Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Bangkok Underwater

Rain Kamonpun
ESL 100
March 15, 2017
Bangkok Underwater

Just imagine living in a house half flooded for months without anything. In November 2011, Bangkok had one of the worst flood disasters that hit the capital. After it happened, the government announced it was going to release the overloaded water from the great dams to the central part of Thailand. It may seem like a short period compared with people who live in a comfort zone, but it was a hard time for people who lived in the flood disaster. People had to start using boats to commute, and most businesses had to shut down. People who lost their homes had to move out of the city. The huge water spread out to many areas in Thailand, so people who lived in lower areas were hit by the flood. This flood was one of the worst experiences of my life, and it affected my family and over half of the country as well.

It was difficult to find food and purified water during the flood.  Most factories were in the suburbs, and they were affected by the flood. Most food and purified water disappeared in the flood because the vendors could not send food or water to the city. One day after the flood, I went to the store in the city, but I could not find food, purified water, first aid kit, or any necessary items. Most of the stores were closed because they did not have products to sell. My colleague who had lost her home from the flood came to stay with me  in my condominium. We were lucky that the condominium had electricity, so we could use our phones, television, and shower. However, the surrounding city was not affected by the flood. We wanted to go to the surrounding city to buy food, but we could not because the flood was too high. In fact, we finished food in one day because we could not find more food. We survived by eating instant noodles. 

Later on, some of my cousins lost their homes due to the flood. After the government announced the flood zones and shut down the electricity in some areas, my cousin realized that her house was in the red zone. Her house was located by the river, and it was below sea level. The house was a single-storey house. Thus, she did not have time to prepare, so her furniture was flooded. However, she was able to keep the important things and belongings. Then my cousin’s house was submerged. My cousin climbed to the rooftop to look around her neighborhood. Some people around her also were on the rooftops. People who lived in a two-storey house did not have a problem because they could stay on the second floor. All of the victims lived without electricity, toilets, food, and purified water. My cousin was lucky that my father sent help to take her to a safe place. After few weeks, the government sent people to rescue the rest of the victims. Some of them were safe, but some of them were injured or had already died. When the flood had gone, It left damage, debris, and sadness. The government struggled to support the victims. They paid compensation to my cousin and the victims. Still, it was not enough because she spent a lot of her money to renovate the new house.

At the time, It was difficult to go to work. The flood hit the main roads and the roads were closed because it was not safe to drive. Public transportation was also shut down. My colleague and I could not go to work because the water rose got to high level. We decided to walk through the flood to the company.  The flood level was as high as my hip. It usually took me ten minutes to get there, but It took one hour to walk through the water. My company had announced that they were not going to close, so my colleague and I kept working. In the evening, my boss sent her staff with a small boat to drop me at my condominium to collect my clothes. Then I went back to stay in the company building. The Vice President of Thai Airways International Public Company Limited had announced to build the harbor in front of the company and named “Thai Airways Port”. During the time my colleague and I stayed in the company building, so we had food, purified water, a bathroom, and bedroom. We even had a chef to cook food for the staff. My colleague and I stayed in the company a week and then the water went down. 

I will never forget the 2011 flood disaster in Thailand. At that time,  It was a big issue that the government released the water, and how they managed the water system. If they had not released the water, the great dams could have broken because they were overloaded. After the flood was over, I understood how people feel when they lose everything. I know how it feels when life gets tough. It was not just one of the worst disasters. It was a learning experience that taught me may lessons including how to be patient, and how to survive when I am not with my family. 

Monday, March 27, 2017

House Reconstruction

Na Pan (Nicole)
Michal Eskayo
ESL 100
March 14, 2017

House Reconstruction

      There is a saying in Chinese that “Neither a tile, without a patch of land”, which is to describe a person or a family that has no place of their own, and they either need to rent or live under other people’s rooves. This is exactly what my family looked like from twenty years ago until now. Back in the 1990s, my family was facing the government policy of House Reconstruction, which was aimed at building a more modernized living environment and providing more comfortable living conditions. This government decision had left my family homeless. Ever since then, my family has been like a floating leaf without direction drifting around. My grandmother’s decision to sell the house had made my family live without a domicile, and it had left my family struggling with the little “bonus” from earning the house selling share.  It was also the main indirect reason that my mother left me for the United States at the age of eight. 

