Rooney stays in his jewelry shop in Kunming. [Photo/ Chen Yingying]
[InKunming--Interview & Polls] In 2010, Myanmarese Rooney with some friends came to Kunming for the first time. "I came to participate in a stone exhibition that was held in Kunming at that time." Rooney recalled. But after attending the stone exhibition, Rooney generated an idea of opening a jewelry shop in Kunming.
"Ruili had owned a large number of businessmen to do jewelry business there. So, I think Kunming may provide more opportunities to me." Rooney explained the reason why he did not choose Ruili as most of Myanmarese bussinessmen did, since Ruili is not only a border city of Yunnan connecting China and Myanmar, but also a headquarter in China to develop jewelry business.
Rooney borrowed money from his parents at the first beginning to do the business. With the money, Rooney set up a shop in Kunming to sell jewel and jade that were mainly bought from Myanmar.
Until now, Rooney has successfully opened another new restaurant that sells dishes of Myanmarese taste in downtown of Kunming, besides the jewelry shop at the start.
As a foreigner living in Kunming, Rooney faced language obstacle that prevented him from smoothly communicating with local people. He nearly cannot speak even a word of Chinese language after his first arrival.
However, for living better in the city and developing his business in China, Rooney decided to learn Chinese language in a language training school in Kunming. Rooney went to the school for language learning every morning in latest three years.
"I always got high scores in Chinese language learning classes in the school." Rooney told to InKunming reporter in a tone of pride. Besides Mandarin learned in the school, Kunming dialect that Rooney heard every day also affected Rooney.
Right now, Rooney can almost speak Kunming dialect in a standard tune like local people. Rooney's pronunciation of Kunming dialect is so pure that even Kunming people may judge him as a local person who was born in the city if the people only hear Rooney's voice but not to see his face.
What's more, Rooney can speak English, Bengalese, and Hindi, according to his self-introduction. Surely, Myanmarese is another language that Rooney can speak most fluently, the language being his mother tongue.
Good language learning capability of Rooney not only helps him to make new more friends from different countries, but also facilitates him to help other people to translate or interpret their meanings.
"There are around 2,000 to 3,000 contacts recorded in my mobile phone and on my Wechat account," Rooney referred, "Some of them are my business friends, and others are real-life friends."
Rooney's language ability is also recognized by Kunming Police Bureau. "Once upon a time, Kunming policemen tended to arrest an Indian man who probably committed a crime in Anning. I was invited by Kunming police bureau to be an interpreter for the Indian man and the police in Anning. When we finished inquiry for the Indian man, time was too late in the evening. And it rained heavily at that night." Rooney recalled one of his experiences to be an interpreter before.
To Rooney, Kunming is a city that he has completely fell in love with. "Weather in the city is very mild. I like it very much. I dislike heat. I feel uncomfortable when I live in my hometown in Myanmar if weather is too hot." Rooney spoke of a reason that he likes the city.
"I like corned beef, like rice noodles, and er'si(a kind of snack from Yunnan, made of rice)." Delicious foods are also a big factor to attract Rooney to live in Kunming.
Weather, foods in the city have charms to Rooney. Local people of the city also have their characteristics to fascinate Rooney. Rooney got acquainted with a lot of local people of Kunming since he lived in the city, and even fell in love with a Chinese girl from Dali, Yunnan Province.
"If the Chinese girl I love could agree to marry me, I would like to live in Kunming forever." Rooney said confirmedly. Rooney was in love with a Chinese girl for two years, and is about to talk marriage with the girl.
From just attending an expo that was held in Kunming, to paying much attention in running two shops in Kunming at the present time, Rooney cost five years in the city. During the past five years, he learned Chinese, Kunming dialect, and other foreign languages, made many new friends from native country of China and other countries, fell in love with a Chinese girl and most importantly developed his jewelry business.
Based in Kunming after he opened his jewelry shop, Rooney gradually broadened his business circle. Rooney's jewelry business is developing greater and greater now. Except for language, to Rooney, he thinks he did not face big difficulties when he lived in Kunming.
"I like Kunming. Life in Kunming is better than that I live in my hometown, I think. I probably pick up my parents to live with me in Kunming in a future day," Rooney emphasized.
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(Editors: Cathy Chen, Tracy)