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Spicy Liuzhou

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By Ostonov Okhunjon | chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: Feb 16, 2022

[Uzbekistan] Ostonov Okhunjon, Liuzhou City Vocational College

Ostonov Okhunjon spends the Spring Festival in Liuzhou. [Photo provided to chinadaily.com.cn]

It has been more than a year since I came to Liuzhou. I want to use one word to describe the impression Liuzhou has on me, that is, “spicy” .

But why do I say that? I remember the first time that I ate snail rice noodles. Looking at the chili sauce added on the noodles, I asked my friend, “Is this spicy or not?” My friend said with a smile that it was not and chili in Liuzhou was not spicy at all. “Snail rice noodles here are delicious!” I trusted his words and ate it in a gulp, but within two seconds, I burst into tears because the noodles were too hot for me! My friend laughed at me.

From then on, I was afraid of eating chili. However, everything in Liuzhou was cooked with chili. Every time I ate chow mein, I would say, “Sir, please do not add any chili to the noodles!” But when it was served on the table, there was still so much chili, which always made me uncomfortable. I even wondered if the chili was free of charge because it was used so widely and frequently.

Besides, the weather in Liuzhou is also hot. In summer, Liuzhou is as hot as a big furnace. If one goes outside, the clothes he wears will be drenched with sweat within five minutes. When the summer came to an end, even my African classmates said that they were suntanned. In addition, although there is no snow in winter, between non-heating system and frequent rain, people shiver due to the chill. And the strong wind blows on the face painfully.

However, people in Liuzhou have a very good character. When I first came here, I was not good at Chinese. I asked people for the way to the Bank of China. But I could not understand what they said. He would not be impatient even after explaining for a long time, and finally, led me to the bank. When he left, he shook hands with me and said, “Welcome to Liuzhou, buddy!” I was really moved by the enthusiasm of people in Liuzhou.

What’s more, I always think that girls in Liuzhou are very beautiful. However, they are “spicy girls” as well. While eating Liuzhou snails rice noodles, they add chili; in dressing, they always dress in style and look hot; talking and acting in great hurry, they are hot-tempered.

And besides these, due to their hot-tempered personality, they act like Liuzhou’s weather: if you do something wrong, they shout at you in a cloudy mood despite having shown friendliness minutes before. Why do I know all that? My girlfriend is a Liuzhou native.

Therefore, I love this hot city—Liuzhou. Please remember my name: Hongye (Ostonov Okhunjon), meaning great cause. I came to Liuzhou with an ambition to achieve my own great cause. I will try harder to learn Chinese and serve Liuzhou, the hot city, with my enthusiasm.

The story is from "My Beautiful Encounter with China" Essay Competition organized by the Chinese Service Center for Scholarly Exchanges (CSCSE).