I saw it straight away. My name “Julie Do” on a piece of paper at the arrivals of the international airport in Fuzhou, China.
“Ni Hao” I said to the driver and “Xie xie ” when he carried my two huge suitcases to the car. That’s about all I can say in Chinese.
“Do you speak English?” I ask the driver who laughs and shakes his head to say no.
On the way, with my eyes wide open, I look at my new surroundings. A misty chain of mountains, a few Chinese temples, then as we get closer to the city, a blooming industrial life.
I see huge towers spitting clouds of smoke, enormous boats transporting merchandise, monster trucks filled with construction material. Soon we get stuck in the most insane traffic.
The driver sighs and whispers something in Chinese. He is probably swearing. An hour later, we finally reach the city.
The landscape changes and I can spot big buildings and skyscrapers. The streets are busy and loud. The driver slaloms between motorbikes, pedestrians, cars, bikes and buses. It’s complete madness.
The car finally stops in front of a big modern building. It’s the library where I’ve planned to meet up with my dearest Chinese friend, Yance.
I met Yance two years ago when I was living in Sydney. We soon became very close and I recall so many happy memories. His flamboyant personality got me the instant I met him. I can’t believe that just a couple of month ago, he contacted me to offer me an English teacher position at the school where he works.
And now here I am, after quitting my job and saying goodbye to my boyfriend in no time, I am standing in a giant Chinese city, my life packed into two suitcases.
To be continued.