After moving to a new country, Deshi’s life seems miserable. But maybe it’s not all bad ...

Hi Lang

I’m writing in English because I know we both need to practise. Thanks for your last email. I’m sorry I didn’t write back sooner. I started school the day after we arrived in Boston and I’m very busy with extra work. I hate it here. I can’t understand what anyone says to me. Their accents are very strange.

I miss Shanghai and I miss playing in the band with you. CRASH! were the best! I don’t know anyone who plays rock music here. I try to practise the guitar, but the neighbour who lives opposite complained yesterday. He was very angry. His daughter plays the violin and he said that my ‘horrible noise’ disturbed her. Later, I saw her staring out of the window at me. I think she hates me too. She’s really beautiful...

I’ve got to stop now. Mum is home from work and I haven’t finished my homework.

Please write back soon. I want to hear more about what you’re doing in London. Have you found anyone to play music with? Can you understand the accent yet?


PS: I think I’m in love!

Deshi turned off the computer and opened his English book. He had lots of homework but it was difficult to concentrate on irregular verbs. He couldn’t stop thinking about the girl in the building opposite and her beautiful eyes. He opened his bedroom window and looked across the street. Her window was open too and he could hear her practising a piece of classical music. It sounded sad. “She’s really good,” thought Deshi, “and she probably hates rock music!” “Have you finished your homework?” Deshi’s mum opened the door. “Hurry up, dinner will be ready in half an hour, and please tidy your room!” Suddenly, Deshi didn’t feel hungry.

Deshi couldn’t sleep that night and he got up late the next morning. He ran out of the house in time to see the bus leaving. Oh no! He was going to be late again. He looked around and there she was! She was sitting in her dad’s car with the window open. He dropped his schoolbag and she turned to look at him. He couldn’t move. Her eyes were green. He’d never seen anyone with green eyes before. He smiled at her but she just stared at him as if he didn’t exist. Deshi could feel his face turning red. He picked up his bag and ran off.

He had a terrible day at school. He failed another maths test and the English teacher shouted at him for not concentrating in class. At lunch time, he couldn’t eat. The food in the cafeteria was horrible, it just made him feel sick. And then, finally, he had to stay late after school for extra English, so he missed the bus again. He decided to walk home. He was crossing the park near his street, thinking about how he missed his school back in Shanghai and all his friends. He thought about his dad, who had died three years ago, and that made him sad. Then he saw her. She was sitting on a bench with her dog. “Oh no, she’s seen me,” he thought. He didn’t know what to do, so he smiled and waved at her but she just ignored him again. “Idiot!” he said to himself. “Why did I wave? Now she really hates me.”

Later that evening, Deshi was in his room, practising his guitar with the headphones on. His friends in Shanghai thought he was very good. He had started a band with his friend Lang and they had played a concert at school. But now he didn’t want anyone to hear him playing, especially her. He was thinking about getting a classical guitar when his mum came into the room. She was holding a letter. “The postman delivered this to the wrong building,” she said. “It’s for the building opposite. Can you take it across while I’m making dinner? And please, tidy your room!” “OK, mum!” he said. Deshi felt bad. Mum worked hard all day and then she had to look after him too. Maybe he should do more to help.

Deshi went down to the street feeling really unhappy. Life was difficult since dad died. Mum was always working. School was really difficult and he had no friends in Boston. He was outside the opposite building when suddenly the door opened. “Oh no, it’s her again,” he thought. The girl was coming down the steps when she dropped something. It bounced down the steps and stopped at Deshi’s feet.

Without thinking, he picked it up. “Hello?” she said, sounding frightened. “Who’s there?” Deshi was confused. “Er, I live across the street. Are you OK?” “Oh, are you the boy who plays the guitar?” she said. “Hi, I’m Helen. I wanted to tell you I really like your music and I’m sorry my dad complained. He worries about me too much.” Deshi looked at what he was holding. It was a white stick. She was blind.

Brendan Dunne


Have you ever moved to live in a different place or started at a new school?

Language level: 


Kostantinus's picture
Kostantinus 12 February, 2021 - 08:47

I've never moved to a new place to live, but I've started to study at new schools two times. There were some reasons for that. I didn't feel upset about that fact. I always make new friends in a new place. But for some children changing school is to hard.
The story above is very sad, but it written very well. As for me I prefer not this kind of genre. It makes me sad and unhappy. But, maybe, this kind of stories can be useful for us. It teaches people to value what they have. I give my like to author of this story.

