Welcome to english.eastday.com.Today is
Follow us @
Contribute to us!










Home >> Shanghai >> Article
Foreigners in Jing'an丨Honeybee couple's comfortable life in Jing'an
By:Wu Qiong  |  From:english.eastday.com  |  2017-11-07 10:23

  【Starting from the year of 2017, the Shanghai Municipal Foreign Affairs Office, together with district governments, has started hosting the "Internationalized Shanghai Promotion Series" to demonstrate the achievements and future planning of each district and enhance the exchanges and cooperation between Shanghai and the world,so as tohelpShanghai become a global city of excellence. After the first event series was held in Yangpu in the first half year, the second event series, with the theme of “Internationalized Shanghai: Charming New Jing'an, New Development Engine,” took place in Jing’an District—the heart of Shanghai. Eastday.cominterviewed some expats living and working in Jing’an, who talked about what they think of thenew district, especially after its merger with Zhabei District.】

  【2017年起,上海市人民政府外事办公室携手各区政府,举行“国际化的上海”系列活 动,展示各区发展建设成就和规划,促进对外交流合作,推动上海追求卓越的全球城市进程。第一场系列活动已于上半年在杨浦举行,11月7日,第二场系列活动 以“国际化的上海:发展新亮点魅力新静安”为主题,登陆上海的心脏地——静安。为此,东方网记者采访了多位生活和工作在静安的外籍友人,从他们眼中发现静 安的新魅力。】

  Honeybee couple has an interview with Eastday.com in Shanghai People’s Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries (SPAFFC).


  Back in 2013, a U.S. couple came to Shanghai and settled down in Jing'an District, starting their more than four-year-long “adventure” in China. Aside from the surprises they always encounter, they also enjoy their comfortable lives here in Jing'an.


  As an architect working in Shanghai, William McCowantogether with his wife Debra had never expected that they would live in Shanghai for such a long time,"We thought we just had to stay here for six months." As an old saying goes,"When in Rome, do as the Romans do." So Debra got herself a Chinese name "Mifeng"(which means “honeybee” in English).And it turned out that the "Honeybee couple" fell in love with Shanghai. Now they go back to the U.S. once or twice a year. Obviously, Shanghai has become their home.

  对于在沪工作的建筑师威廉•麦考文(William McCowan)和他的妻子黛布拉(Debra McCowan)来说,他们从未料到自己能在上海生活如此之久:“一开始我们以为只要在这里待上6个月。”为了入乡随俗,黛布拉还特意给自己起了个甜蜜的 中文名:“蜜蜂”。时间证明,这对“蜜蜂夫妇”已经爱上了上海。如今,他们一年只回国一两次,俨然将上海当成了自己的家。

  William and Debra enjoy the comfortable life, the convenient transportation and the sense of being secure in Shanghai."Safety could be a big issue in a city so big and densely populated. But even when I walk late at night, I've never felt unsafe or uncomfortable." Shanghai is also a friendly city. Whether it is on a bus or in a metro station, people always want to make friends with them. What impresses Debra most is that once she came across an old lady in a metro station who can speak English very well and later became a very good friend of hers. Living in Shanghai, the couple can always get help from their Chinese friends. For instance, since the way of going to see a doctor in China is completely different from that in the U.S., it is very difficult for any foreigner to figure things out in a local hospital, but William and Debra are always taken good care of with the help of their friends and the hospital staff.

  在上海,黛布拉和威廉享受着舒适的生活、便利的交通和安全的治安环境。“对于一个如此庞大和人口密集的城市来说,安全十分重要。但即使是深夜走在路上,我也从不担心,反而感到很安全、很安心。”上海也是个友好的城市。公交车上、地铁站内……无一不是他们结识朋友的地方。让黛布拉感到惊奇的是,连她在地铁站偶遇的一位老妇人都能讲一口英语,并因此结缘,成了要好的朋友。“蜜蜂夫妇”的中 国朋友也为他们提供了许多帮助。就拿看病来说,中西的医疗体系截然不同,这让许多在华的老外犯了难,但在上海,夫妇俩在朋友和医院工作人员的帮助下,总能 得到很好的照顾。

  Speaking of Jing'an, its rich culture is what amazes the couple most. There are various cultural activities and historical buildings. The area is also scattered with parks for them to walk around. Sitting in the park, watching the elderly people who are either playing mahjong or dancing, and the young kids flying kites... What a pleasant life! Debra likes the old buildings on Taixing Road and she always goes to the Jing'an Sculpture Park and the Shanghai Natural History Museum. In her eyes, they are unique, even though they are not as famous as the Bund, the Yuyuan Garden and other landmarks in Shanghai.


  William is very happy to see the development of Shanghai and what the government has done in terms of infrastructure and public transportation,"For a city so densely populated, that's a great achievement." As for suggestions, Debra hopes the Jing'an government can create a platform for foreigners to get the information they want and communicate with each other, so as to be more aware of what's happening in the district. As a consultant in the field of healthcare architecture,William is more concerned about the construction and design of healthcare facilities,"I hope to see more elderly-friendly, more functional and efficient buildings and designs. The government has put a lot of efforts into it. I thinkShanghai is moving in the right direction."

  目睹上海的飞速发展以及政府在交通、基础设施等方面取得的进步,威廉表示十分欣慰: “对于一个人口如此密集的城市来说,这已经是非常了不起的成就了。”黛布拉希望,未来的静安区政府能为生活在静安的外国朋友搭建一个信息传播的平台,以便 他们了解各种政策和信息。而身为一名医疗领域的建筑咨询师,威廉更关心的是医疗场所的建设问题。他表示:“希望看到更多方便老人、注重实用性和功能性、更 加有效的建筑和设计。可以看到,政府为此付出了许多努力,上海正在朝着正确的方向发展。”

  (The interview is arranged by Shanghai Jing’an District Tourism Bureau.)