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Born and raised in a small and remote village of China with two siblings, Zoe had a childhood with wild freedom in nature. After finishing her education at Dalian Foreign Languages University, she has been living and working in Dalian. A woman of strong feelings and a passion for life, Zoe's first series of vibrant articles will tell you about the rollercoaster ride that was her first serious relationship with a Western man. There is much you can learn from her telling story. After that we'll see where else she can take us and what other wonderful experiences she might share.
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Life Is Tasty 滋味生活    

By Zoe
7458 Views | 23 Comments | 9/27/2014 11:26:19 AM

For a Chinese woman going to university in the West and be loaded with stress.

After Chinese Spring Festival, my visa was issued, the next day I handed in my resignation. One month later, which was March 10th, 2014, I left the company, it happened to be exact 7 years I had been working for this company, because on the 9th of March in 2007, I started the first day of working there, wow, such a completed number! I almost wanted to salute to myself!



In the next two weeks, I handled all the issues related to the government bureaus, that had to be taken care of, like the insurance and other social documents, and I luckily got a young couple who seemed to be quite nice people to rent my apartment. The day when I moved out, I cleaned it completely, and put a bunch of flowers in the vase, to welcome them to move in to this lovely flat. I hoped they would love this place like I did.



With two suitcases I left Dalian, left China and landed in this land.



At the beginning, everything was fresh and nice, I felt like in honeymoon with this country, I loved its green trees, its blue sky, its friendly people. But also it was very difficult, even shopping in the supermarket I had to ask hundreds questions to get what I was looking for, most of the time, looking at those colorful package I didn’t know what was for what. 



More than once I took the wrong train, and got off the train at 11:30 in the night, and found out I had no clue where I was; more than once I got off the bus at the wrong station, then circling and circling for looking for the right street, the worse was that the streets were so quiet here, it could be that more than 20 minutes there was no one walking by that you could ask about; the university system is so different from China, I have been running like a dog with its tongue hanging out in the whole semester and still could not be sure what I have been doing.



In the second month, I found a job in a coffee shop near my dormitory, although it’s a cleaning job, twice a week, I was quite happy about my luck, it’s 50 to 60 Euros a week, with this money I could cover my daily expenses – not to get hungry. When my family knew that I had been doing cleaning, my mom was crying in the phone, my brother asked me to stop it, he could send money how much I need. I knew his life was not easy and he didn’t have the money to send to me, but because he loved his younger sister and he thought I was suffering here.



I told them it’s different from China, doing cleaning work was nothing to be shame about, my roommate was working as a waiter in the shop and his father was working for the finance minister of Germany. Of course my roommate didn’t work in the shop and I didn’t know who was his father, only wanted to make my family feel better.



I limit my material require to the minimum, I wake up every morning with birds singing outside my window, I already have my friends circle here that we hang out and do crazy things together – my life is simple and happy now.



But when I was kneeling on the floor and cleaning other’s toilet, I told myself, someday I would know the value of what I am doing now!



春节后,我的签证下来了。收到签证的第二天,我提交了辞职报告。一个月后,也就是2014年3月10日,我离开了公司。从2007年3月9日入职到这天为止,我在这家公司整整待了7年。难道工作也有七年之痒一说?不过这个数字圆满的使我简直要把自己当英雄来崇拜了。



辞职后,我用两个星期把所有手续都办妥,特别是保险公积金之类跟政府部门挂钩的东西不敢怠慢。也很幸运地碰到一对善良可爱的小夫妻很想租我的房子,我把屋子打扫的一尘不染,又插了一束花到花瓶里,然后搬了出去。希望他们能像我一样爱惜这个小房子吧。



带了两个行李箱,我来到了德国。很奇怪,我以为自己会很难过,会舍不得,可是从大连到北京,直到过了安检,飞机起飞,我没有任何留恋,也没有难过。



初到德国,一切都很新鲜,我就像跟这个国家在度蜜月,喜欢这里的一切。喜欢他的绿树鲜花,喜欢他的蓝天白云,还有大街上温和礼貌的德国人。当然也有诸多不适应也有很多困难。比如超市购物,要问好多问题才能找到自己需要的,看着那些花花绿绿的包装根本不知道什么是干什么用的;不止一次坐错了火车,深夜11点半下车后发现自己到了不知道什么地方的地方;做公交车不止一次下错站,然后在一条条看起来都一样的小街道里兜兜转转走不出去,让人头疼的是这里安静极了,有时二三十分钟都碰不到一个人可以问问路;这边的大学教育制度跟国内完全没有共同点,我每天就像一只吐着舌头狂奔的狗,几个月下来还没弄明白自己到底在干吗。



