Today is our first day after our CAS week ( Community Action Service ). Every year we get to choose a destination from three places. I chose Inner Mongolia, for those who don’t know what or where Inner Mongolia is. Inner Mongolia is a state in China, it’s where the Mongols/Mongolians meet with the Chinese. So today we were in English talking about the challenges we had, the benefits/highlights we had and the difference of the lifestyle we had compare to Hong Kong and wherever we went. In English class we recently read about a book called The “Other Side of Truth” which was written by Beverly Naidoo.. It’s about a family in Nigeria and has to leave their home country because of political problems. Anyhow the reason why we were explaining the things I just listed about our CAS week trips is because this book talks about the differences and the expectations that the character has to overcome.
In the book, people discriminate her (Sade and her brother Femi) when she moved to London all because of her skin colour, people might think she is poor when she was asking someone how to get to her destination. Or people might think she might steal- that kind of impression. In my trip to Inner Mongolia, I experienced a similar issue, like when we were walking down the streets in a big group, people will stop and stare, they might take pictures or whisper to someone, all because we are different. Part of the reason why is that the place we went which was ChiFeng wasn’t use to see tourist. Especially a group of young tourists walking down the street. Even a family went up to my teacher (which was Canadian) and took a picture with him all because he looked different.
Another thing that the characters had to go through is the expectation, when she was in Nigeria, the school teachers were very strict and the students were well disciplined. While the students in the United Kingdom were more loose and the teachers tried to discipline their children but just couldn’t. A similar thing happened to me in my trip when the locals tried to talk as much simple Mandarin as they could. But the fact that most of us could already speak fluent Mandarin. Well fluent I mean as keeping or hosting a conversation with minor grammar mistakes.
Another experience that was similar to Sade and Femi was the difference in the environment. Like in Sade and Femi, when they moved to London, the streets were very different then Nigeria’s city Lagos. In Lagos the streets were crowded with street markets, side walk restaurants and etc. While in London, the streets were dark at night, the weather was mostly cloudy and the buildings were mostly in rows like products lining on shelves in the super market. In Inner Mongolia, the environment was very different, in the city there weren’t a lot of cars compared to Hong Kong. Not very tall buildings, in fact rarely any skyscrapers. Outside of town, if you drive for just one hour, the scenery might start with farms, then later it could change to grasslands, then it could change to dessert. What I mean is that if you drive for just a short amount of time, you could see different biomes rather then in Hong Kong, all you could see was skyscrapers everywhere.