Thanks to the success China achieved in controlling the pandemic, Erich Kaiserseder born in the Year of the Tiger decided to celebrate his year of fortune in Shenyang, the capital of Northeast China's Liaoning province.
The 60-year-old from Austria has been living in Shenyang for four years and devoted himself to marketing this city globally.
"It's much safer here in China. That's why I want to buy some sauerkraut and some blood sausage to cook for Chinese New Year at home," said Kaiserseder while leading his friends exploring the 300-year-old Puhe farmers' market in Shenbei district, Shenyang, on Tuesday – the day of Little New Year (Xiaonian in Chinese), the day that officially marks the start of the Lunar New Year celebration.
Four years ago, he accepted the offer to work as general manager in a hotel in Shenyang and started a brand-new journey.
"I never expected such a wonderful life here because the city culture is so diversified that you can find German, Korean and Japanese food in downtown. Moreover, it has unique traditional Chinese culture. This makes the city a perfect destination for tourists all over the world," said Kaiserseder, who decided to advertise the city to outsiders.
Shenyang, located in the center of Northeast Asia, attracts hundreds of foreign-capital enterprises as well as tens of thousands of international students.
"It has always been fascinating to try some new food in Shenyang," said Olena Soloviova, a doctorate student in Shenyang Agriculture University from Ukraine. "These frozen pears can make any festive table unique and replace those artificial sugary desserts we are used to eating."
This secret corner of the city only the locals would know greatly impressed the expats.
"Even though we are here for one and a half year, this is my first time celebrating Spring Festival. Doing the groceries with friends and sitting together having a nice lunch— I'm looking forward to sharing this memory with my family," said Yvonne Kuegler from Germany.
Sun Chu contributed to the story.