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My first day in the US (Sept. 5-6 1950) 精选

已有 11236 次阅读 2015-2-23 23:06 |个人分类:生活点滴|系统分类:海外观察

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The National Public Radio (NPR) this year started a series of broadcasts entitled “My First Day  in the US” where immigrants describe their first experiences upon arrival on the US soil.

Technically, I arrived in the US at Los Angles on September1, 1950. However, I was met on arrival by my  god sister and brothers whom I have known since 9 years old. They took me around and drove  with me to SanFrancisco for the first four days. Thus, I was able to speak Chinese, being taken care of, and did not feel away from homeland at all. Finally, they put me on a cross country  train to Boston and I really begin my “first day” in astrange country at 16 years of age alone on 09/05/1950.

The train ride from San Francisco to Chicago where I have to change trains and stations was uneventful.  I sat in a coach seat and read the recommended book “Etiquette” by Emily Post. I don’t remember using the dining car (nor do I know how). Thus I just ate some pre-packed sandwich and fruits in my bag.  After some 20+ hours I arrived in Chicago and had to change stations to board another train for Boston. At that time “Traveler’s Aid” stations are in all terminals.Thus, with help I manage to make  the transition via a Taxi from one station to another. During the taxi trip, I distinctly remember, even after  some  65 years, remarking to the taxi driver “The traffic is very heavy”  (this being my first voluntary English conversation with an American). On the Boston bound train I had to spend another night on board arriving in Boston in late afternoon. From a pamphlet, I learn about two hotels in Cambridge, MA where MIT was located. So I decided to find a room in one of the hotels planning to go to MIT the next day. Again I took a taxi to the hotels. However, without a reservation and being so young looking, the clerk at both hotel told me that there are no rooms to let (I suspected later that they just did not trust me who appeared as a kid o them).  The kindly taxi driver took pity on me. He asked if I knew anybody at MIT. I only remembered that another student’s name given to me with the admission letter as my contact. All I knew was that he is married and lived inthe married student dormitory.  The taxi driver help me located the place and luckily found this student at home. He then told me to go to the East Campus dormswhere most  entering freshmen live. So, we drove across campus to the place. Lo and behold,  at the reception desk, I actually found my name and a room assigned to me. Happily I managed to register, thanked the taxi driver, and checked into the room assigned. By then it is already night. I was so glad to be able to find a place to sleep. Thus, despite hunger and no  dinner, I went to bed hungry and survive my “first day” in the US alone.

The next morning, I found the new student information office and everything proceeded with no difficulties from then on. Thus, I began my life away from home and alone in the US 65 years ago. What a ride I had sincethen!

There must be many ScienceNet readers  in the US who have interesting first day experiences in the US. I invite them to write and post them in these blog pages. If you are not registered, then I’ll be happy to post it here for you.


Here is a photo taken on September 3, 1950 (65 years ago) at Knotts Berry Farm LA when  I first arrived in the US






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