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This post was edited by MisterPanda at 2012-5-21 18:06|
Wow, that calls for a long story.
When I was a teenager I used to read a lot of Japanese manga. Being curious I of course started to read more about Japan, its culture, its customs, etc... And since I am definitely a curious person I went on browsing my atlas (yes I didn't have Internet at the time) and read more about other Asian countries, until I stumbled upon China. I immediately got fascinated by what I read and wanted to learn more and more about this country. I was 15 years old.
6 years later, I am still reading japanese manga but when I have to choose where to spend my year abroad for my 4th year of Business School, my choice goes straight to China. My school didn't have any exchange programs with mainland China so I settled for a year in Taiwan which I really enjoyed.
I still had to do 6 months internship to graduate from school and I was looking for something in China as I wanted to learn more about mainland China. Fortunately I found an internship for a small Spanish company producing magic tricks who wanted to develop production in China and needed someone there. I got other offers from famous companies (L'Oreal, Coca-Cola, Societe Generale) that were paid better and would lead to more prestigious jobs but this was the only one which would send me to China so I took the badly paid internship for the small company.
That's why I came, to discover the country, its culture, its feeling. I could read a thousand times about the Forbidden City and become the world most renowned expert on the Forbidden City, I would never know the Forbidden City until I set foot inside, until I felt the History of the place (seriously, first time I went to the Forbidden City it gave me chills). I could read about the situation of farmers in the countryside but this would not teach me as much as sharing lanzhou la mian in a small village in Gansu province with about 20 people and getting pissed drunk and dancing and singing with them.
And the reason I stay ? Well, I met my soulmate here and I want to build a life for us. Her family is here, her loved ones are here. When you marry a Chinese woman you marry the whole family. I knew that. I got to experience it too and didn't always like it :)
The other reason, and this one is usually hard to understand for Chinese people given that I am a foreigner, is simply that China is my home. This is were I belong. Sometimes I get extremely frustrated and, honestly, I feel like I have an overdose of China and I welcome the prospect of a trip, whether personal or professional. But the moment I set foot in another country, I just miss China and when I come back I always write on my arrival card "purpose of visiting China : return home". And that is why I don't like it when people ask me "when do you go back to your country" or "you are foreign trash ennemy of the state" whenever I complain about something. I'm just a guy who loves China.