Archive for the ‘Immigration’ Category

Development in my Neighborhood

When I was back in California, I noticed mostly all of the Wal*Mart’s were in lower-income neighborhoods. Because of this, I’ve always thought that Wal*Mart’s products were not as good as Target’s or K-Mart’s. However, now living in Arizona, there are actually 2 Wal*Marts in my neighborhood and when I went into one for the first time, I was surprised by the enormity of the store. Everything that you might need in one shop and at a relatively lower price than other stores. With a child now, it is more convenient for me to stop at one place, especially during the summer time when you just want to get out of the car once and not travel from one shop to another. It made me appreciate Wal*Mart a little bit more. As a business, Wal*Mart was smart to have stores in cities in California which probably didn’t have to cost them an arm and a leg. It also helped lower-income families. In some stores, you can even purchase merchandise online from their warehouse that can be sent to the store nearest you to be picked up. Unfortunately they don’t offer that here in Arizona. Site to Store I hope that will change.

Number 1 – “This is my Mexico.”

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I knew what the number one thing I loved about Phoenix was, but struggled to find a way to express it. Sung Kang delivered the line and when I heard it, I knew. This is not about immigration but the creation of identity.

At our meet-up the other night, fellow bloggers remarked about the transient nature of Phoenix. Most residents are not from here. A lot are just passing through. Most of them do not yet realize that.

I came here following Presh. Phoenix was the first stop on her tour. The trip was to go from here to Tucson to Austin. I figured we would end up in Austin. Within a week of being here (between trips to every mall in the Valley) she found a great job, a nice place to live minutes from her office, and a whole new wardrobe. She cancelled the rest of the trip.

I arrived soon after and was dazed and confused. Most of who I was thousands of miles away, my network, my career, my gigs. It took a few months to adjust but then everything just opened up. When all the external expectations and pressures that twist and pull you go away, you revert back to being who you really are. Presh is a very smart babe. She knew I needed to get away.

So this is what I have come to love.

“This is my Mexico” is a line from TFatF3:TD and I will not do it justice so you just have to go and see the movie. I do not know if I am here or just passing through, but it has been a year and it has not sucked. And that, if you knew me, is very high praise indeed.

The adventure continues…

Coming to America

I am the grandson of a laborer who immigrated to the (then) Territory of Hawai`i to work in the sugar cane fields. His brother was a pig farmer all his life. His son, my father, became an attorney. His other children, my aunts and uncle, all graduated from college. The village he grew up in was the site for some of the bloodiest battles of WWII.

My mother is the granddaughter of immigrants. Her grandparents were educators who worked as tailors in this country. Her father worked for the department of transportation. Her uncle died in an internment camp in New Mexico. She is a middle school teacher.

My sister is a bengoshi no tamago in Los Angeles. My brother is a film editor. My wife is the only non-native in her company.

I am watching the protests with a mixture of sadness and nostalgia.

How about you?

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