Contributions by Karen Zhang

Sweet Talk

By | Prose, Songyi Zhang's America

Often, I’m greeted endearingly at an American restaurant. The minute I sit down, a middle-aged Caucasian woman comes to me, menu in hand and says, “How’re you today, honey?” The first time I heard it, it caught me off guard. Why would a stranger call me “honey”? My Chinese parents would hardly call me “honey.” …

Live Music

By | Prose, Songyi Zhang's America

Summer has arrived! From Bangor, Maine to Austin, Texas, from Berkley, California to Asheville, North Carolina, outdoor musical scenes spring up everywhere across the country. No kidding. Americans enjoy outdoor activities in summer. Attending live performances in the open air seems to be a favorite American pastime. I had never been to a live outdoor …

Hershey Park

By | Prose, Songyi Zhang's America

When I studied in Pittsburgh, I had heard of Hershey Park in eastern Pennsylvania. I had always wondered what a theme park looked like in America. This early summer my dream finally came true. I went with family to Hershey Park—my first theme park experience in America. We were greeted with a parking lot so …

Bingo!

By | Prose, Songyi Zhang's America

Who doesn’t know bingo? But this word is known to Chinese as an English idiom—an exclamation of sudden realization about something right. Few English learners in China would know bingo was originated from a game of chance. A few weeks ago I participated in a local bingo game for the first time. It was held …

Gardening Frantic

By | Prose, Songyi Zhang's America

These days I have been practicing the known tagline—“More saving, more doing. That’s the power of the Home Depot.” As summer is around the corner, I spend more time outdoors—not working out but gardening. I till, I dig, I shovel, I mow, I plant, I water, I bend down on my knees and stoop a …

Medication Nation

By | Prose, Songyi Zhang's America

While flipping channels on TV, I see American pharmaceutical companies put out a barrage of ads for their new drugs. These commercials seem to highly focus on its side effects. (I know the ads are required by law to mention side effects.) The key point is consumers should consult their doctors before using these medications. …

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 …