Monday, 27 July 2020

The lucky 2020, quarantine & one Italian #loveaupair

How I did not want to give up

When I decided to leave for China, my plans certainly did not include what happened. At the beginning of the pandemic, I received dozens of messages and calls from friends, relatives, even strangers who repeated to me to return immediately to Italy. Instead, I decided to trust my personal judgment and what people said to me here: respecting the rules, staying at home, the situation will improve. 

As a result, China has always been the safest place for me because as China recovered, Italy was starting to show the first signs of a fall. But the phrase that bothered me most was "I'm sorry, you were really unlucky." To be honest, I always thought I wasn't particularly lucky... Yet during all these months it never occurred to me, indeed if you have the patience to read these few lines, I explain to you why the feeling that I perceived and that I will perceive by remembering this period was only luck.

My journey to China

I arrived in China on January 1, 2020, stopped in Wuhan and then landed in Hangzhou, where the family that would welcome me for the following months was waiting for me. Yes, you read that correctly. I stopped in the hotbed of the current global pandemic. And all this time I have done nothing but think about how lucky I was to have been there at that precise moment, without any consequence. 

When I arrived in Hangzhou my new family welcomed me with a bouquet of flowers and embarrassed smiles, the first thing I said to Hannah (what should be the "host mother", but which I have always seen as an older sister) I think it was "sorry, can I hug you?"And if you still have any doubts, yes, I'm Italian and I love hugs. In recent months I have had the opportunity to get to know my "new family" better and I firmly believe that I have been tremendously lucky to have happened in such a special environment.

My tricky host boy Max The boy I should have taught English, but who has become more of an adventure companion with whom I shared this strange experience, is called Max. He is an intelligent and curious child, who loves Harry Potter like me, but hates reading books in the original language (the reason for continuous discussions between us). I always think there is a hate-love relationship between me and Max, which makes our relationship very interesting: maybe we love each other, but often we can't stand each other. With all the time we have available to study together, I think it has now reached my level of knowledge of English ... and also my level of knowledge of Disney songs. 

But it's not just Max ... it's all his family that made me feel right. Her parents made me feel at home even in such a paradoxical situation. Sharing spaces is not easy and coexistence can often be complicated. Here, I have never felt this feeling, while remaining locked up in the house with them for more than 50 days. If this is not luck! They always treated me with respect, they listened to me and accepted me. 

The energy of a volcano? Max's little cousin

I met Max's grandmother and grandfather, thoughtful in different ways: my grandmother always offers me a lot of fruit, while my grandfather always fills my glass. Then I was lucky enough to meet Chloè, the little cousin of Max, and her family. Chloè has the energy of a volcano that sometimes amazes you with her sweetness. The relationship between her and Max has repeatedly made me smile, they protect each other like the most valiant warriors.

Furthermore, even while staying at home I discovered new things. For example, when they made me try foods I didn't even imagine existed, most of them delicious, while some, let's face it, disgusting (the egg with the chick inside); or, when they showed me how to write with brushes and ink and there I understood all the magic behind it, all the precision and technique, all the passion, art and beauty; or again, when we did karaoke at home, alternating Chinese songs with Italian, English or Spanish songs. Then when we started going out again, we made small trips near the city where I live. And perhaps if I had had the opportunity to go further, I would not have been able to discover and appreciate the beauty that I have around here. 

It's all fascinating

One of the things that I certainly loved the most were travelling by car with music to keep us company and the scenery to chase us. Some of these songs will remain in my heart forever. Plus, I didn't leave for China to learn the language perfectly or to become "Dora the Explorer". 

There is a reason before every change we do in our lives

I left because I needed to disconnect from my reality, I needed a different experience that enriched my soul. I needed to discover new ways of thinking and to approach life, I needed to appreciate the beauty of the "different". So I think I have achieved my goal. In fact, maybe I was lucky enough to go further. To conclude... these months have been a continuous surprise and a gift for those who, like me, can see beyond two simple walls.


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