This story appears from our archives of Senior Voices publications. NAPCA first shared Daniel’s story in 2009. This story features our continuing NAPCA SCSEP partner, the Greater Boston Chinese Golden Age Center.
Born 1931, China
Arrived January 1987, Houston, Texas
Office Assistant, Greater Boston Chinese Golden Age Center, Boston, Massachusetts
I was born in China, but I don’t like communism. I left Mainland China in 1949. I studied in Japan. I studied Chinese economics. But then I don’t like Japan. I changed my mind. Before I think I go to the USA for study, but the visa is difficult. Two times, it’s impossible.
I go to Europe. First stop, Spain. Then, moved to Paris. I started at Paris University for mass communication, religious communication. I love Paris. But friends, they said find the job, difficult. Language, culture is different, idea is different. I speak French. I got a master’s degree. But to work, I go to Sweden. I work at the auto factory, Saab.
I come to the U.S. in 1987. First stop is Houston, Texas. No money, no American education. I think 1987, ’88, find a job is difficult. My brother give me 5,000 U.S. dollars, buy a cafeteria in a small town. That’s in Luxembourg, Texas. But just three months, everyone’s lost money.
My friend out here. I contact him. He tell me, “You come to Boston. Maybe I find a job for you.” That was 1988, October.
I work in Chinese restaurant, waiter. Six months. The owner asked me, “Do you have interest in managing?” I said, “Okay.” I took the manager position. I worked 1989, February, through 2000. The restaurant closed, shut down.
I think I can work, no problem. I hope to continue work. Why? Because the people, every day, every time, at home – maybe the mind has problems, no people contact. Young people always keep contact is better for old people. Their thoughts different from me.
At the office, the young people are kind. Sometimes, my computer has problems. So I ask, “Hey, please tell me. I make the problems.” Quickly, the young people come help me.
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