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孝碧:我來自福建省福州市

Xiao Bi.L

大家好,我是大陆福建到美国来!我想分享一下我到美国来的经验。我们到美国来的时候坐在飞机上,看到这下面很漂亮!美国的灯光很漂亮!最后到了美国的时候,到了家里的时候,哎呀那个房子很小!一个房间住着十几个人,上上下下。哎呀,我说怎么这就是美国嘛!我们在大陆好像是想的是美国是天堂,到了美国是地狱。

最后去做工,来了两三天就去打工。到衣厂去打工很辛苦。晚上要做到十几点回家。十一二点还没有饭吃!回家还要做饭,还要洗衣服。真的很累,美国很累。你看孩子三个孩子要读,他们也不会做的。 晚上十几点回去煮饭还要洗衣服,什么都要搞是不是啊?白天去上班回到家里 腰痛死了!爬不起来,躺在床上是我老公把我拉起来。很痛,这个腰啊!老板还要骂你,我们不会做吗。不会做老板还骂: “你做什么?你这个赚的钱能吃吗?你有钱买东西吃吗?” 不会做没办法。没人教啊!我们也没有亲戚,也没有朋友在这里是不是啊。到衣场不会做!老板还要骂你,你还要受气。哎呀回到家,我就哭啊!哎呀,为什么要来到美国呀?哎呀,是我老公移民把我弄出来的!我说不是移民,我根本就不道美国来。真么辛苦!

那个时候我都想回去。看到孩子小……算了算了。在餐馆里,在衣场里做了几年。最后又到餐馆里做。餐馆里也做了10年,啊也是很辛苦的!很累的!餐馆里切菜,切肉。还要炸那些东西,还要配菜到外面去,跑来跑去累死了。太累了,美国太累了。 

但是小孩子现在大了。他们都自己创业了。我们现在都退休了。我们现在就是要过好自己的晚年了是不是啊?美国政府还好。我们老人家还有什么粮食捐给我们是不是?还可以,可以。现在基本上还可以。 

Xiao Bi: I came from Fuzhou

Hi everyone, I’m from the province of Fujian in China. I’d like to share a bit about my experience coming to the United States. When I first arrived in the U.S., looking down at the city lights from the airplane, I thought the lights in the U.S. were especially beautiful. When we actually landed and arrived at our home, my god, the place was so small. One room housed about a dozen people, top to bottom. I thought, how was this what the U.S. was like? In the mainland we thought that America was like heaven, when we arrived we realized it was hell. 

Within a few days, I went to find work. My time at the garment factory was especially difficult. I worked until 10pm, some nights even until midnight, and I’d still need to eat. I’d come back home and still had to make dinner, do laundry – it was exhausting. America was exhausting. Our three kids needed to study, they couldn’t work. I needed to do everything. I’d go to work during the day and come home with such intense back pain! I wouldn’t be able to get up. I’d lay in bed and my husband would pull me up. Such incredible pain. 

Our boss at the factory would yell at us. We didn’t know how to do our jobs. He’d yell, “What are you doing? Can you even make a living like this? Do you have enough money to buy food?” We didn’t know how to do it. No one trained us! And we had no relatives or even friends here. When our boss would berate us, I’d run home and sob. Why did we even come to the U.S.? It was my husband who brought us here. If it weren’t for him, I wouldn’t have come. It was exhausting!

Of course, I wanted to go back to Fujian. But my children were so young…forget it, I’d think. After a few years at the garment factory, I started a new job at a restaurant. I worked at the restaurant for 10 years..that was also difficult. I was so tired. I had to chop vegetables, chop meat, and I also had to carry large buckets of food. I was constantly running around! Absolutely exhausting. Being in the U.S. is exhausting. 

But my children? They’re older now. They all run their own businesses and start-ups. And my husband and I? We’re retired. We’re just happily living out our golden years. The U.S. government isn’t too bad to us. The elderly receive food assistance and benefits to use. It’s alright, it’s alright. Life is alright now.

