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Found: A spiral psychedelic notebook from the 1970s that belonged to my mother that I thought contained recipes. Inside were notes on how she learned English - by copying recipes off pie and biscuit boxes. And the scribbles of my then 3-year-old sister.
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The last pages broke my heart. Based on what words she was translating it seems she was trying to return a Pyrex dish. It cost $1.59 at the Harvard Bazar in Central Square in 1972.
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And then there's a meticulous accounting of foods she was making to earn money. Not sure if it was what she paid to make them or what she sold them for. Coconut tarts were $3.60 for two dozen. I thought and thought about what "goodyeh" would be, they were $9 for 5 dozen. Then I realized she was trying to say "guotie" the Chinese word for pot stickers.
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My life is so different from my mother's. Now that she's gone, it's easy to forget how hard it was for my parents to build a whole new life in a foreign country. When getting a $1.59 back was worth hours of study and practice.
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#immigrationstories #chineserestaurant #firstgeneration #1stgeneration #freshofftheboat #comingtoamerica
Story of my life. If you can pronounce Tchaikovsky, you can pronounce Minh. Have spent my whole life introducing myself as "Mint without the t." And if you think that's hard, you haven't seen my full legal name. #freshofftheboat
eshevz 15h ago
My essay about Bubby: page 196! Countless takes on the immigration experience from @six.word.memoirs & ABC's #FreshOffTheBoat, captures stories from immigrants, refugees, first-gen Americans, and more. http://bit.ly/fotbsix
Double tap if you’re ready for the Huangs! Who needs entertainment when you have a family like this? #FreshOffTheBoat #FoxAfrica