How to know a foreign city better
Hello again everyone!
How time flies and it is now the end of January. Thank all my friends for your comments. Your sharing and communications are the most precious gifts I've received for the new year. Thank BBC Learning English staff, specially to Jennifer, I've learnt a lot from your corrections.
So far I've been in Sydney for one year and a half, and this is the first time I live abroad. Studying in a foreign country can be both exciting and challenging, and I'm always thinking a question these days: how to know a foreign city better if you intend to live there for a longer period of time, say, more than 6 months? By this I mean you has substantial touch with the local society, instead of being a tourist for a short time. This is a real problem for me, because I'm still trying to find my feet in Sydney.
I've been quite an active explorer geographically, I like collecting information of interesting places and gatherings of Sydney, as well as wandering around to see the pleasant sceneries in my free time. Even so, I still feel myself a visitor here, I approach this city in the way backpackers do. Beyond that, I'm still struggling to understand the Aussie comedies, and feel like a complete outcast when my local coworkers talk excitingly about the Spring Racing Carnival. The reason is simple, I think, I lack the usual "hooks" into society.
Back in my home city, I knew all the greasy spoons hidden at corners that serve superb local food, even though I didn't eat out that often. I hung out with a couple of friends on weekends, most of whom I knew from childhood, laughed at the jokes we talked in dialect.
But living in a foreign city simply lack these kinds of fun. As an overseas student, I seldom get connected with the local community. I do talk to my coworkers in the supermarket, but that's mainly on work, when we have time to chat, words always stop at some points - those confusing details - which is often disappointing. In uni, most of my classmates are overseas students and making a group of friends from the same language background is quite easy, which further reduce my curiosity to approach the local society.
So...going deep into a foreign society seems really challenging, and among others the biggest challenge is you always need to be more open-minded. Now I have to admit that approaching a foreign city in-depth is a skill, you need to be an active explorer to places, a quick collector of information, and most importantly, an passionate communicator with people- making friends from different cultural background requires conscious effort.
What's your experiences or suggestions of living in another country? I'm looking forward to hearing from you. Keep on joining discussions in BBC Learning English Community and all the best for the year!