Saturday, October 15, 2016

Lost in Translation

Coach Potato
“Relaxation and recreation are considered to be an indispensable element of life.” The ancient Greek philosopher Aristotle Onassis said this. In fact, many Chinese people agree with his opinion because Chinese people love entertainment. The U.S. is a golden dream for many Chinese people, but leaving a familiar place and moving to a new environment is a big challenge for many immigrants. I lived in China for about twenty-two years, but I have only lived in the United States about three years. As a matter of fact, I almost became a coach potato in the past three years because the Chinese food, my best friends and entertainment programs have disappeared from my life.

Now that I am living in Chicago, I rarely chat or take a trip with my friends. It is a long distance between my Chinese friends and me. Three years have passed, and most of time I only communicate with my friends online. We can’t sit face by face to have a chat or go out to dinner. I can’t share my feeling for my friends, so sometimes I feel I am alone. In addition, I don’t have enough time to take a trip to China. As an adult, I have to work to afford my life and education fees. Before my family and I moved to Chicago, I was a student and my parents paid for me the money. I didn’t worry about life, but now my life is a cycle. Every day my life is studying, working and going home. I have no time to relax or go on vacation.
Watching entertainment program on the Internet is one of the way I like to relax, but there are a few of programs that I enjoy in Chicago. First, the language is the major issue for me to watch the TV Shows and films. As an immigrant, I can’t speak or listen the English very well. I often don’t understand the main idea or punchline presented in the show, so I am not interested in them. Second, I have the limited path to watch the entertainment programs. Due to the time zone, I can’t watch many of the Chinese entertainment programs in the U.S. Meanwhile, people have to pay when they download the music, movies and TV shows from the U.S. Internet. For this reason, it is really a burden for me to watch the entertainment problem in the U.S.
Besides my Chinese friends and entertainment programs, eating has always been a form of recreational for me, but it is also the most serious problem for me in the U.S. Only a few of Chinese ingredients are sold in Chicago. Most of time I have to go to Chinatown to buy ingredients. Even though I can buy certain things, not all them are fresh. In the U.S, all of the meat is kept in cold storage and I think it has a strange smell. I don’t like these foods. In addition, the business hours are too short in the U.S. In China, there are many restaurants open 24 hours. In particular, the night market plays an important role in Chinese culture. I always attended the night market outside school with my friends in China, but now I only can stay at home at night. It is difficult to find the restaurants to eat at midnight in Chicago, and it has really changed my life.

Since I moved to Chicago, my routine has become boring. My Chinese friends, entertainment programs and food are all far from me, and I miss them. However, I know I should not get addicted to this feeling and I have to look forward to the future. My life still goes ahead and I have to find some new entertainment to relax myself. Even though I want to avoid accepting American culture, I think I need to try to adapt myself to the new environment. I would like to change myself to go outside more to look around and never be a coach potato.


  1. As an immigrant, I think I understand you feeling, maybe accept the new things for us it is easy, but if a life for us, we need the time to loading. However, if you choose live here, try to like the things in here. The air is fresh, the buildings are beautiful, the food is cheaper…Chicago is not that bad!

  2. I can understand you, leave our country and go to another one is not easy as we expect. After I moved to Chicago I don't have as freedom as before, everything is difficult and boring. Hope everything get better for you!


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