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Home is where the heart is

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By Amgalanbayar Misheel | chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: Feb 15, 2022

[Mongolia] Amgalanbayar Misheel, Beijing Institute of Technology

Amgalanbayar Misheel [Photo provided to chinadaily.com.cn]

There are all kinds of people in this world and everyone has his or her own characteristics and different living experiences. This world is made up of people from different countries, different cultures and different languages. My dad often told me, “See more of this diversified world when you are young. The world is so big. Even if you study every day, your life is far too short for study.” Later I learnt of this Chinese idiom that “It is never too old to learn.” This is what my dad told me, he buried a seed in my heart which eventually became my key to China.

When I came to Beijing for the first time with my family, I was just 9. We stayed for 10 days at Chaoyangmen. There was a supermarket opposite the hotel where we stayed. I went there alone a few times to buy things. At that time, I could not speak Chinese. One day, I wanted to buy an ice-cream, but I did not have enough money. But the shop clerk lady gave an ice-cream to me, free of charge. Ever since then, I never forget it.

Although it was just an ice[1]cream, I can always feel the kindness in my heart. It opened my eyes to the character of the Chinese people. I think China’s fast development was made possible because of the character of Chinese people. They are hardworking, brave and determined, while at the same time, so warm and amiable. So after I graduated from high school, I wanted to go to China to study and know more about the enthusiastic and warmhearted Chinese people.

In 2017, my dream to study in Beijing came true. When I walked down the plane, I found a different Beijing from my childhood memories. I have seen dramatic changes in China. Now I have stayed in China for two and a half years, and I have already got used to a modern society featuring “Cash-free payment”, “Shared Resources” and a crisscrossed network of transportation. China is so charming. There is so much for me to explore and observe this amazing country.

Misheel and her friends buy pancakes in Beijing CBD. [Photo provided by Misheel]

I came to China to study and my major is Visual Communication Design. I think I have made the right choice to study design in China. Chinese culture is so unique in every aspect. Ancient architecture is the crystallization of Chinese people’s wisdom and thought, as well as the embodiment of Chinese people’s aesthetic tastes. My favorite place is the Summer Palace. Behind the front gate and bypassing the grand hall, there is the fabled Long Corridor. I enjoy observing the green-painted pillars and the red-painted railings.

Under the roof are crossbeams painted with figures, flowers and plants and sceneries. There are several thousands of paintings, none of any two is identical. I often go there to study. Each time when I observe the figures, flowers and birds, it is like having a dialogue with ancient Chinese. The Summer Place is a masterpiece of Chinese landscape garden design. It boasts great views throughout its ground. Its richness is beyond any description. I am so fascinated by traditional Chinese culture. I think I would not feel bored if I stayed there for one whole month.

Besides its abundance of traditional art, Beijing is a modern cosmopolitan. During my sophomore year, we had Computer Aided Design course which made us feel like designers. We designed logos and icons by ourselves. Once, we went to Sina company, a world-leading internet company that serves all Chinese communities in China and beyond across the globe. In the morning, we took a taxi to Sina.

Through the taxi window, I saw the modern and distinct building of Baidu. There is a bridge linking the two glass buildings of Sina and Baidu. It takes just a few minutes to walk from one company to the other. In the Sina company building, there is a convenience store, a gym and a dance room with large relaxation space.

I really admired such a great working environment. And all of a sudden, I eagerly wanted to stay on to work. Very soon, we were given a task to design the graphic icons for Sina’s APP. It was a great opportunity for us. We were divided into five teams and worked day and night. Each week, we went to Sina to present our works for Sina people to review.

Each time when we were at Sina, we were rather nervous. But we learned a lot and we gained a lot. Sina finally chose two teams’ graphic icons. We finally won the authorization agreement. It was a precious agreement that made us feel so happy. But what made me happier was the experience I learnt from it.

The campus of Beijing Institute of Technology [Photo provided by Han Xueli]

I have so many firsts in Beijing. In this amazing city, I can learn a lot and experience the beauty of life. In the morning, I like Xiaolongbao (steamed tiny buns stuffed with juicy pork) and soybean milk for breakfast. In the morning when I walk in the street, I can catch the pleasurable smell of food coming from the small restaurants.

In summer evenings, I enjoy the skewers and beer in the street, while the cicadas are chirping in the trees. Many such moments have become remarkable Beijing beacons in my memory. Beijing has become my second hometown. Thank you, Beijing! You have made my life so warm and blissful.

The story is from "My Beautiful Encounter with China" Essay Competition organized by the Chinese Service Center for Scholarly Exchanges (CSCSE).