A few months ago, my school was contacted by the Luzhou media, wanting a foreigner to interview for Chinese Spring Festival (Chinese New Year). This was to be a special edition of a broadcast on February 15, Spring Festival Eve. My name came up as I’d been the foreigner who’d stayed the longest in Luzhou, having arrived in 2002 and been a resident in the area (off and on) for more than 12 years.
I was happy to comply and waited for the reporter to contact me.
Nothing happened and I soon forgot about it, until last week when my school texted me while I was in Xiamen at the Amity Winter Conference.
“The reporter has asked about interviewing you, but I told him you were not in Luzhou,” my foreign affairs director, “Catherine” Ying, texted. “He said he can do the interview in writing. If you agree, I will give him your email address.”
By this time, I was ready to head back to America for the holidays, meaning I wouldn’t be returning to Luzhou until March. I OKed the written interview and received a few days ago the questions he wanted me to answer, in a hurry because he was on a tight deadline. He added he wanted several high definition photos to place with the article that gave a “Luzhou flavor”.
Eager to please, I spent nearly a day carefully crafting my answers, which were meant to shed Luzhou and Luzhou people in a positive light (easy to do as I really love this city), and choosing choice photos that centered on Luzhou with familiar background settings.
Off that went, with huge relief and satisfaction on my part to have done it so quickly.
And I was kind. I didn’t say a word about the fact that this should have been done a lot sooner and he’d had more than 2 months to get it done. Obviously, I’m not the only one who procrastinates!
The Reply: Hmmm.
Last last night, I saw in my in-box a note from Reporter Wang.
“Oh, good!” I thought. “He received my email and is probably thanking me profusely for helping him out so quickly.”
Well, sort of …..
Wang wrote: “Thank you, I am very happy to receive your reply in such a short time. I have received your photos. But unfortunately, there is no suitable as a cover. Cover requirements are high definition, single person, for example, SLR camera art photos. Wang Yao.”
And his final email, after I told him I had no high-definition camera to do such a thing, was: “OK, thank you. I’ll take the time for the next interview and try to do the best. After you return to Luzhou, we can chat with your tea on the edge of the Yangtze River and wait for you to come back.”
Not wanting my interview to go to waste, I’ll post it here. I simplified my English for computer translation purposes, which I did via Google’s translation site. From the read-through I’ve done, it looks fairly good although I’m no grammar expert in Chinese. I’ve included it after the English for my Chinese readers.
From frigid Illinois, here’s wishing you all Peace (Ping An) for your day!
My Discarded Luzhou Interview Offering (English and Chinese)
I am an Amity Foundation (爱德基金会) English Language teacher. I have been teaching English with Amity for 17 years in small colleges across China.
Amity first sent me to Luzhou Vocational and Technical College (泸州职业技术学院) in 2002. I had just finished teaching in Hohhot (呼和浩特), which at that time was a very dusty, dirty, gray city. I remember thinking, “Sichuan is so green! And Luzhou has so many pretty parks with leafy trees along the streets. What a great place for me!”
I was also excited to see the Yangtze River. When I was a little girl, I read a book about China’s famous Yangtze River. I really wanted to see it. My childhood dream came true. Now, I see it every day.
Luzhou is my Chinese home. It is the people who leave a deep impression on my heart and make me feel a part of your Luzhou city family.
Luzhou Vocational and Technical College leaders, teachers, students and campus workers always treat me with great warmth and kindness.
Luzhou local people are always friendly to me. They help me practice my Chinese every day by asking me questions and telling me their personal stories. They are the best Chinese language teachers I have ever had.
When I first came to China in 1992, I remember my father was very concerned about my safety and health.
Now, China has so many modernized changes, especially in Luzhou. There is no need for my dad or family to worry about me.
Luzhou has excellent hospitals, beautiful new parks, shopping malls and many clean, updated sports’ facilities. In fact, I go swimming every day in the Feili Impulse Fitness Center.
Luzhou has an active Protestant church, too. I am a Christian. I can go to church in Luzhou, just like I go to church in America.
Spring Festival is so exciting in China. I love the beautiful decorations. The atmosphere is always happy. Everyone is smiling to one another. It reminds me of the 2008 Beijing Olympics. All the Chinese people were unified, cheering for their country and their people, and so welcoming to others. Spring Festival is like that in China, I feel.
I wish everyone in Luzhou a very safe, happy, restful Spring Festival holiday. Thank you for making me feel so welcome in your city. Thank you for making me a part of your Chinese family. You will remain in my heart forever.