大家好,我是大陆福建到美国来!我想分享一下我到美国来的经验。我们到美国来的时候坐在飞机上,看到这下面很漂亮!美国的灯光很漂亮!最后到了美国的时候,到了家里的时候,哎呀那个房子很小!一个房间住着十几个人,上上下下。哎呀,我说怎么这就是美国嘛!我们在大陆好像是想的是美国是天堂,到了美国是地狱...

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观娣的高興人生

Gon Ting. W

來自中國廣東英德市!我叫观娣。 我這一生,我是好高興呀! 我無憂愁的我同你讲! 我來到美國又係無憂愁,我在大陸呢?又是無憂無愁,從小到大都是無憂無愁的,到現在,我都是好開心的。

是呀! 我做這份工來到美國呢做搽衣! 而我自己在一間廠, 我一個人搽衣的!什麼工都好, 都是別人cut衣cut到(幾點), 我們還要搽完, 明天還要出衣,無論夜晚加班呀,加班有飯食的嘛!所以我就好高興!我不會車衣,我會搽衣, 我在大陸又是搽衣的。就是說呢…我現在一直到現在都是好開心的人! 一個好開心, 好知足的人。 …怎麼說呢?

小朋友小(的時候),我又養我家婆, 養我家公, 又養我先生, 我都不用去打理那些小朋友呀!又不用我煮飯食哈哈哈哈! 是呀,所以我是好開心呀, 哈哈哈! 就只用去做工而已我。我覺得來到美國也很好呀! 好幸福, 是不? 又賺到錢呀我 …你說雖然不是說好多(錢),但是比起中國來說都是好好多啦, 對吧? 所以我來到這裡呢都好高興, 大陸我小時候也是高興的! 我們那些六十幾年才開始做工的, 對吧? 六十年代以後才開始工作 … 但是我還是好高興呢! 年輕的時候又好高興, 因為我們六十年代那時候呢, 哎! 到處都有電影放, 那些六十年代尾, 七十年代頭呢已經有黑白電視啦!都好高興呀! 那時候…我八六年呢就已經有彩電啦,我自己家庭(的)。哇! 全條村的人全來到我家坐著看電視,我自己都不看, 讓別人、成條村的人看。哈哈哈哈! 是呀我好高興呀,所以我真是我呢一生真的好高興。

Gon Ting’s Story: A Life of Happiness from Yingde to America

I’m from the city of Yingde in Guangdong Province, China. My name is Wu Gon Ting. My whole life, I’ve been very happy. I’ve – well – been very carefree. Let me tell you, coming to the United States, I was carefree. Back in the mainland? I was carefree. From childhood to adulthood, I’ve always been a carefree person, up to now? Well, I’m still pretty carefree.

When I came to the United States, I worked as a garment inspector. I was the only inspector at this garment factory. After others would finish cutting and trimming, I was in charge of inspecting the clothing before we sent them out the following morning. It didn’t matter if I had to stay overtime, we got free dinner for overtime! So I’m a pretty happy person. I didn’t know how to sew clothing, I only knew how to inspect it. I did the same work back in China.
All my life, I’ve been a very content person. When my children were growing up, I had my in-laws and my husband. I didn’t have to constantly watch them or worry about cleaning or cooking. That’s why I’m so happy! I just needed to work. I think I’ve been incredibly fortunate coming to the United States. I worked, I made money. It’s not much, but compared to what I would have made back at home, it’s not bad. 

For people like us, well we started working later in life, but I’ve still been very happy. Because during the 60’s in China, we had movies everywhere. At the start of the 70’s, we already had black and white film in China. In the 80’s, we already had color. At my home, in ‘86 my family owned a color TV. I remember our whole neighborhood would gather in our living room to watch. I couldn’t even catch a glimpse of the screen during those gatherings, I’d let them watch instead.

Yes, I’m very happy. Just my whole life, I’ve been very happy.

來自中國廣東英德市!我叫观娣。 我這一生,我是好高興呀! 我無憂愁的我同你讲! 我來到美國又係無憂愁,我在大陸呢?又是無憂無愁,從小到大都是無憂無愁的,到現在,我都是好開心的...

