager to get to know you. The most unforgettable person is a unlikely company I met during the train journey. He was a small boy with shaven head and twinkling eyes. He was a playful child and taught me all the card tricks. When I asked him what was his summer was like, he chatted happily about all the funny episodes involving his sister, dogs, grandma and a lot of other things besides. I never had such a delightful conversation with a nine-year-old boy.
Even though much time has passed, I can still vividly recall the days spent in china. Being in a foreign country, you were always expected to find surprise or bewilderment every now and then, which is a very reason that I find China attractive. Everyday was exciting, like an adventure to the unknown world . There is still much about china that I have not yet discovered. China is a fascinating place indeed.