Saturday, January 03, 2009

Immigrant Stories

We have family friends that I always get to see when I go home. Old enough to be my grandparents, I love talking to them about their post-retirement traveling around the world and about politics because they have seen and remember it all. They are also staunch Democrats, which is an added bonus.

Today when my parents and I met them for lunch, the husband was telling us about how he immigrated to the United States during the 1950s and how he almost missed the boat from Japan to California. As in he got on the wrong train, which made him late for his boat, which had already pulled the boarding ramp. But he miraculously made it on and across the Pacific Ocean after a long ride. I love those stories.

Incidentally, my dad told his own stories over dinner today. How he left Vietnam and worked in a sausage factory in France, hitchhiked to work, and left a girl in Paris, saying he would come back from America to be with her again. Yeah, that never happened.

Even though I have heard some of these stories before, I think I can appreciate them more now. My dad and many of our family friends immigrated to the United States by themselves when they were my age (and my mom with her family when she was even younger). They may all seem like quiet suburbanites now, but they had some pretty crazy experiences.

Geeze, now I feel boring compared to my parents. I guess I still have time to catch up.

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