Among 2,057 families at Bayside Garden in Suzhou Industrial Park, there are hundreds of foreigners from 23 countries including Britain, Australia, Mexico, Japan, and Korea, making the neighborhood an international community. In spite of language barrier, they manage to blend in and enjoy the rich and varied life in Suzhou.
A Mexican Girl Interested in Chinese Tai Chi
Vanessa from Mexico spoke fluent Chinese and moved to Bayside Garden this year. Two months ago, she saw many neighbors practice tai chi and had great interest in the traditional Chinese martial art. "Can I learn Chinese taijiquan," she asked the staff at community committee one day. Luckily, Ni Shenglan, a member of local tai chi team, was willing to teach her. After several classes on Thursday afternoons, Vanessa can now play 24 Form Simplified Tai Chi.
A Swiss "Santa Claus" Fascinated by Chinese Calligraphy
Hans from Switzerland is a volunteer gardener taking care of the potted plants for local foreigners when they are not at home. He is also the Santa Claus playing "beating drum and passing flower" with children on the Christmas Eve. His latest hobby is Chinese calligraphy and promised the Chinese character Fu (meaning happiness) to community committee staff, for Spring Festival household decoration.
A French Gentleman Learning to Cook Chinese Dishes
Claude from France is one of the first foreign volunteers. He has been active in neighborhood activities, taking care of the seniors at day care center, and participating in talent shows. "Claude always brings his family, friends, and delicious Western food when he visits us here," Li Jushui at the care center remembered him well. The French gentleman also learned something from his Chinese neighbors. "I've learned how to make dumplings and I'm going to learn how to cook scrambled eggs the Chinese way," he said.