Proud to return for second China stay

Updated: 2014-05-25 07:55

By Tracie Barrett (China Daily)

  Comments() Print Mail Large Medium  Small 分享按钮 0

Proud to return for second China stay

Merita Xhani, the wife of Albania's ambassador, feels at home in China. Provided to China Daily

Proud to return for second China stay

Top 10 most expensive cities for expats 2013

Proud to return for second China stay

Special:The most attractive Chinese cities for foreigners

The week after Merita Cuadari married young diplomat Kujtim Xhani in 1983, she left her home country Albania for the first time.

The two were childhood friends whose fathers, both in the army, were also friends, and they grew up together in Albania's northern town of Shkodra.

"We got married and after one week, we left for North Korea," says the now Merita Xhani, whose husband is serving his second term as the Republic of Albania's ambassador to China.

She says North Korea, at the time, was not so different from then-communist Albania and her husband had already spent five years there on a full scholarship, studying the language.

"It was beautiful," she said. "I was young - 21, 22 years old. My husband was also young and he spoke Korean so that barrier didn't exist for us. And being young, with many things, you don't notice the difficulties."

"For us," she adds, "everything was - in Albanian we say bace me lule, it means a garden of flowers - for us, it was easy."

The couple lived in Pyongyang for six and a half years, where her husband advanced from the position of attache to become first secretary, and both their sons were born there.

In April 2000, when Kujtim Xhani was appointed ambassador, the family relocated to Beijing and they remained there until January 2006. Both sons attended Chinese public schools and both are fluent in Albanian, Chinese, English and Italian.

When the family returned to Albania, the eldest son, Klodi, who is now 28, remained in China. He is currently studying economics at Nankai University in Tianjin. The younger son, Glendi, 25, is in his last year of law studies in Albania.

After a five-year term back in Albania as the chief of protocol and adviser to the prime minister, Kujtim Xhani was given a choice of postings for his current term and requested a return to China.

Previous Page 1 2 Next Page