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鳳儀的故事:從中國教師到美國新生活的築夢之旅

Feng Yi. T

我的名字叫鳳儀。我从中国温州来美国!那我的女儿带我来的,我是移民过来的。那我女儿在这里读书,嫁人,生了小孩。 她说叫我来帮她带小孩的。那我是到美国来干什么嘛!我心里好害怕那时候。那个飞机场里走进走出走进走出,就是不敢做飞机。我老先生呢:“赶快进去!” 他送我的嘛。“飞机要飞了!你还不进去啊?赶快快进去啊!”我说我去干什么吗?英文也不会。我好害怕!

后来,到了这里看看, 这个唐人街都是中文的!我看看,有救了!我们的中国人的语言能沟通了!也能够沟通,也能够去找工 – 对吗?开始我也没有找工,但是呢后来我想想了。女儿在美国呆久了,她好像自己很骄傲一样,很自豪。对我们态度也不是很好了。我想想我在这里再待下去,不行了。 我要去打工,下面还有几个女儿要等我带,我老公还没来, 也要等我带。那我坐在家里,又没有报税,又没有什么。怎么办呢? 后来我就去那个“移动”下面,去那个找工作的地方就找了一份工作。 

他说你这么大年纪了,我五十三岁来美国的嘛! 中国退休才来的吗。他说“你们就是做保姆,做管家没有其他的工作!” 那我说我就是不想做保姆,不想带孩子。 美国的孩子,又不能凶他,好难带的。 我有时候说 “不要吵呀!” 声音又很大,人家以为你在骂他。 我说我不要做这个工。我还是做别的工,工厂的工。后来他就把我派到那个做饺子。做那个花卷。我在中国我当经理的,我也没有做这些东西。我说我不会呀! 不会,不会就学啊!因为我是邮电学校毕业的。后来我在杭州生了小孩,我先生要我调到温州来。 我就到温州去做那个烟糖酒公司。那个时候我们的邮电局也在省人吗,62年。外面来的人不要那没办法就到那边去了。 到那边去就工资是我最高。 经理也没我那没高。后来,慢慢慢慢的就我也当经理了。所以说呢?我不会做。他说 “你真老实, 人家有的人来,不会的都说自己会”  我说那怎么可以说谎呢? 等会儿你叫我做, 我就做不出来了。不会就不会嘛。

后来他说你就打杂吧。我就一盘一盘的肉拿去那边….做了好几个月。 后来我想,我要带人啊。我就问,老板你可不可以帮我缴税呢?他说不可以!我们不可以报税的。那有什么办法呢?我后来又去问别人。别人说你还是去 《华策会》做那个护理。那好像是政府工,能打税的。

那我拼命跑去那边。他们问我,你多少岁呢?我五十四岁。他说,你不行!那个时候做护理,年轻那个时候不可以做的!要五十五周岁!那我没办法,怎么办呢? 又去 Mott 街那个礼品店帮人家看店。“T-Shirt 4 for 10 dollars,  T-Shirt 4 for 10 dollars!” 这样!在那边做,做了很长。差不多1年。

过了1年多,我又跑会《华策会》很艰苦!但是呢?我觉得美国很好。我很感谢美国。我一直做到六十六,那个工卡局给我退休了。但是我呢?还在做。我们的负责人,他们对我很好。我调到这里犹太人这了。我在那里做到六十九岁。人家说,啊呀你不要退休了,你天天红红呼呼的。我真的很好,很喜欢做。 我从5块钱做起。他们后来五块六块多,后来升到八块一个钟。后来,等我要退休了, 他们十块钱一个钟!我舍不得退嘛!我还做得动。那么多钱,我还是要做。现在十几块了,十五六块了。

所以说,真的很好我在美国。一开始很害怕,不想来。但是现在想想呢,来到美国学了很多东西。英文 a little bit 也是学一点点!有时候人家讲什么能听得懂。但是自己讲不出来,但也没关系。单词有几个会讲,也没关系人家也会理解。那我就考公民, 我还考了一 百分。我的那个律师,他都说我聪明。我真的,我对生活也很热爱 。我感觉啊人有劳动,很开心。我很感谢美国,我很喜欢美国。  

Feng Yi’s Story: From Teaching in China to Building a New Life in the U.S

My name is Feng Yi. T. I came from Wenzhou, China to the United States. My daughter brought me here. My daughter came to study, marry, and have children. She wanted me to come to help take care of her children. But I thought, what would I do here! I was very terrified. I paced back and forth at the airport terminal – I didn’t want to get on the plane. My husband was yelling “Get on the plane!” He had come to see me off. “The airplane is about to leave! You’re not getting on?” I yelled back, “What would I do there?” My English isn’t great. Oh, I was so scared. 

