My Chengdu Story

Authors: Nancy Gordon (China Daily)

2016-04-09

I can pinpoint the exact moment that I first felt at home in Chengdu.
On a warm summer evening in August 2013, shortly after I arrived in Chengdu with my family, we set out to do some exercise. My children, Finn, aged 11, and Neve, aged 9, love to skip, so we took our 3- meter long skipping rope. We found a nice, flat space in a local neighborhood park and starting to take turns skipping - two turned the rope, while the other two skipped.
Soon, we began to attract the interest of curious onlookers, who were also out enjoying the warm evening. It must have been a funny sight - a laowai family skipping with a giant rope, the kind they might have used back when they were in primary school.
A little girl, about the same age as my daughter, cautiously approached. Neve, who didn't speak any Chinese at that time, beckoned to the girl to jump with her. The two girls started jumping together.
Before long, the girl's parents had joined in. Onlookers gathered. After a while, we had people of all ages crowding in and lining up to skip with us. Even an old grandpa joined in the fun.
This simple event - everyone jumping and laughing together - made me realise how much the people of Chengdu and Australia have in common. While we work hard, we also know the importance of relaxing and spending time with family and friends. Like Australians, Chengdu people like to laugh, and they never take themselves too seriously. I guess that's why my family and I have felt so happy to call Chengdu home.
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