Category: Songyi Zhang’s America

Cherry Blossoms

By | Prose, Songyi Zhang's America

Last week I went to D.C. for the annual cherry blossom festival. I arrived just in time. It’s the first day of the Festival and most trees were in bloom. The capital was festooned with ribbons of pink and white flowering trees, absolutely photogenic. Plus, the weather was agreeable. I could still feel the late …

Death and Taxes

By | Humor, Prose, Songyi Zhang's America

This is the second year I’ve lived in Pittsburgh. Just as the Chinese New Year arrived in early February, I received two magazine-size tax return manuals—one from Pennsylvania, the other from the city of Pittsburgh. I guess once you have an identity in the U.S., (for a foreigner, it’d be your residential address, phone number …

OWS

By | Prose, Songyi Zhang's America

OWS is an abbreviation for Occupy Wall Street. If you google the acronym, you’ll find it has its own page on Wikipedia. The movement is so well-known that my dad in Guangzhou was concerned two months ago about my safety in the U.S.. In one of our phone conversations, he even gave out a precise …

Black Friday

By | Prose, Songyi Zhang's America

“Do you know about Black Friday?” my American friend asked me last year. “No,” I said but I was not content to wait for an answer. “Isn’t it when 13th of the month falls on Friday?” “No, no,” my friend explained. “Black Friday is the day after Thanksgiving. Stores usually give the greatest discounts of …

Codgers Talk!

By | Prose, Songyi Zhang's America

Through my godfather Frank in upstate New York, I met several interesting American “codgers” – as they call themselves. They’re Frank’s buddies. Every weekday morning, these guys in their sixties and seventies sit in a local diner, Jodee’s, sipping coffee, having a calorie-rich American breakfast and shooting the breeze. Among them the frequent patrons are …

A Glimpse of Ghana

By | Prose, Songyi Zhang's America

There are no manicured roadside lawns but torn plastic bags strewn on the dusty ground. There are no skyscrapers like the Empire State Building, but clusters of tin-roofed cottages are painted the lime green, red and yellow of competing phone companies that use the buildings as ads. There are no empty sidewalks but pathways filled …

Trick or Treat?

By | Prose, Songyi Zhang's America

If you ask an American what are the most celebrated holidays in the US, Halloween must be one of the top answers. I’ve been told that this pumpkin-and-ghost themed holiday has become in recent years more and more popular and that celebrations start earlier and earlier. Look, in mid-August you can see some stores in …

Passenger Rage

By | Prose, Songyi Zhang's America

Americans’ driving behavior has gotten on my nerves. We were on a road trip for the past four weeks, touring a couple of places including Montreal and the Maine coast. My husband did the driving while I sat in the passenger seat navigating like a co-pilot. Countless cars sped along on the freeways as if …