Afterwards, when I arrived, I saw that Chinatown was full of Chinese people. I looked around and thought, there’s hope! I can communicate in Chinese, I can find work! At first, I couldn’t find work so I thought about going to my daughter’s. But I remembered that she’d been in the United States for a while. She seemed to have grown prideful and developed an attitude towards us. I couldn’t stay here like this – I needed to work. I still had other daughters who relied on me to immigrate. I still had my husband who needed me. I was at home, not working, I had no record of tax payments. So I went to look for a job at an employment center.

The worker there said, “You’re already so old!” I came to the U.S. at 53, right after retiring in China. “People your age take care of grandchildren, or become housekeepers.” I didn’t want to be a nanny, I didn’t want to take care of children. The kids here…you can’t yell at them. If you raise your voice, people think you’re scolding. So he sent me to work at a dumpling factory. I told him I didn’t know how to do this type of work. “Then learn!” he retorted. In China, I was a manager. I’ve never done these things before. I graduated from a telecommunications college. Later, I gave birth to my children in Hangzhou. Then my husband asked that I come to Wenzhou, where I worked at a tobacco, sugar, and liquor company. It was 1962, and the telecommunications bureau was downsizing around 1962. They didn’t want outsiders working there. When I started working in Wenzhou, my salary was the highest, even higher than the managers. Eventually I worked my way up to becoming a manager. So? I didn’t know how to work at a factory. They said I was honest about admitting to that. 

I was assigned to organize and carry trays, trays of meat. I did that for several months. Then I thought, I needed to help my family immigrate here too. I asked if my boss could help me file taxes. He said of course not! So I asked around, and someone recommended I go to the Chinese-American Planning Council to work as a home attendant. It seemed like that job filed taxes. So I quickly ran over to CPC. I was 54 then and they said I was too young to work as a home attendant, I needed to be 55 to qualify. So what can I do? Eventually, I found a small shop on Mott Street and worked there. “T-Shirt 4 for 10 dollars, T-Shirt 4 for 10 dollars!” I was there for a long time. 

After a year, I ran back to CPC to apply. It was difficult. Being in the United States was hard, but I loved it here. I’m thankful to this country. I worked until 66 and my retirement benefits came in, but I still wanted to work after. My boss was very kind to me. I was transferred over to a Jewish senior center to work. By then, I was 69. I started with five dollars an hour. They later raised it to six, then eight. Later when I was about to retire, it went to ten! I couldn’t leave! I still had energy. No matter how much, I still worked. Now it’s at 16 an hour.  

It’s been great being in the United States. At first, I was so scared and dreaded coming. Now as I reflect, I realize I’ve learned so much here. As for my English…I still learned a bit! When others spoke, I could understand! I just couldn’t quite respond. When I took my immigration exam, I scored 100%. Even my lawyer says I’m smart. I really — I love my life. I’m grateful to this country. 

我的名字叫鳳儀。我从中国温州来美国!那我的女儿带我来的,我是移民过来的。那我女儿在这里读书,嫁人,生了小孩。 她说叫我来帮她带小孩的。那我是到美国来干什么嘛!我心里好害怕那时候...

