New York, but so

  Relatives in the family travel from China, and I will accompany them at this station in New York. This job was not difficult at all. In the past 18 years, I have played this role more than once. I have received several relatives, friends, relatives of relatives, friends of friends, whether they are here for meetings, to travel, to Those who came for training, came to New York, but all were left as shown in the picture. The world famous attractions such as the Metropolitan Museum, the United Nations, the Statue of Liberty, and Wall Street hurriedly walked around, took some photos, and then went to Chinese restaurants in Chinatown Everyone is satisfied with a plausible Chinese meal, and I can be regarded as kind and fulfilled. But in recent years, the situation has become more complicated.
  For example, this time, our group walked around Manhattan for a whole day, and finally came to the neon surrounding Times Square. Sitting on the viewing steps in the middle of the square, relatives spoke:
  ”This is Times Square? It’s so small.”
  ”Yeah.” I said apologetically.
  ”These neon lights are not as good-looking as ours.”
  ”Really?” I said alas.
  ”There doesn’t seem to be anything here.”
  ”That’s it.” I echoed.
  ”Then why is there so much fame?”
  ”…”
  I could have done a two-hour PPT presentation, but my relatives were obviously not interested, and the next question was thrown without me:
  ” So what shall we come here to see? ”
  ” Hmm … look at people. “I tell the truth.
  Everyone laughed, but I was serious.
  I have a habit of interviewing immigrants or tourists from China for many years. I always ask what New York impressed them when they first arrived. This was originally an inadvertent question, in order to warm up the next conversation, but these answers together can actually reflect the vicissitudes of the times in a few words.
  An artist from the early 1980s said that China’s toothpaste was still in lead packaging at that time. Manhattan’s row after row of high-rise buildings made him look stunned; a state-owned company employee from the late 1980s said that the abundance of goods in New York supermarkets dazzled her. She used to stand for half an hour in front of the shampoo shelf and still don’t know which one of the dozen bottles and cans of different sizes and colors on it should be bought; a university professor who came in the early 90’s said he wanted to stroll around The famous shops on Fifth Avenue did not dare to go in, and felt that they were too shabby; a high school student from the late 1990s said that the first day of school had sent out a carton of milk, and it took him a long time to figure out how to open it– He has never seen milk in a carton. Until 2000, when I came to study in the United States, drinking fountains everywhere in parks and sports fields made me curious for a long time, and I took a photo of drinking water and sent it to my parents to display it.
  These now sound like the red-faced photos in the old photo albums in the process of flushing. The colors are bright but covered with the smoke and dust of the years. At a glance, I know that they belong to another era. In recent years, the answer to this question has been clear and clear, but it has become more and more uniform. Most of them are: “New York, but this is the case.”
  Immigrants began to suspect that it was a wrong decision to come here. Tourists who come will inevitably be as scratchy as my relatives: the subway station here is dimly lit, and the rats are running across the track, which is far less than China’s bright style; high-end restaurants also have private rooms, and the tableware used looks very old , Far less than China’s light can learn from others; Manhattan’s luxurious apartments at a price of ten million dollars, just look like modern high-rises everywhere in China’s big cities; Central Park is just a large lawn, Wall Street is just a few You can walk all the way to the street … Really, “What are we going to see here?”
  To be honest, New York has not been able to find the richness and generosity of the Chinese people who are interested in raising their eyelids. Magnificent, wealthy, luxurious, and tall began to quietly shift positions and become China’s landscape. If there is anything new in New York that is not common in China, it can only be a multiculturalism built by people from different parts of the world who have different hair styles, such as tall, short, fat, thin skin.
  Once when I was walking on the streets of Manhattan with a friend from China, he suddenly said, “There don’t seem to be many Americans here.” I knew he was referring to “white people.” Whites make up less than half of the 8.5 million people in New York, and nearly 40% are foreign-born immigrants. But they are Americans, or they are New Yorkers. With their respective cultures and customs, they came to this city called “The Melting Furnace” and settled down, forming a distinctive city-in-town such as “Chinatown”, “Korea Town”, “Little India” and “Little Caribbean”. Therefore, some people say that New York is not a “melting pot”. She is more like a “salad bowl”. People are not really integrated, but they are independent.
  It is also because of these self-contained communities that the Metro Line 7 connecting Times Square and Flushing in the Chinese community will be called the “International Express”-it is said that the area that the line passes from top to bottom There are more than a hundred languages. In a car, you can taste the special food of many countries, admire different national costumes, and see all kinds of strange things in the small shops along the street.
  For Chinese tourists, visiting these areas probably requires courage. Non-mainstream cuisine may not be able to attract a deep-rooted Chinese stomach, and non-mainstream looks may not satisfy the Chinese aesthetics, and non-famous non-scenic spots may not be praised when sent to the circle of friends. More importantly, the migrant settlements are often a scribbled copy of their home country, and most of the migrants living near Line 7 are far behind China in terms of economy. Who wants to come a long way to the capital of the world, but to see some dilapidated and chaotic Third World landscapes?
  In a world that is increasingly divided by “us” and “them”, “we” trust, acceptance and appreciation of “them” is a long process, but if one million Chinese tourists who come to New York every year can get from New York He learned more closely about the beauty of diversity and the spirit of tolerance, and started a journey of “heterogeneous” empathy from here. This is really a worthwhile trip.