The story as I originally heard it from Zhou Lei, my Chinese teacher every Sunday afternoon at Temple B'nai Chaim, goes like this: a girl named Yan Yu is adopted into a white family and taken to a small town in Maine. Shortly after she leaves China, her birth mother, along with her brother, are killed in a factory fire. Yan Yu's birth father -- a man named Chao -- grieves, but he is not to be reconciled. He decides to search for his daughter.To read the rest, click here.
In his village, Chao finds the right people, says the correct words, presents the appropriate gifts. He's told by an official at the orphanage where Yan Yu had once lived, that his daughter is in a place called "Crooked Bay," and gives her Western name: Molly Kutner. It takes years, and practically every yuan he can gather, but Chao is finally able to immigrate to the U.S. and gets a job as a waiter in a place called The Golden Panda, Crooked Bay's only Chinese-style restaurant.
And here's where he gets lucky. . . .
Speaking Chinese To Myself
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