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美太太:从服装厂工到家庭护理员

Mei Xiang. W

大家好, 我今天来参加你们这个故事团!很高兴见到你们。 我在中国来的89年来到这里。第一份工作去找这个缝衣服。縫衣服的時候上午七点多钟要出门口了,有人带我们去这个唐人街Chinatown的衣服廠,回家也會有人帶我們回家。待幾天之後就自己騎自行車了。

钱赚不多,真的很少很少。 到了2004 年就去转这个护理工作。自己去读护理书,自己去找工作。一路做做做,04年做到退休。钱赚也不多。衣厂也赚得不多。我们那时侯住在 Brooklyn。零几搬来这个政府楼。政府楼住到现在了。现在退休没有做工。 

最难忘的是 9/11 那个时候。衣厂全部收工。沒有車開,要走路回家。走到回家, 脚都累啊。還有一次呢,没有电嘛,又第二次走路回家。唐人街没有电,没车。也要走路回家。

就是做衣厂,转到护理工。护理工做到现在。现在就退休,没再工作。就这样。

Mei Xiang’s Journey : From Garment Factory to Home Attendant in NYC

Hi everyone! Today I’m here to participate in this Life Story club. I’m so happy to see everyone. I’m from China and came here in 1989. The first job I had was sowing clothes at a garment factory. I had to leave my house at seven in the morning. We had someone drive us to the factory in Chinatown, Manhattan. 

It didn’t make much money, it was very very little. In 2004, I wanted to switch to a different job: a home attendant. I studied by myself to prepare for the home attendant exam. I went to look for a job by myself. I worked the entire time, all the up until retirement. That also didn’t make much money. The garment factory wasn’t a lot either. We lived in Brooklyn at the time. Around 2000 something was when we moved to this government senior apartment. I’ve been here ever since. Now I’m retired and don’t work. 

The most memorable moment for me was during 9/11. All of the garment factories shut down. We had to walk home from Manhattan. By the time I got home, my feet were so sore. Another time, there was a black-out. Chinatown didn’t have electricity. No subways either. I had to walk home then too. 

I worked at the factory and then worked as a home attendant, up until now. Now I’m retired and don’t work. And that’s that.

大家好, 我今天来参加你们这个故事团!很高兴见到你们。 我在中国来的, ‘89 年来到这里。第一份工作去找这个 缝衣服。上午七点多钟要出门口了。 有人带我们去这个唐人街,Chinatown...

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于安的跨越:从福州副校长到美国生活

Yu An.L

我是于安。是从福州长乐来的,我是三十八岁的时候那年来到美国。但是我在来美国之前, 我是在中国一个中心小学里面当副校长。那时候还兼任那个毕业班,我都是教这个毕业班的,所以那是每一个学年考试,考那个初中小学考初中啊,我班上都是考的都比较好。

我记得是在中国的时候,有一次刚刚恢复文革以后那个考试的时候呢,我第一次是在那个山区小学里面,在校长之间教毕业班的。我跟另外一个教数学的老师,跟我也是朋友一起教一个人,两个人合起来教一个毕业班,然后是做讲座,是怎样把山区的这个小孩子能够考上的重点中学重点校区。我还讲了自己的心得,怎么跟那个老师怎么配合把学生教好。但是当时的时候我是那个还是一般的小学的校长,然后自从那一次以后呢, 我说我那个名字,这时候在全县范围内基本上都是出名了。第二年,第三年几乎那个就被教育局提为这个中心小学的副校长, 负责管理业务教学的。

另外一点就是-我三十八岁来到美国以后,我是要做打砸到餐馆里面去打工。我们首先开始就是杂工,就是这个一些清洁卫生间的,还有那个切菜, 炒饭什么东西,就是餐馆里面所有最低等的,最起码的工大家都要做。但是我刚刚进去的时候,我第一天来到这个餐馆,记得第一次那个老板叫你这个,把那个这一包洋葱啊, 把那个皮把它剥掉。

这个我要一批一批第一个第一个洋葱进来,我不小心就切在一个这里就切一块。…因为在学校里面,当然是搞你那写字的,你突然间搞这个东西,我然后眼泪流下来,差不多要流下来了,然后那个老板就用一个胶布,把我这里缠的缠住以后,这样子还是继续做啊。不是说你这几天回去休息啊,你餐馆里面一个人胃炎,你不能不做, 还要做。做完以后这个那个,他说哎呀,你那个宿管,你还要做那个炒饭啊,还要做完。

