There are no better stories than when someone tells about their struggles, at least that’s the best second-hand story I heard to-date. The best one I’ve heard so far was from my mother. During special dinners, she often tells snippet of her adventures in America. She still tells it but often, it remains vague and incomplete because conversations topics often get switch around and she never had a chance to tell the complete version of the story.
I’ve always wanted to know the complete story. How did my mom and step-dad meet? What made them want to get married? But I never bothered to ask for the full story because the story of her struggles often leaves me feeling guilty. So I guess I’ll have to live with only having the snippets.
Note: each paragraph is just another snippet I collected from dinner. No embellishment whatsoever.
I came to the United States with $1000 dollars in my pocket. After the tour, all I have left was $800 and I didn’t want to go home. So when everyone got on a plane that would take them from Los Angeles to China, I stayed at the airport.
I didn’t know English. I couldn’t even understand when the operator on the pay-phone told me to dial one first before dialing number with different area code until a stranger explained to me.
Within a few months, I passed my TOEFL and changed my travel visa to a student visa. My money supply was dwindling. I had to go get a job even though it wasn’t legal.
I got a job as a live-in housekeeper for a single mom with two kids. She treated me awfully and so did her boys. Her boys often get in trouble school and she ended up to have to fix those problems. After a few months, I quit.
At school, I met a nice lady and she told me her husband’s bakery was hiring. I got the job. It was far and I had to take an hour bus to get there. It was the best job so far. He often gave me left-over to take home. After a few months, he had to let me go because he could no longer afford a hand.
I met Jim in my darkest time. I was working in a restaurant and going to school full-time. I met him in an elevator. He gave me his sandwich when I forgot dinner. He provided me with transportation when I needed.