"Wow, you could see the lake from here!" That was the very first thing I said as soon as I got into our apartment on Science Island. A cozy, comfortable house with nice light from both sides. Coupled with that perfect view of the lake and the vegetation around it, really made my first impression of how my life would be on this island.
During the few first days of our stay, we felt a bit lonely. but as time went by, we found many wonderful friends, who were warm and intimate despite of their busy life and they helped us fit in a lot. The kids especially had hard time at first, since they were very eager to play with cute Chinese kids, but language barrier was a problem for them. The kindergarten on the island was a blast. Kids love going to that kindergarten and they learned a lot of Chinese. The kindergarten environment is very welcoming for them.
From the very first month, we started to feel the charm of the island. The forest-like vegetation, the marketplace, waterfront park, and every beautiful aspect of the island began to stand out for us. In my opinion, no other place in Hefei is as charming as our island. It's like a VIP place that we get to live in. My favorite place on the island is the road that goes from the north gate and leads to the south gate. Imagine walking down a quiet path surrounded by lots of trees. Their branches reach out and join together above you, creating a leafy tunnel. Some trees have big, fan-shaped leaves, giving the whole road a tropical feel. It's like a calm and pretty place with sunlight peeking through the leaves, making it a special and relaxing spot.
We love the island so much that we try to form most of our entertainments around it. As a family, we've become biking buddies, exploring the winding roads and creating lasting memories on our two wheels. It's a riot listening to our little ones giggles, echoing through the island air, as they’re sitting in the bike chair behind us. Most weekends we bike our way to a picnic spot, especially when spring rolls in. Picture this: a blanket spread under the welcoming shade of trees, and us munching happily on delicious bites, including berries we've plucked right from the tree. It's our little berry feast, and the kids adore it!
But the fun doesn't stop there. I think the most happy time for the kids would be when they meet up with their fiends on our own mini island. Water fights are a splash-tastic hit during warmer days. Watching the kids run around, drenched and giggling, is pure entertainment. And let's not forget the kiting adventures—we've had our fair share of untangling mishaps, but the joy of seeing colorful kites dancing in the sky makes it all worthwhile.
Our island gym, a hidden gem, often stands completely empty when we visit. It's our haven for badminton battles, and the kids turn it into their playground of imagination while we're engrossed in a match. It's moments like these that make our island life not just serene but also a playful haven for family fun.
As the sun sets on our island adventures, we gather with our island friends with hearts full of laughter and memories. Living here has turned into more than just a lifestyle; it's a treasure trove of joy, a haven of shared moments that define the beauty of family life. In here we live a life that every day of it unfolds as a new chapter of delight.
Mehdi Afshari was giving a keynote presentation about controling light propagation in very small levels in 2023. (Image by Mehdi Afshari)
Mehdi Afshari was supported by CAS President's International Fellowship Initiative in 2022.
Mehdi Afshari and his family. (Image by Mehdi Afshari)