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Making Chinese friends

This is a good story to count in our days, when a nation like China and its population is deemed as malefic and threatening. I am poorly informed and introduced about who actually runs that country and who are the actual leaders there, but I have personal experiences that go against discrimination and would instead add up to the belief that good people exist regardless of nationality and culture.

Moscow has become during the last years a major touristic destination for Chinese travelers due to the geographical proximity of China with the Russian Federation and also to the stimulus that both governments give in order to create more relations between its peoples. If you visit Red Square at any time of the year you certainly find groups of Chinese visitors (usually with more than ten), entering the Kremlim, the Lenin's Mausoleum or the National History Museum. In May of last year, while I was living in the hostel in Tretyakovskaya district, I met a group of young Chinese students who were spending some days in Moscow and as well another Chinese young man who actually lived in Ukraine and was in Russia just to make his visa. My first contact with them happened when I came inside the kitchen of the hostel and saw all of them together sitting around one of the two big tables and talking with engagement about something that I couldn't even guess what was, naturally. As I usually did, I came by to greet them, introduce myself and respectfully ask what they were doing in Moscow. They were very gentle right at the first contact and all of them reacted with friendly smiles to my interaction. I kept the flow of our communication and within instants I was involved in the talk. It was for me a great opportunity to learn more about China, about Shanghai, where they came from, and to see the opinion which they themselves had about their nation and its position in the world. On the other hand they were also interested in knowing more about my relation with Moscow, why I chose to come to Russia and how did I end up living in a hostel. After nearly an hour chatting, I felt like I should propose a walk around Red Square and show them some cool stuff in that area. They accepted my invitation right away, within couple of minutes we were all ready to come out.

It was already evening when we went out, around 10pm I guess. While we walked we kept the conversation we started in the hostel. I told them more about my experiences living here, about life in Brazil, about my passion for photography. They invited me more than once to take selfies with them and the coolest of all for me in that company was to see how respectful and observing they were in that short exploration. They were my best lesson about Chinese culture I've ever had. As happened often while living in that part of the city, I was providing a group of visitors coming from a different nation a more remarkable way to appreciate the city and as return I felt that I was the one learning something of value there. The possibility to be in their company and watch their admiration being in that new place serves as a good reason to believe that differences are supposed to unite us all instead of the opposite.

Later on, when we were back inside the hostel, they prepared some special meal and I got really curious to find out what that recipe would end up like. They prepared something that can be called as cola chicken. ?? Yeah, they fried chicken with Coca-Cola and believe me it was quite tasty!



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