      Nearly twenty-three years ago, the house my family had lived in was in a situation needed to be torn down, and there were more family members living with us at that time. Considering three of my father’s siblings, my grandmother had made the decision to sell the house property and divide the money evenly among four of her children. That was the time my family had started to wander around, like a duckweed, moving as the wind blew. At that time, my parents had to find the family a place to live, and they had to struggle to open a small business. During that period of time, life was extremely hard.

      The little money my family had shared was not enough for us at all. My parents had to make a living while taking care of me. At that time, I was only two years old. They had to borrow money for my baby formula, and they had to run a small roadside stall regardless if it was raining or in a hot sun.  My childhood was like anybody else at that time. My parents even sent me to the best kindergarten in our neighborhood. Furthermore, they sent me to learn the game of Go when I was only four years old. Go was quite an expensive activity to learn for my family. They wanted to give me the best education even though we were in a rather difficult condition. They wanted me to be different from them, and they wanted me to think critically and master a life-long surviving skill. They had a theory that since Go was mostly played among boys, if a girl that could play she would be a dark horse.  Before my mother left the family for the United States, my parents had tried so many kinds of small businesses to earn a living, and pay for my education. They had even accumulated a small amount of money so they could afford to buy a house. However my mom traded the money for my Go lessons. 

      Moreover, my mother left the family when I was eight. That was because it was getting harder and harder to earn a salary for small business, and my mom wanted me to continue practicing Go.  After my mom moved to the United States, my father took care of me and sent me to the Go club to become even better. The role of mother and father switched in my family, but that was just the beginning of the story. Unfortunately, my father died of bone cancer when I was only thirteen. That was really the time that had made my life indecisive, and the absence of both of my parents had turned my life upside down, and I gradually became less active and more silent. 

      In conclusion, The House Reconstruction was only a hook. There might be some other historical event for my family, but it is the love from my parents that made the government policy of House Reconstruction indifferent. I don't regret anything. My life would not be more abundant without the rich care and expectations from my both of my parents. No matter what life has chosen for me or my family, it will not tear us apart. We are always united spiritually. I am lucky to be my parents’ child, and I have the biggest love from them.

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Essa Abusubaih
February 6, 2017
English 100
Eid in the Old Days
Muslims have two major holidays, and each of these holidays has a story. The first Eid is, which comes after Ramadan. People celebrate after they have fasted a whole month. On the other Eid, which is the biggest Eid, people sacrifice a sheep, cow, or camel to spread the meat to the relatives and the poor, following the example of prophet Ibrahim when he wanted to kill his son, but the God gave him a sheep to sacrifice instead of his son. People are happy in the Eid and smiling at each other. Muslims are having a lot of fun and good time with the relatives and the friends during Eid. People also give Eidiah “the present that people give to each other and its usually money”. I don’t visit my relative or hang out with my friends in the Eid since I moved to the United States.
Visiting the relatives is thRelated imagee best part of the Eid holiday. My father used to take me with him to visit my relatives. Visiting relatives usually takes about two days because we go to visit my grandparents, uncles, aunts, my cousins, my father cousins, and the neighbors.  I was always happy to see my aunt’s smile when my father gave her the Eidiah. This kind of holiday taught me a lot of lessons. The first lesson is visiting the relatives and having time with them is the most enjoyable thing for me. The second lesson is, giving gifts to people can makes more love. In the United states these have changed. I don’t have any relatives in the United states, so me and my father we don’t go to visit any in the Eid
Children are rich and free for the whole Eid. During Eid, people give the children money, and children have free time to play all around the city. I used to wait until my uncles came to give me the Eidiah, so I could go and hang out with my friends. I can’t explain how happy was I at those moments and how fast was the time. My Eidiah was up to 25 dollars, and I used to feel I was rich and I can buy whatever I wanted. I used to spend all my Eidiah on candy and eating in the restaurant with my friends. I wish I could be a child again and spend all the Eid playing with my friends, but I can’t. Because I moved to the United States, and I got older.
Eid is not just playing around the city or visiting the relatives, it is also donating money to the needy. In the biggest Eid, the rich Muslims slaughter a sheep, goat, or camel and they give the meat to the poor. I like this part of the Eid when my family and I go to buy the sheep that we would slaughter in the Eid. After my father slaughtered the sheep my mom put each 5 pieces of meat in one bag, so I know to who I will give the meat. Moving to the United States did not stop my father from slaughtering the sheep, but the problem is I have never been there to watch them or help my family because I must stay in the United States until I finish studying. 

