Event that changed my life…
Before coming to Russia I heard that winter in this country was very cold and so were the Russians. Also I heard that they did not like Chinese people. I was very scared by it and I said to myself: 'I will not get acquainted with the Russians.
When I came to Vladivostok I indeed saw austere faces everywhere and they were colder than the Russian winter. That is why I kept my distance at the classes and in the café. I went to the market and walked around only with the Chinese. The Russians I communicated mostly with were my teachers. Of course, all of this made my days here eventless, but I did not see any way out at the time. However, one event happened and it changed everything.
One day I was looking for a free table in a students' dining-room and a Russian boy called out to me: 'It's free here!” At first I doubted about coming up to his table, but there were no free tables in the room at the moment. So, I sat down next to him.
The boy smiled and started talking to me. From our conversation I found out that he studied Chinese. He also said that he had been in my city Qingdao and he thought that the Chinese were forthcoming and joyful people. I shared my concerns about the Russians with him. My new acquaintance told me about the Russian people, their traditions and their attitude to the Chinese: 'This opinion was set because Chinese salesmen in Suifenhe often deceived the Russians. As a result, many of us think that all the Chinese people are the same.'
It is a pity that the near-border merchants have become a by-word of China for most Russians!
We had a long and pleasant conversation that day and exchanged our telephone numbers. Afterwards we often met to go for a walk in the city. He showed me orthodox churches that were practically not presented in China. I also got a taste of Russian food. Thanks to my new acquaintance I got many friends among the Russians.
Later I understood that I was really mistaken in regard to the Russian character. And even though I sometimes still see unsmiling people, I do know that there are good-hearted souls among them.
This story taught me several things. Firstly one should not rely on somebody else's opinion. Also I should not be afraid of people myself and should treat everybody with respect.
I often think about this experience. If I had not taken that invitation, my life in Russia would not become interesting and joyful. But now I even plan to stay here after my graduation from the School of Foreign Languages and enroll at Master's degree programme.
Everything in life can be changed if one takes his chance instead of missing it.