Yanfei Duo (Shanghai,China)
Period in Nagasaki: July 2011 – March 2012 (2011 Overseas Technical Trainee)
On 5th March, when we trainees said our goodbyes at the airport to our Nagasaki friends, I tried not to meet their eyes so that I wouldn’t cry. In the end, however, the tears did come.
Goodbye,Nagasaki! Goodbye, my Nagasaki friends! I boarded my plane with regret and after it took off, I stared out of the window at this place I loved, my second home. I have such precious memories of the time I lived in Nagasaki.
After an hour and a half we landed in my hometown of Shanghai. My family had already been waiting at the airport for a long time. My heart was warmed when I went home and held my happy-looking daughter. It’s been 8 months since I was in this house and 8 months since I’ve lived the Shanghai life, and now I have to start all over again.
Shanghai has a subway, but no trams. It has high-rise buildings, but no mountains. Everything around me here is very different to Nagasaki. In Nagasaki the tram drivers give friendly announcements about stations and safety, and tell you when the tram is stopped at a red light. That would never happen in Shanghai, where – like most other cities – the announcements are all automatic. However, I feel like it somehow lacks friendliness and warmth. Whenever I hear the subway announcements here, I think back fondly on the tram drivers in Nagasaki.
When I walk down the steps from my fourth-floor apartment, I remember the beautiful scenery I used to see in Nagasaki when I left my house, and how I used to admire all the Japanese houses, each different from the other. The gardens full of flowers and trees, the koi carp swimming in the ponds and the sleeping short-tailed cats – a view so beautiful I can’t put it into words. In amongst all this, an old man used to stand in front of his garden and greet passers by every day with, “Good morning! Have a good day!” I wonder if he’s still doing well now.
Since I’ve come back I’ve spoken excitedly of my experiences in Nagasaki to my friends and family. For example, what work I did everyday and what my everyday life was like; what a Japanese company is like, and how I got on with everyone there; what differences there were between working in Shanghai and working in Japan and how I became used to it, and moreover, how after working here there were some areas of Japanese work practice which I really approved of. Also, what kind of shopping I did everyday and what kind of food I ate, what kind of things they sell in Japanese supermarkets and markets, and what kind of things Japanese people eat, how there are many Japanese restaurants in Shanghai but the food tastes different to the real things, and how Japanese eating habits differ to those in China…
My friends listened with great interest as, bit by bit, I told them my story. As I spoke, in my head all my memories of Nagasaki came rushing back.
Three days after I came back to China I became ill, unused to the weather here, and then I became busy with my office relocation. After two weeks, at both work and at home and in body and mind, I was finally able to turn over that new leaf and start my life again.
As someone who works in the tourism industry, I want to tell more people about how wonderful Nagasaki is, and have more of Shanghai’s people go there and experience its charm. I feel that you can’t really understand the friendliness of the people of Nagasaki without actually going there yourself.
Goodbye,Nagasaki! This parting will only be brief, however, as I’m thinking about coming back to you – to Nagasaki, my second home.
To the people of Nagasaki, I hope you will continue to be well.
I also saw cherry blossoms in Shanghai. A view of Shanghai in rush hour.
I thought of Japan when I saw them.