Most people are happy during these holidays, especially children because they get extra money and they have free time for the whole Eid. I wish I could go back in time to have some fun on the Eid. Meeting relatives and friends and having some good time with them was my best part of the Eid, but I don’t visit them anymore since I moved to the United States. This little change of my life has taken away the happiness of Eid from me. I believe that the family are the ones who makes the Eid beautiful, not the Eid itself. 

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

The Magic Soccer Ball

Jenel Moise
March 14, 2017

ESL 100
The Magic Soccer Ball
         I know every country around the world plays soccer, but in Haiti soccer is a kind of religion. Soccer is the most popular sport played in Haiti, and I have been a part of that culture for many years. I have taken a lot of pleasure playing soccer with my friends. When I had spare time, I liked to walk to the soccer field, and I used to watch all the games of my favorite soccer team when it played in National Championship League. However, in the United States, soccer is not one of the popular sports people love to play. I feel that I have entered in a new life without the magic soccer ball. Now I am in Chicago, I am dramatically missing my football companions and my favorite Haitian soccer team.

             When I was in Haiti, I often went to play every weekend. My football companions gathered together to play with the magic ball. Playing a soccer game with friends filled our days with passions. Because this is the best time to dispel our sorrows and pains, we would have a victory over our social needs. My football friends and I have been delighted as much as we can. Most of the time people sat on a bench starring at us playing soccer, and our hearts were happier after playing the magic soccer ball. Since I have been in Chicago however happiness has invaded me and I feel my mind is on one of the Haitian soccer field. In Chicago, I have only gone to a soccer field twice. I can only imagine that I was in Haiti.
             In addition, I loved watching my favorite football team in Haiti because they play as well as the Brazilian National soccer men’s team. They circulate the ball perfectly well. I can’t even miss a game. For this reason, I downloaded the National Championship app on my Smartphone to stay connected everywhere my team has to play. In the United States, soccer is not prestigious like baseball. Even though I went to two different soccer fields in Chicago nearby my apartment, I felt uncomfortable to watch people who do not play like professionals. A few months later while I was watching a soccer game, some friends asked me to play with them. It was a great experience because it was the first time that I was playing soccer among new friends in Chicago. 
           Even though I like to play soccer, my favorite part of this sport is watching and supporting my friends when they play. One day when my new friends wanted me to be in their team again. Every time I had the ball, I never thought with a such feeling that I was playing that I was in the United States. I had the sensation of the magic ball bouncing around the field. My Haitian football friends and I used to play soccer all the time, everywhere. There is a lot of attraction by playing soccer during night in the streets. Sometimes we even played soccer under the pouring rain. However, I have more satisfaction when I am watching a soccer game because every time I lost a game, I felt frustrated, and I don’t want to talk to anyone. Sitting on a bench and watching the game, however, was better because then, the team that won didn’t bother me.
             In sum, playing soccer demands strong physical engagement. Since I came to Chicago, I feel that I do not exist. I began to realize soccer is the most important attraction in my life. I wish I can go hang out with my friends every weekend, and play a soccer game. In some countries soccer is a kind of religion. Soccer could be one of the elements that combined to decrease social racial and differential.  


Monday, March 13, 2017

Loneliness in Wonderland

Na Pan (Nicole)
Michal Eskayo
ESL 100
February 2, 2017
Loneliness in Wonderland
          I love living in Chicago. I enjoy the cold winter, and I appreciate the spirit of positive and friendly of people living here. Once settling down in this foreign country, there is a lot for a foreigner to adapt in order to live a fulfilled life. In other words, as a foreigner we must prepare ourselves emotionally and practically. According to my experiences so far and despite the hospitable people, I find it is lonely living in the United States. It is like a shadow in the lights, which follows the brightness everywhere.

