As a Chinese student on the international news journalism (MA) course at LJMU, one thing I can’t avoid is writing stories.
Successful journalists know that frequently mentioning ‘I’ in a news story is always a good way to make mistakes. But here comes something full of my personal experiences and opinions.
It is a cliché to keep on talking about how wonderful The Beatles and the football teams are, but believe me, these are the source of envy when I show off to my friends now that I am in Liverpool.
One thing I admire a lot in Liverpool is how warmhearted a human can be. One day I hesitated on the street, trying to find out where the building for the international students welcoming event was. I should have been there half an hour before.
Just at that time a gentleman, who was on the opposite side of the street, shouted to me: “Need help?”
At that moment I felt as if I was the luckiest person in the world. It was obvious he didn’t know the road himself because he kept on asking passers-by: “Hey, mate, do you know how to go to the… ?”
But who on earth would waste half an hour on a Sunday morning to help somebody who is totally a stranger? He could have just ignored me and used this time to have a nice breakfast.
Of course there are also bad experiences, although the Scouse accent is known all over the world, but getting through it by yourself is another thing.
Last month I was booking an appointment with a dental practice by phone. I asked the reception whether they received new patients. “She replied: “Yes, what’s your CNN?” I didn’t know what to say because I totally couldn’t understand her, so I answered: “Sorry I don’t have CNN, what do you mean by CNN? Is it like BBC?”
“Everybody has a CNN!” she shouted to me. It turned out that she was asking me what my surname was. Don’t worry, I have already bought myself a handbook called “Lern Yerself Scouse”. I do believe in the very near future, there will be no language gap between me and the lovely people of Liverpool.
Anyway, what I feel about Liverpool is not the most important part of this article; the comments from my Chinese colleagues are what matters. I asked them what their experiences have been like so far.
Mengjie Wu: “I love the people and the sights here, and the atmosphere for football is very nice.”
Jingyi Li: “People in Liverpool are full of passion and patience, but I can’t understand the accent, and I can’t get used to the food.”
Jiaqi Yue: “I feel the sky is so blue here, but it’s not as clean as in my imagination, there is lots of rubbish on the ground. People in Liverpool drink a lot during the weekend; they draw a line between their work and their private life. The food here is so limited, especially vegetables.”
Luocheng Zhang: “People are so generous here, but the teenagers are so noisy, food is expensive, daily goods are much more expensive than in China whereas luxury goods are much cheaper. There are a lot of birds here; I had never seen so many birds in a city ever. One thing I noticed is lots of disabled people. In China disabled people survive by begging, the medical system must be good here. I can feel how people care about each other here; I like it here a lot.”
Yixiu Sun: “I’ve been in love with Liverpool since the very first day I arrived. I found it’s a cosy city with quite nice people. I made myself four goals to achieve whilst here: studying, losing weight, making friends and travelling. I hope this will be the most wonderful year of my life.”
Xiaojun Zhang: “So far so good! Except the pigeons and the seagulls, I’m really afraid of them… I mean it!”
Yiyi Guo: “Liverpool is full of fresh air and the weather here is what I expected.”
Ying Li: “I feel so comfortable here; I like this slower pace of life.”
Yakun Huang: “The weather here is so weird, sometimes it rains but after a while it turns sunny, and I don’t like the food here, I can’t find a place with tasty food. But I like the people here very much; they are all very kind to me.”
Language adviser: Niall Shepherd