New life, New challenges // Jake Yin

I am Jake. I lived in Wuhan, China for 45 years. 3 years ago, my family immigrated to Melbourne; my daughter goes to high school, my wife runs a café and I attend AMEP (Adult Migrant English Program) 3 days a week to learn English.


All things in my life are pretty regular, with not many worries each day. My daughter enjoys her school life more and more; and even complains she can’t visit on the weekend, as she loves her classes and friends so much. Our house is very close to my daughter’s school. I bought a bicycle for her and I hope she can do more exercise everyday by cycling, but she doesn’t like riding in the summer. Instead, I always drop her off and pick her up during the hotter months. My wife likes her small café as well. She works 5 days a week and has learned how to make many kinds of coffee. Luckily, she always brings aromatic coffee home with her.


The most relaxed member of my family is me, as I just go to AMEP 3 days a week. But I have made lots of friends in my class; some of them come from Iran, some from Jordan, some come from Vietnam, Pakistan, India and Bangladesh. Most of the students come from the Middle East and Asia, but a few come from European countries such as Romania and Serbia. There is also a friend I have from Colombia in South America. It’s very interesting all the classmates come from different countries; we don’t know each other’s first language and the only language we can use is English. But everyone comes here just to learn English, so we make lots of jokes together in our class. You always have to try your best to show your meaning and so does your friend; but unfortunately, sometimes your partner still can’t understand you even if you have tried.


I enjoy to communicate with my classmates about their culture; such as food, religion and geography. From these discussions, I have learnt so many things; such as that those practising Islam don’t eat pork and that Syria is a Middle Eastern country closest to Europe culturally. Sometimes we even talk about politics, discussing the conflict between Palestine and Israel. One day, our teacher gave us a work sheet and mentioned Taiwan was a country, which made a big argument about whether Taiwan is a country or a region in our class. It ended with the teacher apologizing. In my AMEP classes, I have a great time with my classmates and my teachers. Although, I have nearly finished my course in AMEP, I will miss these classes a lot.


My hobby is fishing, it is my favourite sport. I like the moments that the fish attacks the bait, the small touch passed by the line and rod, then arrives to your hand. When that feeling arrives to your hand, it’s likes an electric shock, it makes your heart jump, the adrenaline pumping. For me, nothing is better than this feeling.


I rather fresh water fishing. In China, there are great rivers like the Yangzi River, where you can meet many native wild fish. Australia suffers from a water shortage, so there isn’t a massive river like the Yangzi. Mostly you can only fish for fresh water species stocked by Fisheries in the school holidays. But saltwater fishing is great in Australia. It has the cleanest ocean and the longest coast in the world and provides many kinds of salt water fish. You can enjoy fishing in all four seasons.


All is good, and everything goes on. Until Coronavirus came into our life.


In December 2019, a new kind of coronavirus broke out in my hometown Wuhan. It took a lot of people’s life away in a short time and terribly it spread to the whole world at an incredible speed. Most countries locked down and people isolated at home. The whole world is totally in a panic, a lot of families lost their relatives and the hospitals were full of patients.


The world has been paused, the economy is close to recession, many people lost their jobs and many stores closed down. Both country and individuals are struggling, no matter if you are rich or poor. My family are facing challenges as well. My daughter has been studying online for nearly 5 months. Our cafe is very quiet every day but we have remained open; although, we lose nearly $1000 per week.


We curse this virus and hope the vaccine comes soon. We hope we can end this year early and come straight into the new one next year. If I could choose, I would like to delete 2020.