            The first thing that comes to my mind is that I have lost the sense of community. It is not to say that I used to be involved in many social activities back in China. What I mean is that the lonely feeling has gotten even worse since I moved to the U.S. When I was in China, I went to school. However I dropped out from high school because of the great pressure I felt and the depression it had caused. At that time, I decided to give myself a break. I went to find my good friend, Yu Ting Pan, who was my primary classmate and we had fun. Then I went to work as a Go teacher at the place where I started to learn this game. It is a game of strategy with black and white stones and the purpose is to capture the opponents stones and surround its own territories. I found myself insipid and spending day after day showing the small kids the specific terms and techniques which I learned at the similar age with the kids at the exactly same training club. Thus, I was not such an inspiring teacher. I was just retelling the specific knowledge and repeating the general concept. I was not really thinking about the way I taught my students, nor had I cared about whether it would be helpful for the kids future or not. That was the time when I felt life was plain as water. Now in Chicago I go to school and I really enjoy being a student. I love my new state that to be independent. However sometimes I still feel sensitive emotions of being alone, and I am also under living pressure to balancing work and school. Although I live with my mom and we share our apartment with a roommate, I still get the feeling of emptiness from time to time.


            Since I arrived in Chicago, I have a small circle of friends here, for example, church friends. It is common for some people to go to church on Sundays in this country. The United States is a free country, so people have a lot of freedom to choose their religion. I like going to church. We have a big church family and our Pastor treats the church members patiently and warmly. I have learned that as a person one must have faith, no matter if it is related to a religion or not. Im adapting myself to Sunday Church culture.

            In addition to going to church, I attend a lot of activities to avoid feeling lonely in this wonderland. I go to school, and I have a part-time job I am even on a diet program at a weight loss center. Plus I try to go to gym regularly, and Im a member of a Go club. Basically I am making my schedule full, and through this way I feel more cheerful and less isolated in this foreign country. That is my daily life, and it is also a way of dealing with the loneliness. In short, unlike my life in China, which had been an endless road of hopeless repetition, now I find myself happy about the process, the process of gaining life abilities while being involved.

          In conclusion, for the ones who want to live a promised life in this wonderful country, they must be highly self-disciplined and also possess a strong mind.  They will need to set plans and follow a path, which means that they should have a positive attitude towards life. Even though life may cheat ones sometimes, they ought to bounce back quickly and not fall apart. I have realized that the loneliness is an art of life; it follows us everywhere. No matter where we go and what we do, as human beings, we will feel lonely at times. It is how we react to our loneliness that matters, and it is how we see ourselves through loneliness that will determine our future.

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Shanna Wu
ESL 100
February 19, 2017
Different Traditional Culture
My favorite festival is Mid-Autumn festival which I love to celebrate with my family and friends. In China, the Mid-Autumn festival is very lively and joyful. People usually celebrate with their relatives and close friends at night. People also think about people they miss. However, in Chicago, this tradition is not very popular despite the large Chinese community. Thus, people barely celebrate and the meaning of this beautiful tradition has been forgotten. Also, Chinese peoples lives are busy in Chicago, and the Mid-Autumn festival is a traditional festival people least stay with friends. The parts I miss in Chicago are eating traditional food, playing interesting activities, and celebrating with a special atmosphere.

 There are different kinds of the traditional food that I used to eat on the Mid-Autumn festival. In China, people eat traditional food with family and friends. Friends and family often celebrate on their balcony of their home. They watch the full moon while they are enjoying eating mooncakes. For example, my family and I used to have seafood, grapes, bananas, apples, chestnuts, pumpkin pie, and different kinds of mooncake. In fact, during the Mid-Autumn festival, my mom usually makes me a special combination of mooncake. I was so surprised that I can taste a delicious mooncake. It is made with mango, strawberry, and coconut. In Chicago, Chinese people don’t eat the traditional food that Chinese people eat on this holidays. Many Chinese immigrants eat simple food with friends and family during the festival. People also eat mooncake, but it tastes very different than China. People eat pumpkin pie and drink Chinese tea. However, in Chicago, Chinese people are not very happy because they do not have those delicious foods like in China. For example, people eat mooncake, apples, oranges. Doing interesting activities is childrens favorite part.

