|Nazaro and his 'Chinese Dad' (Photo/People's Daily)|
My name is Nazaro. I'm from Turkmenistan and I'm studying at Shanghai Tongji University. It has been two years since I came to China and now, owing much to my "Chinese Dad", I'm basically used to life here.
I remember when I first came to China, I barely knew anything about China, and I couldn't speak Chinese, not even "nihao" (hello). I came to China with a couple of other Turkmen students whom I didn't know at first. I got familiar with one of them, Aman, who's now my roommate.
One evening around 8 o'clock, Aman and I were sitting in the chairs across our dorm and chatting when an old man walked passed us, turned around, and asked us: "Are you Turkmen?" We said yes and felt curious about how he knew where we were from. He said it was because he had met a lot of Turkmens before and could tell by the way we looked.
And that is how we made acquaintance with Uncle Zhang, a nearly 80-year-old Chinese. The next day we met, Uncle Zhang started to visit us regularly and teach us Chinese. At first Aman and I didn't know a tiny bit of Chinese and could only talk in English. Gradually we became familiar with Uncle Zhang, an authentic Chinese with grey hair and of average build whom we often confused with other Chinese old men.
If I'm asked to use a few words to describe his personality, they would be thoughtful, considerate, passionate and friendly. Uncle Zhang not only helps us with our Chinese classes but also tells us about the Chinese culture.
One thing I like the most about Uncle Zhang is that he always keeps his promises. Last year, I needed a high speed train ticket to go home and Uncle Zhang said he would go and buy the ticket with me. We made all the plans one day in advance: where to meet, when to start off, where to buy the ticket, but the next day when I woke up I was shocked by the heavy rain pouring down outside. I was convinced that there was no way Uncle Zhang would show up. But when I got to the place where we were supposed to meet, Uncle Zhang was already there waiting for me. "What a man of his word and how nice he is to me!" I thought to myself.
Uncle Zhang has a pair of deft hands and would sometimes bring us bread and yogurt he made. He cares about us and helps us with our problems. We've long been seeing him as our dad and I'm very glad that I can have a Chinese dad. I wish my Chinese dad good health and longevity, and I wish all the overseas students in China can find a Chinese dad like Uncle Zhang!
This article is translated from 《"中国爸爸"》 written by Nazaro, an international student studying at Tongji University in Shanghai. Source: People's Daily Overseas Edition.