Italian mom finds a rich new life in China (2)

10:51, May 29, 2011      

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So is her mom, who values the Mandarin or putonghua she's picked up so far because it helps her connect with local people and the culture - and because it helps feed one of her great passions: Cooking.

"Our ayi is from Sichuan, and she is a very good cook," says Rizzo. "I love to learn from her. I can now make Sichuan eggplant and also mapo doufu - my favorite Chinese dish, I love it!", she says of the bean-curd and minced pork dish set in a spicy chili- and bean-based sauce.

When she arrived, Rizzo had a dream of opening a restaurant in Beijing. But she didn't find the perfect niche, her lack of English was a barrier, and now she has a baby.

But there's always another dream. "I want to retire in Italy at 50 and buy a farm in Tuscany and open a B&B," she says.

Meanwhile, she's become quite comfortable in China - even when the prospect of a new baby brought new pressure from her family to come home.

"They were always worried about me coming to China," she says, since what they'd seen on television made life here seem hard.

But her husband had been smitten by China in his international business. When an Italian firm gave him a post representing its Hangzhou-based plastic-bottle packaging facility, that meant being a week in Italy and three weeks in China.

His wife wanted the family together more than 25 percent of the time, and soon they were making a new life in Beijing.

By the time she was pregnant, the Chinese capital was home.
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Source: Xinhua
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