At 10 a.m. on April 27, we had this reply: "I didn't think I would feel so safe and secure in such a major city like Chengdu." Yaryna Soroka recollected the days she spent in Chengdu as her memory came flooding back.
On May 11, 2017, Chengdu entered into a cooperative and friendly relation with Lviv, Ukraine. Building on this basis, the two cities carried out a series of exchanges and cooperation. From September to December, 2017, Yaryna Soroka, the chief expert of the investment office of Lviv City Council, had a study tour in Chengdu benefiting from the International Civil Servant Exchange Scholarship customized by Chengdu Municipality for government employees from sister cities. During this period, Yaryna studied Chinese at Chengdu University, and played a proactive part in various cooperative projects intended to deepen the friendship between the two cities. Both the exotic local life and multi-faceted glamour of the city left their mark on Yaryna.
Yaryna recalled that she was quite into exhibitions and it took less than an hour to travel by City Metro to the Chengdu Museum and Jinsha Site Museum from Chengdu university where she stayed. Yaryna considers Chengdu as a very safe and smart city with good infrastructure and speedy transportation, modernized City Metro and train stations, as well as bikes for rent widely available and easily accessible city-wide.
Yaryna also fell head over heels in love with the tea culture thriving in Chengdu. On weekends, she would take the City Metro to the Heming Teahouse in the People's Park to savour the daily life of local residents featuring the old veranda, the low square tables, the covered-bowl tea ready on the table and so on. Looking at the copper teapot bubbling on the stove, Yaryna marveled that Chengdu was a place where one could live a comfortable and easy life defining the well-being of city dwellers.
Yaryna is a big fan of city walk and work-out. Chengdu, dotted with various parks, glittering lakes and lush greenways that weave through buildings, provided a perfect environment for her.
Besides, Yaryna was enchanted by the delicacies of Chengdu. She said that the hot and spicy food was something more than she could handle when she arrived in Chengdu, but gradually she grew addicted to the flavour which tempted her palate. She noted that she loved the hot pot and all the snacks peddled on the sides of streets of Chengdu which, in her opinion, was indeed a heaven of gastronomy.
As a member of staff of the Lviv City Council, one of Yaryna's main responsibilities is to develop friendly relations with China, especially Chengdu. Even after returning to Lviv, Yaryna kept paying attention to Chengdu and interacting frequently with her friends in Chengdu on the overseas social platform run by GoChengdu. At the same time, she also gave Chengdu the thumbs-up on the official account of Lviv City Hall. Yaryna mentioned that she hoped the cooperation between these two cities would expand beyond city culture in a bid to build a bridge of friendly cooperation between China and Ukraine in areas including education, business, and so on.