In addition, Mid-Autumn festival is a special holiday, so children like to do interesting activities. For example, children love to hang lanterns and burn fireworks. In addition, Hanging lanterns are the interesting part of children’s favorite activities. They usually carry different colors and styles of the lanterns around the street. For example, the design of the lanterns has fish, rabbits, butterflies, stars, letters and various patterns. The street in my hometown, Guangdong is very splendid and sparkly. When people sit together watching fireworks with their neighbors, they can interact with others. However, living in Chicago, people don’t celebrate with their friends as we did in China. Also, the street has just no one hanging lanterns, and people only can watching moonlight and eat moon cake. On a special day, children were very excited to play with these activities. 

Moreover, the atmosphere of the Mid-Autumn festival is so special. In China, people love with their family and communicate with each other. Also, they share transitional food with their close friends. Generally, they not only talk about what they eat during the Mid-Autumn festival and what they play with others but also enjoy tasting moon cake and sharing interesting things with everyone. For example, people usually sit together outside in the yard with their friends. but in Chicago, most people are busy. They have to go to work, so they don’t have enough time to celebrate with friends. Many Chinese immigrants feel lost in Chicago the feeling of warm atmosphere in the traditional festival from China. I don’t have many friends to spend time with me to share the festival. The mid-autumn festival atmosphere is very attractive.
To conclude, the Mid-Autumn is so joyful and satisfying, but I miss watching the children hang lanterns and burn the fireworks on the street. On the Mid-Autumn festival, around the colorful firework light up the street for children, it allows children into the beautiful wonderland. The atmosphere is full, people hope everyone has a complete Mid-Autumn festival.

Monday, March 6, 2017

The dream of street food lover

When people talk about Thailand, they always talk about street food. It is easy to find cheap food at a good price in Thailand. Since I was young, I always saw people selling food everywhere on the streets. The place that I always love to go with my mother is a fresh market. Most of the fresh markets are not clean, but they have lots of delicious foods. It does not feel the same in Chicago because people do not sell food out on the street. What I miss the most about Thailand are easy access street food, the authentic Thai food and my hometown style cuisine.

When I am in Thailand, I see street food everywhere that I go. Vendors can sell food on the street and in the markets. They are open twenty-four hours in some areas. I can buy food and drink at cheap price and the taste is also good. The well-known menus are papaya salad, grilled chicken/pork skewer with sticky rice, fried rice, grilled fish, pad thai, and Thai coconut milk sticky rice with mango. When I need some Thai food, I cannot buy it in Chicago because the restaurants are not open twenty-four hours like Thailand. Most of Thai restaurants in Chicago are open late at four pm. and close early at ten pm.   

In the U.S. most of Thai restaurants make the food for the American palette because authentic Thai food has a very strong taste. That is why chefs make it lighter for Americans. For example, the authentic papaya salad is very spicy. The chef put garlic, five to seven chillies, lemons, fresh papayas, tomatoes, and green beans. In Chicago, the chef still put all the ingredients, but make it lighter for Americans. Some ingredients are hard to find in America. For example, if I want to cook some curry dishes, I would use coriander seed, lemon basil, and cumin. It is hard to make the taste like authentic because the ingredients is hard to find.

My hometown is in Eastern, “Pattaya”. The city is located in the gulf of Thailand. The very well-known local food are seafoods with spicy sauce, bbq with spicy sauce, and insects and bugs fried. I can buy food everywhere and every time in Pattaya. Thailand has four regions, and each of them has different style of food. The four regions are Central, Northern, Eastern, and Southern. Each of them has their own style of taste. Hot, spicy, sweet, and sour is in Central. Northern is hot, mild, salty, and not sweet. The mainly sour and spicy is in Eastern. The strongest taste is in Southern which is very hot and sour. Most of the foods in the U.S.  have similar taste. The taste is mild, oily, and cheesy.

When people think of street food, Thailand would be the first country that comes to mind. Some of my American friends who have been to Thailand tell me the same thing that they love the street food in Thai. It is one of many experiences that people who travel in Thailand and try street food. Thai food has its own identity. It is almost impossible to find any other cuisine that tastes like Thai food. No matter where I find it in the world, I will know it is Thai food. Even though, the taste of Thai food is not the same as in Thailand.    

