A Canadian finds success in Xi’an
during the Qin Dynasty (221207 BC) and that it was one of the most desirable places for foreigners.
“I like history and read a number of books about Chinese history, but I never knew Xi’an,” Vegh said.
Not long after he came to Xi’an, he met Xue Linrong, a woman who is three years younger and was his then-colleague.
The couple fell in love and they later married. Today, Xue is a stay-at-home mom and Vegh is owner of his own 3D animation company, located in the city’s well-known Qujiang Cultural Office Building.
In the years he has been living in Xi’an, Vegh has gradually grown used to the city and enjoys the ancient Chinese city he has now learned much about.
When he first came to Xi’an, he worked as an English teacher in a local school and then he established his own firm, selling cosmetics online. He tried to learn Chinese, but he has only been able to muster a few simple words.
“I have very poor language talent and think Chinese is the most difficult language for me to learn,” he said. “However, I still can easily communicate with local residents because the people wherever I meet with them can speak English. And my wife can be my translator as her university major was English.”
Foreigners learn about the city by reading guidebooks about its ancient architecture, imperial tombs and delicious snacks. Vegh sees it as a city with ancient relics, but also modern infrastructure and high-tech industries. The city has an airport, subway system, high-speed railway and highways, all newly built.
“The rapid development of Xi’an is incredible,” Vegh said. “In the past 20 years, Toronto planned to rebuild an old highway, but it did not start the project till now. But in Xi’an in the past 15 years, the second and third ring roads, as well as a ring expressway had been built one after another.”
Vegh enjoys sharing with his visitors things to see and do in Xi’an. He proudly points them to the terracotta warriors and horses and the Qujiang Tangstyle Mall, which is located near Qujiang Cultural Office Building. The building, where his office is located, covers a total area larger than three Pentagons or 20 Sydney Opera houses.
On weekends, Vegh, his wife and two children, like other local residents and tourists, often go to Qujiang New Area, a newly-developed commercial district with a large number of plazas and restaurants.
“We like to eat noodles in the restaurant, the best noodle restaurant in the city, and we also like the ice cream and pizza with international brands there,” Vegh said.
The family often stays there for the whole day to enjoy shopping, movies and other entertainment pursuits, such as skating.
“Xi’an has at least five tourism attractions listed in UNESCO World Heritage Sites, and driving out of the city, you can also arrive at other world famous tourism spots not far from the city,” he said.
He enjoys alpine pursuits very much and when he came to Xi’an he found his way to Mount Huashan, a well-known mountain located some 120 kilometers from Xi’an.
“I still remember very clearly that I stood on the mountain at night 15 years ago and felt that I was so near to the stars and sky as I looked into the dark sky and twinkling stars,” he said.
Although Vegh speaks only simple Chinese, his two sons are learning Chinese culture in the local school and his youngest son even took part in shooting a film and TV program.
Besides the happy family life, Vegh’s career has proven successful. His 3D animation design business is booming.
To learn the ropes of 3D design, Vegh attended a local university for three months of training.
He established the company in 2009. Not bad for a man born into a very modest family who had to work at age 15.
Wang Peng, one of the six employees working in Vegh’s company, said Vegh is an animation game expert.
“We get along like friends and we can fully express different views during our work. But he is really a genius and often gives us new and incredible ideas for animation design,” Wang said.
“I cannot tell the annual output of our firm, but employees make between 70,000 and 80,000 yuan ($11,276 to 12,886) in annual salary, which is higher than that in some other companies in the city.”
Vegh said his dream is to shoot a huge animation film to tell the long history of China.