|How old am I:||18|
|Eye tone:||Enormous brown eyes|
|What is my hair:||Honey-blond hair|
|My Sign of the zodiac:||Virgo|
|What is my favourite drink:||Cider|
|I prefer to listen:||Dance|
She peeled open my hand and shook the pellets carefully from a bag, filling my palm and giggling. Chen encouraged me to try.
She had a year-old son and the skin of a toddler, no eyeglasses, and most likely a really clean liver and a healthy heart. She was the happiest person I had met in a decade.
Why 30, chinese people call plano home
No, she was the happiest person I had met ever. I picked up a hard really hard dried longan and contemplated its consumption.
And then they told me about Plano. Chen and Ma are Chinese, and they live and work in Plano. They love Plano.
And they are not alone. While the U. Census reports a population of about 14, informal tallies put the much higher. According to census statistics, 5. Whatever the exact s are, they are big, and the curiosity remains: how did so many Chinese people find their way here?
Immigration to Texas occurred in two waves. First, incontract laborers were brought from California to work on the Houston and Texas Central Railroad at Calvert, through cotton country.
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Soon after, 2, laborers arrived to build the Southern Pacific line, and byChinese people were living in Texas, 32 percent in El Paso County, according to the Texas State Historical Association. Many of the rail workers returned home when the job was completed, but some stayed. When Congress enacted a strict law barring Chinese immigration in the late s, the influx was halted.
His mother, then 15, lived with relatives for several years before being sent to Houston, where his great-grandfather settled. The Taiwanese and Communist Chinese would move children out. My grandparents had seven sons; my father was the second oldest.
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Some went to Europe, some to Canada. My father was the first to the U. My grandparents stayed back. Now Eng owns Engvest, a commercial real estate company. Like the Engs, many Chinese people own their own businesses, whether they are doctors, lawyers, shopkeepers, or martial arts instructors.
Others work for companies like Texas Instruments or Huawei, a high-tech firm that established its North American headquarters in Plano in Bythe Chinese Exclusion Act had been repealed, giving way to the second phase of immigration.
While the older immigrants were nearly all men who came as peasants and unskilled laborers from Cantonese-speaking southern China and expected to returnthe newer ones were Mandarin-speaking professionals with careers in science or engineering, from northern or central China. They were members of the cultural and intellectual elite and came with their families as permanent residents.
Since, Chinese people have come to American cities from Taiwan and the mainland as college or graduate students. They are a close-knit group of hardworking, highly educated people who are bound and supported by their distinct culture yet have integrated well into an American community that appreciates their talents. Plano is a case in point. Both women came to Texas a decade ago to work and raise their families in a place date an asian Plano a good school system, affordable housing, and comfortable living conditions. Ma and her husband own a car dealership in McKinney and have three kids who were born here, play volleyball, and love pizza and pasta, both of which Ma sometimes cooks.
Her herb shop is a part-time business. Because of their commitment to education, family, and work, Chinese residents feel welcomed by their non-Asian neighbors. Unlike New York and cities in California, which might remind Chinese people of the cramped environment they left behind, Plano provides room to grow.
Her parents live with her, after leaving China three years ago. Inside the supermarket, a vast store with entire refrigerator cases devoted to dumpling wrappers, shrimp, cuttlefish, and pork balls and aisles spilling with dried mushrooms, noodles, and teas, Saturday shoppers fill carts with delicacies from home. An older man lifts a red snapper in the air, presenting it to his wife for inspection.
A young family snacks on seasoned tofu and seaweed at corner tables by a concession. A mom and daughter buy bok choy and snow peas for the week.
They shop for themselves and for their restaurants there are in the areaas shelves feature 8-pound jars of sauces and sacks of rice in 25 varieties. On one corner, there are three acupuncture offices and four martial arts studios. Six Chinese churches have been established in Plano alone; 60 Chinese cultural organizations are based in North Texas, mostly in Plano and Richardson.
UTD, with an 18 percent Asian-American population, has nearly 1, Chinese students and an active recruiting program. Jan left Taiwan for Houston with a law degree in so that her husband could pursue his Ph. Students work a year ahead in math, which gives them an edge during the week.
Chen, who 10 years ago was working in a Qingdao hospital, visits her home once a year.
She misses it but is always ready to come back. As I get ready to leave the shop, Ma motions to the drawers. Giggling again, Chen pulls out two sacks of fructus lych and arillus longan and sends me home with generous samples of each. In my non-Asian kitchen, I fill a kettle with water and wait for it to sing. Write to [ protected].