Yi Sun
ESL 100
March 2, 2017
Communication with Friends
I was afraid of to make friends with people when I came to The United States. Even though I did everything to prepare for my new life in America, I could not get used to it. I was excited that I was going to have a new life in a famous country, America, and I also felt respect from my old friends and relatives from China. However, all of these things are not as easy as a saying. I got lost in translation when I arrived in The united States. I lost all of my friends, and I could not stay in touch with people who were familiar to me. America was like a blank wall, and I was just as a baby that needed to learn everything that I never touched before.
I have been in Chicago for about one year, but I am still missing friends in China. Some people are not easy to make friends with even though they are very friendly. Everyone looks busy. Each person has duties to do, and it feels like they can never have extra-time to relax with others. Sometimes when I feel bored, I pick up my phone to call someone to have a drink outside, but there is no one that can drink with me. I worry about if I will bother them when I give them a call. In the U.S. activities need to be by appointment. On the contrary when I was living in China. I could meet friends and knock on their door anytime. When I was a high school student. Every morning, my friends knocked my door and called my name towards my window to wake me up, and then we went to school together. I really enjoyed at that time. We spent a lot of time with each other doing interesting things on the weekend, such as going fishing and swimming. However, now I usually spend time with myself and stay at home. In this way, I feel like I have lost my connection with my friends.
Furthermore, I feel separated from my friends. There are a lot of people around me in my daily life, and some of them can be friends, such like classmates. Nearly everyday we spend time together. We do research, and talk to each other during class. We meet each other everyday, so we feel close to each other, but it is not real.  After class, people separate. Students have different classes and schedules, so we cannot study in a same classroom all the time. That is different from China. In China, we have the same class and the same schedule if we were classmates. Students could stay in touch and study together all the time, and it was good for our relationships. Actually I did not get used to this costum in the U.S. and I do not feel people are close to each other. Relationships are hard to build.
Moreover, it was hard to make friends for me, because people have different attitude. Some people feel it is pretty easy to make friends in the U.S. because people are very friendly in this country. Yes, I think so too. Most people are warmhearted, but I need friends that have the same interests as me. I would like to study in our spare time, hang out together, watch a movie after work and share secrets. What I want is like a dream, but it is easy to find these kind of guys in China. People shared their life with me. If we had same interests we could be friends easily. It is same in Chicago. People are easy to spend time with, but we do not have much more spare time to spend together. That is a little bit sad situation.
When I think about relationship, and friends, it is a new clear in my mind that how I can live well with friends in The United States. Time in China is over. It is my new life in a new country, and I am not like a baby anymore. What I should do is to continue my new life and make more friends in America. I have to get used to be in this country, and I also have to make a good connection to people and to myself. Now, the communication has changed, it is not between my friends and me. It is between this country and me.

Lost in Translation, LiRong

Start a New Life

     Many people have experienced a life changing event at least once in their lifetime. It can be bad or good deepening on how they think about it. My experience of a life changing event was moving to the United States because everything was new for me. As soon as i arrived in this new country, i had difficulty communicating with people because we did not understanding each other. Unlike when I was in China, where i had my family, friends and teachers who support me, I felt lonely in this new place.
      I felt sad after i moved to the United States because i missed my family. The world family has a lot meaning for me because no matter what happens, my family will handle everything for me. For example, in China, when i moved to a new house, my family help me put all the furniture into the new house. Also, when i was sixteen years old, it meant i could apply for an ID, and my family went with me to the police department. In the U.S. I had to depend on myself to do all the work my family had been doing for me. For instances, when I moved to the United States, I had to put all the bags into the new house by myself. All the bags was heavy, and i did not want my parents to get tried or hurt.
      Furthermore, I felt alone when i moved to the United States because i was missing my friends. In Gunagdong, China, I had a lot of friends even though some of them were not that close to me. In China, there was only school and no tome to out to play with my friends. When I arrived in Chicago, I made a lot of new friends in my high school years. They helped me when i need to moved and translated for me. They even helped me make calls to set up gas and electricity account because i just came to Chicago and my English was not that great. They were great for help when i needed help because they had lived in Chicago almost fifteen years.
      When I came to the United States, i was lost in this new world without adequate language skills. Also, I went to Lakeview high school, and it was hard for me because my language were not strong. Also,my teacher had a difficult time talking with me because she did not know to teach without the skill of speaking Chinese to me. Nonetheless, my teacher were trying her best to talk and to teach. In China, it was a different story, i could talk to my teachers all the time unlike I was in the U.S. I always raised my hand and answered all the questions that i know but in the U.S. I could not raise my hand to answer the questions because my language barrier stop me being like who I used to be. I always wanted to answer the teacher's questions. However,  if I knew the answer to a question i did not say it in English.
      I am glad that moving to Chicago helped me find so many good friends and i feel that this change helped me grow up so much. I feel like sometime change can be good, but I never thought of it. In the past, all i was thinking about was what I lost and not what i gained by changing. I have grow up into a better person because my lifestyle changed. My parents have helped me change my life forever because it has given me a chance to have a better learning experience.

