Opinion / Blog

Zhengzhou, my Chinese home

By MichaelM ( Updated: 2015-04-10 16:57

Zhengzhou is also home to a lot of industry. Foxconn, the Taiwanese company that makes many Apple products such as the iPhone and iPad, has a huge facility not far from my home in the south central part of the city on Songshan Road. Shortly after arriving in 2011, I took on three executives of Yutong, which claims to be the largest bus maker in the world, as English students. Yutong has become famous for advancing technologies in building hybrid (electric and petrol powered) buses. Not only that, Yutong is also known for building heavy construction equipment.

During my first days here, I couldn't help but notice the beauty of the city. The south campus (old campus) of Zhengzhou University was very near my home. I eventually taught hundreds of classes there. The campus streets are lined with 13-17 meter tall poplar trees, a beautiful site giving the campus the feel of an institution of higher learning that I've experienced in many places.

I've lived here long enough to realize that people are the same no matter where you go in the world. There are always the vast majority of wonderful people together with some who aren't. I've been lucky enough to meet some amazing people. (I've also encountered a few of the others as well.)

I connected with an English Corner that meets every Sunday at Binhe Park and Zhengzhou University near my home. I've met people at the English Corner who have become my Chinese family.

Amazing, wonderful people. Great students of English committed to bettering themselves through learning. We have people come every week that are as old as 78 and as young as toddlers. I donate my time and teaching of English there. ZZTV and HNTV have filmed documentaries of my life and China and my work at this English Corner.

If you like to shop, Zhengzhou offers Erqi Plaza district in the city center. The Erqi Memorial stands at the center of the area and is a beautiful reminder of those who fought and stood up for the people and their rights in fair employment.

This area is always abuzz with a lot of people and activity. Zhengzhou also is home to two Wanda Shopping Malls. I'm lucky enough to live halfway between them. They feature nearly all of the national chain department stores, amazing restaurants serving many of China's diverse cuisines as well as Western establishments like Starbucks, Burger King, McDonald’s and Walmart.

Zhengzhou is, in my opinion, a place representing the true culture and nature of China. The museums, parks, shopping and environment make this a great place to visit and a wonderful place to live. I've been given numerous opportunities to live in such places as Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou. I choose to stay in Zhengzhou because, for this American, it has become my Chinese home. 

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