1 user has voted.
lili's picture
lili 8 December, 2013 - 10:34

i had started in a new school and it's a little bit difficult in the first place but then you get used and i had luck becouse i found my friendship in the first week and then i knew the whole school.. :) it's great <3

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Reham98's picture
Reham98 4 July, 2013 - 15:18

Yes, I have gone to a different school when I was twelve, because I finished the elementary school, and I have to go to a new Middle School. At the beginning, I was astonished by the students, the teachers, and even the building. I was eating breakfast alone, since I don't know anybody there, and I had felt like I had been thrown in a very vast and strange world. Later on I have known so many friends, from my class and from the other classes. I adapt there too much, but the next year wasn't as pleasant as the previous one. Some new girls joined us in the class, they became very close friends to my close friends, they start to provoke them against me, they were creating so silly arguments to let them leave me, and they really have succeeded. I stayed there for two years, then I went to a new school, since I became in grade 9 (High School Student) I was lucky there because I have found one of my old friends fortuitously there, she was like the guide for me ! She was telling me what lessons they finished, and in what lessons they are, and what our duties are, she even was translating some words to me, and explaining Math and Chemistry lessons. I really appreciate her philanthropy. She's a real friend. Although she wasn't my close friend in our previous school and she has some faults, but I really admire her.

Thank you for this nice story !

0 users have voted.
Alishka's picture
Alishka 29 April, 2013 - 14:21

Yes have. Last year I moved to a new flat and started at a new school. It wasn't so difficult to make friends with my new classmates. They were all nice and friendly to me on the first day. A bit later I made friends with those ones whom I loved. Soon I am going to another school with my new friend Ann. I do hope, that the new school will be much better!

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Natalija's picture
Natalija 24 April, 2013 - 14:48

I moved a lot so far. My parents lived in Serbia, but I was born in France, in Paris. I spend there about 5 years, and it was terrific. I had many friends, and had a great time, but soon we had to move to Spain, due to Mom's job. It was a little hard for me, since I was only 5 and with no knowledge in Spanish. My father knew Spanish well, and he helped me to overcome that difficulty. I needed about a year to accustom, but later, I liked my new friends, teachers and all people there so much. I lived in this country for 8 years, but than again we moved. This time it was Turkey, and I felt very skeptic about it. I was in teen ages, and my parents thought it would be a shock for me to move so many times, to change so many schools, places, and to have to learn the new language. But I'm actually very adaptable and I liked living in Turkey. I started the high school there, and gained a lot of friends. But, we have to move again:). This time we came back to my home country-Serbia, and I was glad to finally live there, because it's my home, and I'll finally speak Serbian, and I will spend more time with my family, since my grandparents have never lived in the same country as I. So, I chose to look on this with smile, because it's still a terrific experience, which made me think about many things, and somehow, I learnt to be independent, adaptable and sociable, which is very important. I must admit that the biggest problem was changing the school. So many educational systems, so many new people. I felt home sick many times, and I still miss my old friends, but we're keeping in touch and I'm happy of that.

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MALINE's picture
MALINE 14 April, 2013 - 17:49

I had to started at a new school when i was eight,it was terrible,I missed all my friends an for a long time I felt sick and sad.

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ramy123's picture
ramy123 13 February, 2013 - 05:58

i am from Sudan but now i am in India for learn English and bachelor of pharmacy so difficult for me people cant speak english their accent so incomprehensible their food more
spicy ..,,,,, heavy traffic ...(facepalm)

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Natalija's picture
Natalija 24 April, 2013 - 14:37

Hi, ramy:)
I thought Indian people speak English fluently in general, because India was the British colony once. I can perfectly understand you, since I moved a lot so far. But anyway, it's still a great experience, and after some time spent there, you'll accustom to the new surroundings. I hope you'll feel better about this soon:).

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TeenGirlie's picture
TeenGirlie 12 February, 2013 - 15:21

I have moved quite a lot, and I have changed 2 schools, it's my 3rd school now.. and I felt not that bad, usually more worried that I wouldn't be understood and accepted... but time passed and I feel like I've been studying in my school since th 1st grade :)

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Demy's picture
Demy 12 February, 2013 - 09:38

Yes. In my live I have changed my permanent place of residence. I have started new school. I am afraid,that I will not understand by other pupils. But I should not have worried about it,because everywhere people accepted me)

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