Sunday, March 5, 2017

Whatever Happens in China Stays in China

Whatever Happens in China Stays in China
            When I first came to the United States, I was like a baby bird trying to fly for the first time. Living in America, I felt like I was reborn in a new world. Many Chinese parents want to move to the United States because they want their child to have a better life, but I must disagree with these parents on this point. They have given their children sadness in the United States. As new immigrants, children would have to start a new lifestyle and learn a new language. Going to a new environment may cause them to be afraid. As a young person, my life did change when my parents decided to move our family to Chicago. Since coming to the United States from China, I have lost morning school exercise, friends, and nightlife food.

            In China where I grew up, high school morning routine was different from the United States.  Every morning, when Chinese students arrive in school, they put down their book bag on the table and go to the playground for morning exercise. Students and teachers must arrive in the playground at seven o` clock in the morning and finish fifteen minutes of exercises. The process is very long and tiring, but it helps students get healthy. When I arrived in Chicago years ago, every morning American and Chinese student show up at the same time but do different routines. When American students arrive at school, they just need to put their personal things in the locker and get books to prepare for class. For instance, most high school in the United States have a gym class, but they do not have gym class every day which means they do not get exercise daily. I never adopted to American high school routine which makes students so lazy. I have lost the physical energy does morning exercise in China.   
            The saddest part of moving to Chicago was leaving my friends behind in China. They grew up with me, and we went to the same elementary and high school like penguins that always stick together. In addition, my friends and I lived very to each other. We went out every weekend when we had time. The most memorable movement happened during my childhood was when my friends and I were trying to sneak into the swimming pool without paying money. Meanwhile, we were already wearing our swimming trunks, so if we could sneak in we could succeed just jump in the pool. My friends looked around the place to check if there was anyone around us. We would go in one by one because we could get caught if the security saw us. I felt excited and my heartbeat pounded as fast as a roller coaster. My friends and I went into the pool and starting splashing each other. While we were swimming, I went under the water and pulled one of my friend's trucks off and he started chasing after me. Now, the friends that I make in the Untied States was different from China. They do not play crazy as my old friends do. The people who do not know us and hear about this story might think we are stupid, but for me this the deepest memory to remember my Chinese friends.
            Lastly, street food is the most popular food in China yet it disappeared from my new life. People will never hear a word “hungry” coming out from a Chinese mouth. In every city across the country, there are hundreds of stalls that line the streets like traffic on the highway. The streets have different kinds of food in different stalls. If people do not like steamed chicken, do not worry there are more than five or other cooking styles to make the chicken. For instance, I have an American friend who traveled with me to China last year. My friend and I went to the night food street to grab some food. He loves to eat fried chicken, and almost every meal that he eats was related to fried chicken. We were passing by the street name call “wangjie” when we saw the chicken stall. He was disappointed because the stall only sold steamed chicken. I told him not to be upset and look around. His eyes shined like diamonds. He did not realize there were five other choices for him. In the same way, if Chinese people try to found stalls for late night food in Chicago, they will not find it because some cities in the U.S. it is illegal for people to sell food on the street. It has been impossible to find a night stalls food in the United States. I only can taste the chicken in my dreams.         
            When I think about morning school exercise, my friends, and nightlife food, I know that I should keep it in my memory and start a new life in the United States. I am not a baby bird anymore and I have learned how to fly already. I know I should change my lifestyle to be more American by speaking their language, but it takes time. Moving across the world to a completely foreign country is not an easy thing, I cannot complain about anything to my parents. No one can control my life, I must keep moving on.