Pei Anping, Briton, graduate of Queens' College of the Cambridge University, is now a doctor of Beijing United Family Hospital. [Photo provided to Qianlong]
One summer afternoon, Pei Anping went on foot as usual under strong sunlight from where he works to the place ten-plus minutes away to train doctors at the Center for Family Medicine and Integrative Health Care of United Family Healthcare.
Pei Anping, Briton, is now a general practitioner member of Royal College of Physicians. In 2000, he and his family moved to Beijing. His wife works at the Chinese Academy of Sciences and he is a doctor of Beijing United Family Hospital.
In the 17 years of life in Beijing, walking and taking a bus are his favorite means of transport. “First, they are safe; second, they are environment-friendly; plus they save me the troubles of parking and buying insurance,” Pei Anping said. He also found out some tips, “I won’t choose to get on a bus at the doorstep, but I will walk to another bus stop around the Fourth Ring Road, get off the bus some distance ahead and walk to the hospital for both saving time and avoiding crowded carriages.”
For these years, he leads a life of almost three points and one line: home in Beijing, hospital, home in UK. “I ever had an illusion that it was out of China as soon as I arrived at the hospital, because, it was an international environment where colleagues and patients were all foreigners. But now it is not of much difference. My Chinese colleagues are increasing, and 70 percent of patients are Chinese too. In addition, it is full of high-rise buildings and internationalized department stores out there of the hospital, ”Pei Anping said.
He takes most responsibility of taking care of their children because his wife is too busy with her work. His love to his children makes him have an extra favor about China. “Chinese pay great attention to children and they are very nice to children. My neighbors often remind us of putting on more cloth for children. My oldest child often leaves behind his cellphone, and when he turns to the people around for help in an emergency, they all help him with pleasure,” Pei Anping said, “The children are very safe to live here, and that makes us feel at ease.”
Enrolled in China’s local kindergarten and primary school since childhood, the two children of Pei speak fluent Chinese, and they even make grammar mistakes that a Chinese often makes when they speak English. During 2008 Beijing Olympics, the two children took a Chinese national flag to watch a match at Bird Nest and they shouted: “China Jiayou, China Jiayou!”
Even Pei Anping himself becomes more “Chinese”.
“About five or six years ago, I went back to UK to apply for a fix-line telephone, but I was told by the staff it could be arranged as early as three weeks later! Back to China, we needed to install broadband. Out of my expectation, it only took 40 minutes before a worker dropped in,” Pei Anping said, “In UK, most things have to be planned one or two months in advance, even for visiting a friend.”
Once, Pei’s family planned to go back to visit friends and relatives in UK. Before they set off, he asked his friend when he was free, his friend thought for a moment and said, “About next month.” Pei Anping felt awkward. “Later, we switched to the “Chinese” way. We asked my friend directly after we went back to UK, ‘Are you free this evening? We will visit you and bring something for a meal. ’”
Getting used to the rhythm, work, delicacies in China, Pei Anping said it makes him feel cozy here.