The good US of A


Xiaoping came back from Shanghai this past summer and told me,
“New York food is inedible.”
Shanghai is that good?
She smiled and said .. yes.
My last visit to Shanghai was 1985 and stayed at Jinjiang Fandian 锦江饭店 Hotel which was the place in town.
Last Monday Mark bought a pair of 15 years old twins to the game. They just arrived in New York on 9/13/2008 from Shanghai. They have been playing tennis for the past eight years. And they’re good at it. So during a water break, I had little conversation with one of them.
“How come you end up in New York?”
“We immigrated here.”
“Why?” Thinking the food is just so so here, and the economy .. and ..
“We all want to come.” She looked surprised.
“How long did it take you for getting a immigration visa?”
“We applied in 1996.”
“This year and this time, people still want to come to US?”
“Of course.” She must be think what a moron she’s talking to.
“What’s so good about US?”
“Air .. food .. affordability ..” Ok, air is a give. But food?
“Food is good here?” I was surprised.
“Of course, the foods are just taste better here ..” Sure not the McDonald’s?
She continued, “it’s cheap here. cheaper to rent (she used term 借房子) and to buy. We’re paying $1,500 for two bedroom in Flushing. If it were in Shanghai, it would be $2,500 ..”
Their parents are here with them. Dad hasn’t found a job and Mom works as nanny in NJ.
“My Dad was a project manager in Shanghai and Mom has not worked in years.” I would think that unlike my generation or their parents, the youngsters growing up in new China would have second thoughts for coming to the USA.
Amused and glad to read Christopher Hill* still considers US a power house. On advising how to dish advice, he said .. that

For many people in the world, they look at America, and they see an enormous country with an extraordinary amount of power. Pure power. And so they feel that asymmetry immediately as soon as they meet us. So we have to understand how people look at us sometimes. So advice coming from a country with enormous power can be taken wrongly.

Ok, hopefully I did not take his sentence out of context. Giants is leading Arizona 24:12 … Go my little Giants … Great to know that the country I chose to call home still welds power, pure power. It’s just pretty sexy.

Anyway, I asked another transplant Shanghainess for conformation. He said, (as well as Yishi) .. that food is much better in Shanghai – duh – .. but people in Shanghai are very 崇洋媚外 (fawn on or toady to foreign powers).. there isn’t a moral story or punchline, but you just have to love Beijingers better 🙂 .. there is a long rivalry between these two cities.
The twins are poised and polite, attending Cardozo High in Bayside. Miss Blue said that they are struggling with English but math, .. math is a joke. ——–

*Christopher Hill is the assistant secretary of state for East Asian and Pacific affairs. Since February 2005, he has been lead negotiator on talks with North Korea aimed at ending its nuclear program.

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