那一天晚上回来以后,在被子上在流眼泪哎呀,我在暗暗地流眼泪呀。刚才哎呀,我这么辛苦,知道这么辛苦,不想来,为什么又来呀? 要是在家里是很舒服啊是吧? 现在家里很让我辛苦。那看到这个老板-他说每个月跟那个没有休息的,给我1000个人美元,我是看着美元,我想到一百块,相当于当时是八百多人民币。当时我在学校里面的当校长,当副校长的工资,这个还才是¥49.50毛,加到米贴才五十四块。​​我五十四块五好像还还算怎么样。唔…现在看着这个錢的份上,哎呀哎呀我说要做要做一定要做。那老板给我这么高的工资。当时一千的工资很高了,没有休息的,但是我一定要做,要尽我最大的努力去做。

另外一点是做我的零二零三年好像我去考美国公民的时候呢?在考公民之前的话,我是绿卡,那绿卡的话呢?因为我在中学,虽然也不在中国啊,虽然是有文化,但是毕竟是中文的,没有英文,就是只知道ABCD二十六个字母从ABC念起。当时我很用功的念,教会的几个小姐说哎呀,这个李先生,李叔叔啊这个这个很肯定啊,他原来不识字的.但现在这一步一步的从二十六个字母开始,慢慢的一个单词、一个一个短句慢慢的学着。然后这普通的餐馆的大门里面的用语, 还有日常生活的这个用语,

我基本上学了就是每个礼拜,有的时候都出来继续学。另外还和一些常用的这个比较粗简单的这个英语,这个课本啊,有的录音的,有的是当那个书本的,我就拿过来,拿到餐馆里面来。白天做工的时候,晚上回家的时候, 做完工以后,我去慢慢自己自学,有的单词不知道的时候就问问年轻人,所以是这样子,所以慢慢慢慢的之后,就然后慢慢的就学着一点粗粗粗的英语,那再后来我呢?在学一段时间以后,我请人家吧,他教你怎么考公民。他说把这个一百个考题,比如美国总统第一任总统,我们是在哪个州什么东西,这样子来一出出了一百个题目,这样子叫我们这样去念。

所以我一边在餐馆做工,一边晚上在念念念念熟了。我把这个一百道题目全部都把它记好了,所以平时这样子比如说这道题目,我这样子把题目按照下面答案这样子盖住。我说现在美国总统是什么?有英文回答,我自己考自己,一道一道一道的考,然后考到自己有把握了,然后就花了三百块还是五个百块五块钱的,然后拿着那个负责考题的辅导老师,他说你又保证了安排时间,然后是你一三年,好像五月份几号的时候,他们几个人就把我带到那个带到那个Long Island那边去考,然后去考的话,考了一次就通过了,考了美国公民。

Yu An’s Transition: From Vice-Principal in Fuzhou to Life in the U.S.

My name is Yu An.L . I’m from Chang Le in Fuzhou. I was 38 years old when I arrived in the United States. But back in China, I was the Vice-Principal of an elementary school. Back then, I concurrently held the position of Vice-Principal while also teaching the graduating class every year. When every school would take their middle school entrance exams, my graduating class would always score pretty well. 

I remember back in China, right after school exams resumed after the Cultural Revolution, me and another math teacher (who was one of my good friends) taught the graduating class together. We held a talk on how we could work together to help the students in our county score into the central middle school. Ever since then, my name became well known amongst students and teachers in the county. By my second and third year, I became the Vice-Principal of our region’s central primary school and was responsible for the other teachers. 

Another point is that I came to the United States at 38. I had to work at a restaurant. We started out as handymen: we cleaned the restaurant, we cleaned the bathrooms. Then we became the ones who cut the vegetables, fried the rice – the lowest workers at the restaurant. I remember the first day, my boss gave me a bag of onions and told me to peel off the skins. While I was cutting one layer after another, I accidentally cut off a piece of my finger. You know back at the school, I was working with words and characters. All of a sudden here, I was working with…these things. Tears started falling from my eyes. My boss came over and taped up the cut and told me to continue. “Someone else is out sick with gastritis. You can’t not work. You have to finish making the rice!” 

That night I went home and cried into my blankets. Why did I come here? God, if I knew it was this hard – I wouldn’t have come. I would have been so comfortable back at home, wouldn’t I? Now, home is so difficult. I looked at the money my boss gave me: 1,000 USD a month with no off days. I thought: $100 USD was equivalent to 800 RMB (at the time). In China, my salary as Vice-Principal was only 49.50 RMB with a small food stipend for lunch making it 54 RMB. This 54 RMB was paltry in comparison to a grand. Looking at this money, I thought: god I have to keep working. I absolutely have to work. 

