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Foreigner finds a new home in Suzhou

By Zhou Furong and Fang Yi( China Daily )

Updated: 2012-01-06

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Like many international residents in the eastern China city of Suzhou, Joerg Lindermann from Germany said he loves its leisure lifestyle.

Foreigner finds a new home in Suzhou

While many foreigners face language barriers in China, the young German can communicate freely. In addition to his native tongue, he is good at Korean, because his mother is from South Korea, and can also speak a little French and Japanese.

He is also proficient in Chinese. He has no problem talking to, emailing or texting his friends in Chinese. He also enjoys reading local newspaper and magazines.

His advantages can be traced back to the time when he was still in Germany and had already begun learning the language.

He made a good Chinese friend and often spent time with him in Germany. When the friend returned to Suzhou to start a business, Lindermann followed to the city long known for its gardenlike landscapes, silk and embroidery.

Foreigner finds a new home in Suzhou

In the first few years, he worked as a business representative for his friend's firm. Dressed in a suit, he flew around across the country on sales calls.

Among all the Chinese cities he visited, Suzhou is his favorite because of the city's climate - "not too cold or hot" - and locals who are friendly and warmhearted, he said.

Another reason he loves the city is the setting. Lindermann said he lives near Jinji Lake and the view of the lake always puts him in a good mood.

In addition to language skills, Lindermann plays the piano well after learning the instrument since he was six years old.

Soon after he came to Suzhou, he found other music lovers and they started a band called CGT that performs frequently.

"I feel good on stage," he said. "I like to share music with Suzhou friends and in particular the joy brought by jazz."

To his satisfaction, he has returned to his pursuit of music and started a class at Suzhou Industrial Park where he gives piano lessons to children.

His passion, creativity and inspiration are best kindled by music, he said.

After signing up for a contest named "Home in Suzhou" in which foreigners show off their artistic talents, Lindermann sang the local folk song "Suzhou's Wonderful Scenery" in a jazz style with accompanist music played by his CGT band, and he won the first prize.

Lindermann now lives with his girlfriend and an eight-month-old toy poodle Bubby that he walks every day at Jinji Lake.

Foreigner finds a new home in Suzhou

(China Daily 01/06/2012 page14)

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