An email written on Aug. 10, 2006
Yesterday (Wed.), I went to New York City Federal Plaza to check on my US naturalization status (one can apply for naturalization to become a US citizen 5 years after one’s got the permanent residency which I did at the very end of 2000). The bad news is that for my case, the USCIS (immigration) is now waiting for the FBI’s security check. So, just like two other colleagues of mine at BNL, we’re all screwed up by this security check. This means that it’s a long wait ( can be in the order of year) !! Damn security check !
I should kind of feel depressed because of this but a friend in HK surprised me by sending me a book (with a VCD) of Ruby Lin’s — about her 3 month stay inNYC (~Nov. 2004 – Jan. 2005). But actually, I’ve paid to order this book from YesAsia.com and it’s too late for me to cancel it now. In any case, I feel very happy to be able to read it a bit sooner. Together ith Ruby’s CD that I bought from China Town yesterday, life suddenly seems quite good and sweet … not so bitter any more ! Ruby has kind of saved the day for me and has brought me happiness or entertainment… ( I haven’t been to China Town for a long time … maybe I’ll go to check on my naturalization status in a few months … as it gives me another chance to visit China Town 🙂
I finished reading Ruby’s book last night. It’s just so cute/sweet to read what Ruby wrote. She’s so straightforward and forthcoming … She showed how bad her English was (and is ?) …taking > 15 minutes to order a bagel, not knowing how to read microwave instructions or the instruction for using washing machine in the laundry room … She would also not hide that she doesn’t know too much about arts in a museum but she actually spent more time in the the museum shop. She doesn’t pretend to be a person of very deep thinking or anything like that. Not said in this book, she and her friends have always said that she’s like a guy. I think in this aspect (not hiding one’s shortcomings, not feeling too ashamed about what you don’t know), she’s more a guy than I am. Though not the most serious problem of mine, I think I subconsciously or consciously always try to pretend to be better than I actually am.
She also didn’t hide how little she travelled outside of Greater China area … (compared with me, say 🙂 Because of her dependence on her mom and her assistants after she became an actress, Ruby seemed to have problems with many things that normal students can easily adjust to 🙂 🙂 🙂
The skiing part in the book is interesting too … I can see how hard for a ~28/29 year old to learn skiing as I found it very hard to do so when I learnt skiing at the age of ~23/24. From what she said, she’s quite brave and probably did better than I did when I first learnt skiing.
By the way, I haven’t heard about using "Citysearch" to search for the best pizza in NY…. which she somehow knew to do …. But of course, since I’m actually in US and so close to NYC, I’m familiar with most things that she said. I’m curious to try her "格格菜" in that "大四川" restaurant (dishes using those dish names from her role in 還珠格格).
And the place where she lived (34th St. opposite to Macy) during those 3 months was the place that I’d almost always pass by every time that I’m in Manhattan. Because it’s just next to the Penn Station which is the station that I need to take the train back to Long Island from Manhattan. Only one time had I drove directly from home to Manhattan.
Eh ! If you visit me one day, I’m happy to show you around, too …