Another point is that in 2003, I went to take my citizenship exam. Before I got my citizenship, I had a green card. Although I was educated, it was in China. And although I’m fully literate, I was in Chinese not English. All I knew were the 26 letters of the English alphabet. I was very diligent with reciting, and a few young ladies at the church would say, “Oh this Uncle Li is very hard-working! He originally did not know any English words. But now, beginning with 26 letters, he slowly learned a word, then short sentences.” Then I learned restaurant related terms, then everyday terms. I basically studied every day. I worked at the restaurant during the day and self-studied at night. If I didn’t know a word, I would ask a young person. After some time, I hired someone who taught me how to take the citizenship exam. We went over all 100 questions, like who was the first president, what is the capital of the state, etc, and memorized all of them. Then I started testing myself. When I was confident enough, I contacted the citizenship tutor and arranged an exam time, it was maybe May. A group of people took me to Long Island where my exam was. I took it once and passed – I got my U.S. citizenship. 

我是于安。是从福州长乐来的,我是三十八岁的时候那年来到美国。但是我在来美国之前, 我是在中国一个中心小学里面当副校长。那时候还兼任那个毕业班...

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娟英的美国旅程

Juan Ying. K

我是江苏,长乐过来的。我叫娟英。我是在2001年的时候,从中国江苏省这到美国, 来休息了几天, 我就去到那个宾州去打餐馆工,那个对真的很辛苦,很辛苦。好像地狱一样的,早上早上出去偷着去,晚上偷着回来,那个时候真的很辛苦,我一天做两份工,一份是卡台,一份是做寿司。

那个时候工资才一千几百块钱一个月,那是很辛苦的,后来慢慢的慢慢的,我外出晚了一次,那后来我就转到佛罗里达, 佛罗里达做了7年,那个差不多做了7年, 也是做两份工。那个时候工资涨到二千四。后来慢慢我还想拿政府楼,我就改为那个做那个护理, 在这边做护理,再申请到政府楼,后来我就一直做到退休。就是这样,美国是我现在退休了,我觉得很幸福,也是很好的,那个做的时候呢也是比较辛副的,也很辛苦。来了有点后悔,但是现在也不后悔了。

宾州做餐馆。做了7年过来开始考公民考公民,我也做一点,后来我就学英语,再去做护理,慢慢慢慢考到公民了。后来我就不在这里做护理,这二十四个小时,我真被那征服了。二十四个小时, 就在这栋楼啊! 一周是二十四小时做的。那个二十一号那个亚洲的一个老太太,那就做到退休嘛,后来她走掉了,后来我就转到那边八十四街一个那个北京来的,做十二个小时,早上九点到晚上九点,做到后来这个新冠病毒开始, 发的时候我就开始退休了,在二零二零年的三月份退休,都过了,也很辛苦的很辛苦的。二十四个小时才拿十三个小时工資,那就是我们做的这些七塊一毛五, 二十四个小时,后来加到是一毛五。 

晚上有 [休息时间], 晚上有睡觉的。要那个老太太实在小便了, 你要跟着她.一會兒吃东西了,你要拿給她。他客厅里面专门有張床给我们护理的。

在美国做了,现在有二十多年了。2001年过来的。

Juan Ying’s American Journey

I’m from Chang Le in JiangSu, China. I’m Juan Ying. K! I came to the United States in 2001. After a few days of rest, I went to work at a restaurant in Pennsylvania. Restaurant work was difficult, very difficult. It was like hell. I would leave early in the morning and come back late at night. I worked two jobs! At that time, my salary was only a little over a grand a month. Eventually, I moved to Florida where I worked for 7 years –  I also had two jobs there. My salary then rose to 2,400 a month. I really wanted to live in the senior government apartments so I switched to working as a home attendant and applied. I got the apartment and worked until retirement. 

Now that I’m retired, I feel that I’ve been very fortunate and very happy here in the U.S. But when I was working, it felt incredibly hard. I had some regrets about coming here. But now that I’m retired, I have none. 

