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The lucky dog

Popularity 7Viewed 2010 times 2014-6-5 11:59 |System category:Life| education, luck

I had never considered myself lucky before luck finally hit me. You see, I didn’t get high score in Gaokao. So I wound up entering an ordinary university. After four years in that university, I flunk the entrance exam of graduate school. Next, I got this not so ideal job after graduation. But there was this one time, I was the lucky dog. And to me, that one time to be lucky was more than enough to compensate for all the bad luck in the past.


While I was studying in an ordinary university in Zhangjiajie, I got this precious chance of being an interpreter for a professor from a university in Australia (It was a life-changing opportunity, when I recall it now). That professor who is a well-known geomorphologist was attending an international conference concerning the landscape in Zhangjiajie. Of course, I was only required to do very basic interpretation for him as my English was nowhere near a professional interpreter. After that conference, I seriously thought we would never meet again. But, several months later, he contacted me to tell me that he was coming to Zhangjiajie with his wife and he hoped I could come and accompany his wife as he would be occupied by work. I had a blast with them that time.


Again, after the second meeting, I thought that would be the last time I met them. Time passed by and I graduated from that university and started working in a language center in China. Honestly, as an English major student, even though I was franticly curious about English-speaking countries, furthering my education in a foreign country was not even in my wildest dream when I was staying in the symbolic ivory tower-university. That was partly because I knew it was going to cost me an arm and a leg to receive higher education in a mainstream English-speaking country and partly because I was not sure whether I would be ready for all the challenges I have to face with while studying in a foreign country.


However, after I sat the IELTS test, the idea of studying abroad began to circle in my mind. One day, I decided to tell my mother about this. Unfortunately, without even pondering about this, she put her foot down almost immediately. She then said that I should start considering of finding a partner and getting married (I was only 23). Annoyingly, she continued to nag about the marriage thing by using my primary school classmate as an example who at that time was already married and pregnant. This unpleasant conversation ended up with me hanging up the phone. Although I was upset about my mom’s reaction to my request, I couldn’t bring myself to blame her. You see, my mom grew up in a small village, without even finishing her senior high school education. Plus, none of her relatives received higher education. In her generation, females in that village were expected to be hard-working, not to be well-educated. Not long after she got married, she quitted her job in a small factory and became a housewife. All these years, she seems to be quite content with her life. So, no wonder why she believed it was more important for me to find a good partner.


One day, I mentioned that I attempted to study abroad one day in an email to the professor. I also explained that I had to work for some years to save money as my parents didn’t seem to be supportive. Deep down, I knew the chance of me studying overseas was really slim as I understood my desire of chasing after that dream might die down gradually with time flying by. But, secretly, I was still hoping my parents would change their mind soon.


Several months later, I resigned my first job due to a lot of reasons. Coincidently, the professor and his wife happened to be in Beijing. After knowing what happened to me, they invited me to Beijing to have a reunion with them. I was almost over the moon about being able to meet them again. That was actually the first time I had visited Beijing. So, it was actually them who showed me around that city because they had been there for quite a few times.


I still remember vividly what happened that special afternoon. We just went back from the antique market in Beijing and they offered to take me to a café to have a cup of coffee. While we were sitting there drinking our coffee, they told me that they were willing to offer me free accommodation and food if I was ready to study in the university which the professor was working for. After hearing this, I was absolutely stunned and speechless as I couldn’t believe the big commitment they made for me even though they didn’t know me that well.


That was the silver lining for me. I decided the chance was too valuable to be thrown away. So, I called my father this time (my mum was too difficult to convince). In order to hear the “yes”, I even used the card up my sleeve. I told my father I wanted to use the money he was going to give me as my dowry to further my education. A moment later, he agreed my decision. I then jumped with joy, smiling from ear to ear.