第二个月时,我就在宿舍附近的一个咖啡馆找到了兼职,一周工作两次,其实是打扫卫生。但我庆幸自己的幸运,虽说是小时工,一周也有五十到六十欧元的收入,可以保证我的基本生活 – 也就是不会饿肚子。家人知道我在这里兼职给人做小时工打扫卫生后,妈妈在电话里哭了,哥哥说不要干那个了,你需要多少我给你。我知道他没钱,不过是以为妹妹在外国受苦还给人家看不起。我告诉家人,在这边跟过内观念不一样,没有谁看不起谁,工作也没有卑贱之说,我的室友他爸是德国财政部的官员,他照样在咖啡馆当服务员赚零花钱。当然,我的室友没有在店里当服务员,我也不知道人家爸爸是谁,只是不想家人为我担心。



我把自己的物质需求降到了最低,我每天早上在窗外小鸟的歌声中醒来,我已经有了自己的朋友圈不时出去一起疯狂,我现在的生活简单而且开心。



但当我蹲在地上,刷着人家的马桶时,我告诉自己,将来有一天我一定会知道自己现在做这些的价值。


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Comments
(Showing 1 to 10 of 23) 1 2 3 More...
#2014-09-27 11:50:02 by JohnAbbot @JohnAbbot

Zoe, you give us a real sense of the good and bad of beginning life in a foreign country. You reminded me of exactly how I felt when I first moved to China. Sometimes exhilarated, sometimes exasperated and sometimes just plain confused.

You had me concerned for your safety when you described taking the wrong train or getting off at the wrong bus stop and being totally lost. In a lot of countries you would have been in serious danger in that situation, and this gives us a sense of how safe Germany must be, or at least the part of Germany where you're living.

Nice read, Zoe, it was a treat to see this experience through your eyes.

#2014-09-27 14:16:00 by fengyan5746 @fengyan5746

(y)j 加油!你已经开始了新的生活,真的太好了,为你高兴,继续努力,让世界大吃一惊的日子还在后面等待着你呢!:D

#2014-09-27 15:47:33 by haifeng @haifeng

嗨,你好 Zoe,看到你的这篇文字我流泪了,请记住今天你的低头是为了明天更好地昂起头,祝福你!

#2014-09-27 17:43:35 by zhangdaisy @zhangdaisy

刚从德国参展回来,法兰克福和海德堡,超市的体验类似,那边的人重视早餐,晚上八点后超市关门,下午茶,周末举家骑自行车出行等,宾馆两边是森林与马场,树叶上没有灰尘...超市里的日用品很多只有中国价格一半,一切的一切应该是生活健康本色...非常非常佩服楼主到异国重新开始自己的新生活。有时候我也想我真的要找老外吗,虽然自己做外贸的沟通什么不是主要难题,但是包括生活中的种种细节,异国他乡每个细节不便有时足够让人打退堂鼓,出差旅游与在一个地方扎根是两码事。
别的二话没有了,祝楼主MM一切如意,除了学习和同学圈,也多找找在德国华人圈什么的尤其是法兰克福的华人圈,很多做中国参展企业的导游之类生意的对德国知道的非常清楚,参加些活动什么的,真的不错(代购?哈哈)。

appreicate this MM, start new life in Germany. I just came back from frankfurt, tiring but enjoy days in Germany, their life style, but also difficulties as you, although many people can speak english there.

I wish you getting better in the future and especially try to join local chinese team, especially tourguide, such as local chinese trader ( from FOBSHANGHAI etc )besides your roomate or guys in the college etc...enjoy lonely, share life with us and full wishes for you.

#2014-09-27 18:18:24 by yiyun2519 @yiyun2519

@Zoe
你是一个如此美好的女子,我惟愿我能做到有你的一半,相信肯定有一天一定会有一个如你一样美好的男子和你匹配,你值得和你一样美好的男子来拥有你,祝福你在德国的生活如意吉祥!!!(handshake)(f)

#2014-09-27 18:26:11 by 2396julia @2396julia

"when I was kneeling on the floor and cleaning other’s toilet, I told myself, someday I would know the value of what I am doing now"
Agree with you Zoe, after making efforts, everything will get better at last. Just like what John said above, pay attention to your safety in Germany...

#2014-09-27 20:16:53 by Jennifercc42 @Jennifercc42

ZOE
(y)(muscle)

#2014-09-28 08:45:21 by anonymous12042 @anonymous12042

好开心,好崭新的生活啊!好好享受坐错车,下错站的生活,好好享受在学校里晕头转向,认真地刷那个马桶,好好和新朋友疯玩,ENJOY!

#2014-09-28 11:27:26 by Barry1 @Barry1

"when I was kneeling on the floor and cleaning other’s toilet, I told myself, someday I would know the value of what I am doing now!"

Your continuing story indicates you have a great deal of determination and grit, Zoe. Much more so than the average person, especially the average lady. For this reason alone, I'm sure you'd be a great catch for anyone lucky enough to capture your heart.

Show me a girl with some spunk (slang for courage) and I'll show you a person well worth knowing. More power to you, Zoe. (clap)

#2014-09-28 11:39:57 by aussieghump @aussieghump

That that doesn't kill you makes you stronger!

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