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ENGINAIRS: Interview with Yuan Xin

Yuan Xin (31 y.) came to Europe from Nanjing (China). She works as a Junior Project Engineer at the Aircom HQ in Pietrzykowice, Poland.

Tell me about yourself.

I was born in China, in XuZhou, Jiangsu Province, 350 kilometers up north away from Nanjing. My major is Foreign Languages and Linguistics. After graduation, I became an English teacher at the university. I was a lecturer for almost 6 years there. And in the middle of this year I moved to Poland to stay together with my husband whom I met in Nanjing in 2017. We met in such an unexpected way just because he decided to learn Chinese.

So you are going to stay in Europe.

Yes, I am. New culture and automotive are really challenging. So now my biggest priority is to learn Polish to communicate better and to deepen my industry knowledge.

Do you find any huge cultural differences between China and Europe, Poland?

People are more outgoing in Europe. I saw many Wrocław citizens sitting in restaurants and enjoying life when I visited Christmas Market this month in Wrocław. Poles like to hug while greetings (smile), especially among close friends or a family. They are more emotional. In China, people are more distanced during such situations. I think that Chinese people are more traditional than Europeans.
I also noticed different work balance here. In Europe, people separate private life from work. In China, it seems more mixed.

Do you miss anything from China in Poland?

Well, I luckily supplied myself with a good Chinese tea. I still have some boxes in my storage. I also miss Chinese food. And of course, speaking Chinese (smile).

Has your family visited you in Poland?

They will probably come to us in summer. Summer is amazing here.

So what do you like best in Wrocław?

Well, surely the Christmas Market I mentioned before! I’ve been there this year. I must really admit people here can enjoy the life! It’s really adorable to see people drinking hot wine, talking to friends, enjoying the moment and being very relaxed. The market is very crowdy but it’s not a problem for a Chinese person (smile). My first stay in Poland lasted one month. When I came back to China, I felt a little overwhelmed at the airports or railway stations. I got used to more space in Poland.

Can you compare European and Chinese automotive market?

Well, I think the biggest difference between is percentage of people who posses cars. In China, there are a lot of cars but not every Chinese has her or his own car. Here in Europe, majority of people own a car or even several cars. I can see a difference also in second-hand car market which is really popular in Poland. In China, people mostly buy brand new cars. But on the other hand, we get our first car really late, around our thirties. In Poland as soon as you can drive, you drive. I observed plenty of young people, below 20 years old, driving.

So what was your first car?

Chevrolet!

Please tell me at the very end what do you do in you free time. I know you diligently learn Polish.

Yes, I do! Younger people speak English, but the elders mostly don’t. And I’d like to communicate with everybody effortlessly. I also cook Chinese food on weekends. I prepare Bao Zi (包子) and Chinese dumplings Jiao Zi (饺子), very similar to the Polish pierogi. Bao Zi resembles Polish pampuchy. The dough is really soft. And the stuffing is really diverse. My recipe is chopped pork mixed with celery. This is really popular type of Chinese breakfast.

Breakfast?

Yes! You can buy it everywhere on the street in China. We have some Bao Zi booths. We buy food through an open window just like I buy donuts in Poland. Bao Zi with soya milk is a very typical breakfast in China on the way to work. This is another difference between Poland and China. We usually eat hot breakfasts. I was really shocked for the very first time in Poland when I saw my morning meal. I had some tomatoes directly from the fridge! I was freezing (smile)!

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