That was the first step I made for this journey of studying abroad which apparently was also the most important one. The initial step always seems to be the most difficult one when it comes to the big decision in life. Frankly, I had hesitated before I became determined about studying abroad as I wasn’t sure whether it would be worthwhile or not. Also, with the number of Chinese students who go abroad for tertiary education increasing, I was concerned about the competitive job market I had to face in the future. But, now, I am so glad that I did it as I feel like it may be a turning point in my life. It is not all about the education any longer; to me, it is more about immersing yourself in a different culture and exploring the richness, dynamic and diversity of it.


I suppose we should all get lucky once. This is mine. Maybe it is your turn next time. 

(Opinions of the writer in this blog don't represent those of China Daily.)




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Friends who just made a statement (2 Person)

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Comment Comment (13 comments)

Reply Report ColinSpeakman 2014-6-5 14:21
Well Min, that is an amazing story of how you got to Australia!  Some would call it Guanxi!    an inspiration for other readers.

Your statement: Unfortunately, without even pondering about this, she put her foot down almost immediately. She then said that I should start considering of finding a partner and getting married (I was only 23). Annoyingly, she continued to nag about the marriage thing by using my primary school classmate as an example who at that time was already married and pregnant. This unpleasant conversation ended up with me hanging up the phone.  SO UNFORTUNATE. Parents should always at least consider their children's request with an open mind!  It is a classic response that so many young Chinese hear, I think?
Reply Report Min1989 2014-6-5 20:43
ColinSpeakman: Well Min, that is an amazing story of how you got to Australia!  Some would call it Guanxi!      an inspiration for other readers.

Your statemen ...
Thank you! They did help me a lot with my appliciation. But still I had to meet their entry requirements for the course.

Regarding to that statement, I think you are absolutely right. At least, I heard that from my mom a lot, especially when I was young. Parents always believe they are doing what is the best for us, based on their own experience. But, it doesn't always work as the society keeps changing all the time.
Reply Report winnie伊伊 2014-6-7 14:53
maybe we just ready for everything, chance is coming by coincidence.of course , congratulations!
Reply Report wingless 2014-6-7 20:07
Fantastic, everybody needs a break once in awhile. Good luck Min.
Reply Report teamkrejados 2014-6-8 08:32
My dear, I believe you have found yourself a mentor. How great are you??? Wish you the very best. Great story!
Reply Report objchina 2014-6-9 08:48
That Professor and his Wife are your Angels,  ..Cherish and never make them disappointed.

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Recent comments

  • The Purpose of Reading 2018-4-12 13:45

    we have the same feeling about. reading,reading. really tells us a lot especially when welearn foreign can help us to understand other. country's culture and customs.therefore,when we talk. in foreign languages.we. needn't worry about. making too. much also can enrich our life.let's enjoy reding

  • Why don't We Stand Out and Fight? 2018-4-4 14:14

    It is actually emotionally and mentally healthy to have nursing homes for old people in residential areas, and makes it easy for families to visit their elderly relations regularly.
    Death happens to everyone and it is stupid to hide it away. Death is not bad luck - it will happen to you and me.
    In some European countries there are homes for the elderly next to kindergartens, and everyone benefits from interacting with each other on a daily basis.
    The elderly benefit from interacting with children and keeps them mentally alert, whereas the young learn about death as a normal part of life.

    For a country that supposedly 'respects' their elders, China has a very superstitious attitude to death and dying.
    where i am from, the elderly are allowed and supported by family and state) to be independent and in their own homes.
    Where medical treatment is needed, residential homes allow the elderly appropriate facilities in towns and cities while their families can visit easily and local residents can interact with them.
    In addition, local communities benefit from being able to interact with these residents and the residents can still be part of a local community, not hidden away as something to be ashamed of or 'taboo'.

    Shame on China for such medieval superstitious attitudes regarding death.
    Does China 'respect' the elderly so much that they should be hidden away from people's lives?

    Do you want to be isolated and hidden away when you are old and your family don't want to or can't visit you?

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