A Colombian in Beijing: How is it like living here?

2021-May-20 13:29 By: GMW.cn

My name is Diana and I have been living in the stunning city of Beijing for 8 months. Before this I spent five and half years in Germany. I was studying there.

I was born in the beautiful country of Colombia and I had always thought that I would never love a country as much as I love Colombia until I get to China. I never thought I would be in China in the pandemic year! But it happened, and I am completely in love with the culture, food, nature and kindness of Chinese people.

I enjoy my life in China, traveling, eating, and I am happy to share my experience with everyone.

A Colombian in Beijing: How is it like living here?

Before moving to China, I tried (without success) to learn Chinese in Germany. I was always in love with the traditions and Chinese culture so a part of me have always been in love with China.

I came here at the end of August in 2020 after the quarantine. It was pretty easy to adapt to the new life in Beijing. It is such a big city and people are amazing at helping you with different things. When I walk without clue on the streets and look for something, it is pretty normal for people to stop and ask me, “How can I help you?” It is the nicest feeling ever, and I also feel pretty safe here generally.

I am taking Chinese lessons and have pretty nice Chinese friends. The Chinese language is not that difficult as everyone says, you just need to be pretty disciplined with it and learn a lot. I think that the grammar is much easier than German. I am still trying my best to learn the language because I love it, and I want to hear all the nice stories of the nice people that I meet on the streets and invite me to sing or dance with them.

A lot of Chinese people can speak English and they are going to help you anytime. My Chinese is not very good, but here nobody ever makes fun of my pronunciation as sadly happens in other countries. Chinese people just kindly correct me and make me repeat after them, that’s a nice thing to do. China is a country that let people grow together with kindness here.

A Colombian in Beijing: How is it like living here?

I am living in Beijing, so of course I already felt in love with the Great Wall of China. There is no accurate description for the magnificence of the Great Wall. It is a highlight that you have to see by yourself.

I have also been to several other places in China like Harbin in north China where the temperature falls as low as -30 degrees. I went there for the largest Ice Sculpture Festival in the world. It was worth to see. I rode horses in Inner Mongolia and knew a bit more about the culture and lifestyle of people there. I also meet pandas at the Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding. Before going there, I was not expecting much, but pandas were so cute, and I went out completely in love with them.

Besides the kindnesses of people and the beauty of landscape, there are more highlights of China. The technology makes the life here so easy. China is a mobile country with mobile economy. Your mobile phone is everything! I can order food, pay everything and get a taxi (Didi) just with my phone and I love it! There are also WeChat groups for EVERYTHING (and WeChat have the greatest stickers of any app around the world). There is one thing you should not forget before coming here: buy a portable charger, you will not want to miss yourself without cellphone.

The “Chinese food” that we know in our countries is just a joke. The real Chinese food is not like the food at my hometown. It is way better! There are so many kinds of vegetables and tofu, delicious creations with every kind of flavors. There are also many vegan options, and you can just order any dish as a vegan dish.

I already learned how to cook some typical Chinese food as Gongbao chicken, dumplings and some kinds of the most delicious vegetables that you can imagine.

A Colombian in Beijing: How is it like living here?

After living here for 8 months I can say that I never felt Beijing as a foreign place. I never thought that any other country than Colombia could be my home, but Beijing is for sure my home. Of course I miss my family and friends back in Colombia but my life in China helps erase that feeling. Walking in the markets full of delicious food, seeing random people being kind and smiling all make me feel at home. This is a country where everyone is happy and where the food is from heaven (I am a Latina and I love spicy food!).

I think we can never get to know the real face of China unless we are here, this country and its people are amazing. I have been to more than 34 different countries and I am totally sure that people in Colombia and China are the nicest ones. I could imagine the rest of my life in China, that is the place to be, and I am for sure living the Chinese Dream.

Diana Vidal was born in the magical country of Colombia and was living in Germany five and half years before moving to China. She is an engineer and foodie, and she loves doing sports and meeting new cultures.

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author's and do not necessarily reflect the position of GMW.cn.

Editor: SRQ
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