Category: Songyi Zhang’s America

Drinking Age

By | Prose, Songyi Zhang's America

When I first came to the U.S., I had to be asked the question of “How old are you” for the first time when I checked out at a supermarket. It never occurred to me that I had to bring my ID to a store. I had been in America only about two weeks. I …

A Hearing

By | Prose, Songyi Zhang's America

I thought it was a unique Chinese way to assemble a homeowners association, especially since disputes between Chinese homeowners and developers have increased exponentially in Chinese cities. I’ve now discovered homeowners associations in America have great supervising power over any individual household. I realized this after my Virginia home received a notice that was more …

Metrobus Parking

By | Prose, Songyi Zhang's America

Recently, I have found a new alternative way to get to Washington D.C. without driving. I can take a bus not far from home to the closest metro station, and from there I can reach anywhere in the capital by subway. I am thrilled about my discovery. After all, public transportation is poor where I …

Medical Tourists

By | Prose, Songyi Zhang's America

A few years ago, an American friend told me she had her eye surgery in Thailand. I asked her why she chose Thailand. She said the medical technology was sufficient and the cost was reasonable. She spent a couple hundred US dollars on her eyesight correction. It would definitely cost more in the U.S.. Now …

Geek Squad

By | Prose, Songyi Zhang's America

Geek squad—what a funny name! When I first encountered the name three years ago, I thought to myself who were these geeks driving a black-and-white Volkswagen Bug on the street. I was attracted by the cute car as much as the name. When it comes to repairing computers, America is nowhere as convenient as in …

Carry-on Bags

By | Prose, Songyi Zhang's America

Today, when you are about to board an American airliner, it may not be news to you that you have to prepare for two possibilities: one, the overhead bin above your seat is full and you have to stow your carry-on bag elsewhere. (Good luck if you can find room on the plane.) Two, the …

A Mechanic Named Rusty

By | Humor, Prose, Songyi Zhang's America

Now I understand why the car owners from my hometown, Guangzhou, whine and complain. They’re worried when they don’t have cars, but after they have cars, they’re even more worried. Living in a populated city, they think owning a car makes their lives more convenient than having to take the sardine-can buses, but in fact …

Dos & Don’ts

By | Prose, Songyi Zhang's America

From the day I first stepped on American soil, a series of comparisons have been in my head. What do Chinese do, what do Americans do, what things that Chinese do would not be accepted in America and vice versa. I always hope someday these impressions about America from a Chinese perspective will be published …