"My mother is from Shenyang, and my father is Czech." At the first sight of Mabel Pechacek, she was greeting guests in her family-run restaurant.
Mabel Pechacek is currently a high school sophomore at Northeast Yucai School International Division. She came to Shenyang with her parents when she was five years old. Her family has lived in Shenyang for 11 years.
Mabel Pechacek helping out in her family-run restaurant (photo by Zhu Hongmei)
Mabel Pechacek said that the family's choice to return to her mother's hometown was driven by multiple factors. On the one hand, they wanted her to start studying in Shenyang from the first grade, given her school age. On the other hand, a main consideration was her grandparents.
"My grandparents are getting older, not in good health. After coming back, we can take care of them more regularly," Mabel Pechacek explained. She added that she always helps out at her family-run restaurant on weekends, so that her mother can have more time to look after her grandma and grandpa.
Mabel Pechacek (first from left) and her parents (photo by Mabel Pechacek)
Speaking of the changes in Shenyang, Mabel Pechacek said that the most obvious one is that the city is turning increasingly "international", with a growing number of foreigners coming here. "There are often many foreign customers in our restaurant. They are from Canada, the United States, South Africa, Egypt and other countries. The same is true in our school. It feels like there are more and more foreign students around," she said.
Matt, who is from Canada, is currently an English teacher at a school in Shenyang. He is a regular customer of the restaurant of Mabel Pechacek's family. "I like the food here. I come here to sit down after work or during my break. We are now old friends to each other," Matt said.
Mabel Pechacek (second from right) and her father chatting with Matt (first from left) (photo by Zhu Hongmei)
Mabel Pechacek (right) and her father (photo by Zhu Hongmei)
When it comes to the future, Mabel Pechacek's father smiled and expressed his hope for his daughter to get into a renowned university. "Tsinghua University and Peking University would definitely be the best." He continued, "Our family is very happy living in Shenyang, and we also hope that more and more local people from Shenyang come to our restaurant to try Czech stew."
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