February 6, 2006
The following story was composed by Ting, from Red Deer, Alberta. The story was dictated by Ting to Michelle Cook, Coordinator at the Red Deer Adult Literacy Program, and typed into the computer for him to use as a literacy exercise. Ting felt no one would want to read his story. When you have finished you will not be able to look at another new Canadian again and dismiss them as anonymous and inconsequential. Below is the second part of Ting's story.
In my town I am a farmer. I go to work. I worked on my family's farm. In China the farmer had companies, like Canada. In the cities people had private companies. The farmers were rich, some were poor. There were different farmers. The big farmer was rich, because he work, work, worked. Some farmers were poor. If they were lazy the had only a small piece of land. The rich farmer worked hard, to make money, and to make the food.
After Chang Kai Shek went to Taiwan, Mao had all China. In the city, companies were taken by the government. The government say the boss is no good. The government took the companies. It used the people to make money, not to give people money. They took the companies to make the government rich. They used guns to kill the bosses. All the companies were given to the government. Everything was gone. Everyone poor.
In the country, if the farmer had much land, more than the poor people, Mao Tse Tung took the rich people's land to give to the poor people. The rich farmer got 1/10 of his land. The poor people became rich.
My family was rich. 1947 it started. The government took my land and gave it to the poor people. We had two buildings. The government gave the beautiful house to the poor people. We got to keep the storage shed. We moved to the barn. We became very very poor. My father went to the city to get a job. He got a job making noodles. It is very difficult. Superstore sells noodles from my province. They need good water to make such good noodles. Not everyone can make these noodles.
My father went to Chin Dau. My older brother also went to Chin Dau to make noodles too. All his life he worked for a big company, making noodles. He is retired now. Before, he was a farmer. My father and my brother went to get jobs to send money home to use on the farm. The farm was gone.
After 1949 to 1950 there was no fighting. 1950 - 1955 I stayed a farmer with my mom, my young brother, and my sister. We had a small amount of land. We grew food. Not enough. My father sent money to buy food. 1956 I went to Shin Ja, a big province. Before, China had 29 provinces. This is one of them. Taiwan was a province of China.
I left because my farm was gone, and my family was poor. I grew up. I was 21 years old. I was an adult, with nothing to do. With a farm, before I was rich, now everybody is poor, all the farmers. All the poor people who got the land were poor too. There was nothing to do. I thought I would go to Shin Ja because it is far away. It is close to Russia. Nobody wants to go there. I was young. I was not scared. No food. No job. Go. It was a good choice. Everybody did not want me to go. Everyone is scared. The do not want me to go. They were too worried. It was very dangerous. I might die.
Coal, horses, sheep, no more company, just farming for meat, that was Shin Ja. It was 4,000 K. from my home. I took a train for four days and four nights. 1956 I took a train from my home and went half way. The train went only half way. After that, no train,no road, no people, no farmer, nobody there, just land. I rode a truck, with no cover, open, just people sit out in the rain. There was only wind and cold, and I sat behind the box. This took twelve days.
My mom made food to take with me. She made one bag of bread. Here in Canada, bread is soft. These were made with flour and put in the oven. They were very hard, no water. After it is baked it is not soft. I took this to eat. All the twelve days there was no restaurant. Everybody took their own food. Everyday I just eat a little bit of my bread. No rice and bowl. Just eat bread, put what was left back in the bag, and carry it with me everywhere I went. I drank cold, dirty water from the side of the road. In one day I may get to drink only once or twice.
The China truck was slow, maybe 30 - 40 K. per hour. Many times there were no roads. Very slow.
A very sad story. When I went far away I missed my home. My new province has lots of cities today. The city work is good. You can make money. Eat. Farming work is not good. My father worked in the city. My farm was broken. The family was broken. Mao Tse Tung took my land, gave my house to the poor people. Everything was empty.
Not like in Canada, in China if you live on the farm you stay on the farm. If you live in the city you stay in the city. My father moved to the city early. After 1950 Mao Tse Tung said what everyone would do. By 1952 no one can move any more. Mao said it was too late, they would not let you move from the country or from the city. My older brother lived with my older father in the city.
My brother and my sister helped my mom, with the small land, after I left. My father sent money to buy food and clothes.
The truck ride was very cold and windy. No mountains in this province. Very flat, sand blowing in the air for twelve days in the truck. Now there are many many people in this province. In 1956 there were not many people. The province was started in 1955. This year is my provnce's birthday. They needed people then. I found a job easy. I made money and sent to my mom. In my father's city, too many people, my father made little money. In my province there were few people. I made more money. I never moved from there. I worked there for 40 years.