Some of my friends, or maybe my followers on my social account especially, know that I was involved in an exchange program to Dalian, China. My role was to be a volunteer as an English Teacher. I'd a role to teach them for a summer camp. To conclude my journey, I might say that it wasn't an easy one. As a muslim, to travel to a country which the majority isn't professing Islam, I had to coped up with so many challenges. During the first three days in Beijing due to attending an AIESEC Conference where I met with 360 Exchange Participants from all over the world, I might say that I put a lot of efforts into blending with different kind of English accents. Different continents, different accents, different culture as well. I had three nights stayed with a Russian girl as my roomie, her name is Sally (Salima). Due to flight delayed, I only managed to arrive at the hotel at 3 am which entirely caused a little interference to my roomie because she had to open up the door for me. But, I might say she is one of the greatest friend I've met along the journey. She was friendly and supremely nice. (Not to mention that she said I look way too good without hijab haha). She didn't has any problem with me wearing hijab and being a muslim which is in fact she was coming from a country that is traumatized by Islamophobia. (she is still my bestfriend till now and i hope it lasts till forever)
After the end of 3 days conference, Dalian Teams (there are two teams for Dalian Province, they segregated the teams according to province/project) travel from Beijing to Dalian by train which took entirely 11 hours. Thank God we took sleeper besides sitter coach. It may only takes 6 hours if you choose to travel by express train (more pricey of course). During the arrival in Dalian, we were surprised by our host family fetching us up at the train station without has the chance to say good bye to each other. But that was funny. They act like they are our biological family and you can never think how awkward it turns out to be. Fortunately, my friend Wen Ni had to stay with the same host family with me because the management failed to find one for her. They said she needs to wait for couple of days only but ended up stranded in the same house with me for more than 2 weeks! Poor Wen Ni.
I think, my host family really fed up with me for the first two weeks because I can't eat pork, I wore tudung the whole day and only took it off only in my room, and took ablation 5 times per day. After 1 week, they started to question up every single practices of me as a muslim. They said I'm too picky. They need to buy new utensils to cook because Muslim can't only eat pork, we can't also eat anything that was cooked using the same utensils to cook pork (may only use it after some guidelines fulfilled). Actually, I'd already specifically informed the management but they failed to inform the host family. They also alleged me for being so arrogant by not greeting them on morning. I swear I greeted them lol hahahahaha maybe they were deaf on that time. There was a huge argument that I cant forget till now. The thing you should know is that the people from the southern part of China speak so loud like they are throwing a tantrum and they have a very rough spoken and attitudes (My China friend clarified that, not a mere assumption)
Due to intolerance towards culture, I was moved into another host family. They are poorer but nicer. I was placed in a shabby old flat house and it was on 6th floor without lift haha. Not to mention my former ex host family that has expensive cars and big apartment house because they are businesswoman and businessman but have kind of lower mentality, knowledge and smartness lol hahahahaha I was even being mad for taking shower in the morning (Yes, they only shower once a day)
I spent the rest of my volunteer period at the new host family's house. They are very nice, they bought every things new for me, new glass, new plate and so on. My host father (a brother actually because he is still young) can speak english and has a Muslim friend and used to witness his muslim's friend praying. I learned a lot of things from my new host family. I might say that they are poor. But they are very nice. The husband and wife argued a lot because of their poorness. The wife's parents hate the husband because he's poor and not afford to buy a house for his wife, The flat house was actually bought by the wife's parents. In China, the custom disallowed the daughters to marry a man that has no house or not afford to buy one, But now, they have one kid, a son, my host brother. He loved me so much, he called me sister and he woke me up everyday. We even go to school together holding hands.
During my stay in Dalian, I'd attended Taiji class, painting Chinese's arts, attended Chinese music class and a lot more. The society are nice, they teach me on how to make dumplings. It is so delicious and I craved for it a lot. My friends are all nice as well. In Dalian, I worked and befriend with people from Egypt, Hong Kong (but studied in London), Russia, America, Canada, Indonesia and Peru. We spent the times travelling, hunting for Halal foods and played games together. It was so memorable. So many parts of it that I cant express through writing and by words.