After working for 7 years, I went back to NYC to study for my citizenship exam. I also worked a bit. I learned English and then worked as a home attendant. After I got my citizenship, I stopped working as a home attendant here. I had to work 24 hours straight, just right here in this building! The old lady I was taking care of passed away, so I was switched to a different lady on 84th Street. A lady from Beijing. I worked 12 hours straight for her, from 9am to 9pm. 

I worked until the new coronavirus disease hit. I retired exactly in March of 2020. It was very hard. We worked 24 hours straight for 13 hours of pay – $7.15 an hour. There’s some “rest” time during the night but if the lady needed to get up to use the bathroom, you had to accompany her. If she wanted something to eat, you had to get it for her. 

I worked in the United States for over 20 years. 2001 was when I came. 

我是江苏,长乐过来的。我叫娟英。我是在2001年的时候,从中国江苏省这到美国, 来休息了几天, 我就去到那个宾州去打餐馆工,那个对真的很辛苦,很辛苦。好像地狱一样的...

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寶英的旅程:從廣東到紐約

Bo Ying.H

我係寶英!我係廣東學生嚟嘅。咁樣呢…最初我外公外婆嚟咗好耐架啦!咁嚟咗之後呢就申請我媽媽嚟。我媽媽嚟咗呢就…申請我哋嚟呢, 我哋超齡啦! 咁我八三年一月七號又嚟到呢度啦!我媽,我啊公申請我爸爸媽媽嚟到之後咁呀,我哋又超齡啦嘛…我最大㗎嘛, 我哋四兄弟姐妹,我最大啦嘛。咁所以下…所以超咗齡呀…超齡都未夠一年差唔多嚟到… 差唔多唔使一年,唔使一年時間。咁嚟到之後呢,就喺衣廠度做工。做咗工…做咗廿幾年啦!咁之後先至…轉左而家話做護理。護理又做咗十幾年咁啦!十幾年咁而家就退咗休就無做工咁樣啦!係咁樣啦!簡簡單單咁樣啦!嗄~而家啲細路仔讀完書, 畢咗業, 出嚟做工咁樣啦!我喺呢度都住咗廿幾年啦!嚟到呢度住政府樓。

姐就…無乜嘢嘅! 不過就唔…覺得即係而家好似…即係成日啲治安好似唔係咁好咁樣啦。嗰時就好似就唔係幾覺。又…即又冇咁多人啦,而家反而就成日…即係講嗰啲治安唔係咁好咁樣呀而家。係呀係呀,喺唐人家住咁樣呀…住咗有十幾年啦,咁就嚟呢度住咗二十幾年咁樣啦。咁…而家退左休就姐係冇做工咁樣啦!而家就…係咁樣啦,係咁樣生活啦! 而家又老咗啦!哈哈哈哈…而家老啦!

Bo Ying’s Journey: From Guangdong to New York

Hi, I’m Bo Ying. H! I’m from Guangdong. My grandparents have been in the United States for a while now – they were the first to come. After they arrived, they applied for my mother’s citizenship. Then when my mother arrived, she applied for me and my siblings to immigrate. We applied for our citizenships as adults. I was the oldest out of my 4 siblings. I arrived here on January 7th, 1983. 

When I arrived, I worked at a garment factory. I was there for about 20 years. After that, I worked as a home attendant for another 10 years. Now I’m retired and don’t work. And that’s that. My children have finished school, graduated, and are working. 

I’ve been living here for more than 20 years, in this senior government apartment. There’s not much to say about it, just that it feels that the overall public safety isn’t that great anymore. Back then, I didn’t quite feel that about the city. I guess there were less people then too. Now it feels like everyone is talking about how unsafe it is. 

I’ve been in Chinatown for 10 years and here in this government senior apartment for 20. 

Now I’m retired and don’t work. And that’s how I’m living! And now…I’m old! Hahaha. Now, I’m old. 

我係寶英!我係廣東學生嚟嘅。咁樣呢...最初我外公外婆嚟咗好耐架啦!咁嚟咗之後呢就申請我媽媽嚟...

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