Today, like almost everyday for the past 2 months I was at the corner restaurant that has higher quality soy products. It’s the sort of place I wonder how they earn money despite their competitive and low prices.
Unlike most restaurants big and small, people under 40 are the employees at such establishments– for their vigour and strength and health. So today I spoke to a 65+ year old worker as repress native of the majority of the employees.
First I asked her where she was from?
How long have you been here (I assumed she and her fellow employees had been here for decades but were passed over from the prosperity or opportunities).
What did you do in Anhui?
What aspect of that?
I can’t describe it.
I could not understand that but assumed it was in the iron and steel industry, so I responded: so your collecting your pension?
No, I was a farmer.
What about your kids?
They are working here also.
Then it came together. That her child is one of the scholarly professional that works here.
During the whole time, I was reflecting on one of Billy Joel’s greatest dual CD hit albums bought in Hong Kong in the late-90s.
On one of his campus lectures, he mentions walking on the streets of Austria with his father, and asked him what is that elderly woman sweeping the streets.
His father replied that if one needs employment, everyone gets that. As oppose to the welfare-ridden USA.
And then he begins to sing “Song from a Vienna https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vienna_(Billy_Joel_song) cafe. About redemption and overcoming life’s troubles and given a 2nd opportunity in life.
I reflect on my 2nd chance then and still wonder, I have been absolutely consistent on my fervent devotion. Where have I missed it?
Why did I pick Vienna to use as a metaphor for the rest of your life? My father lives in Vienna now. I had to track him down. I didn’t see him from the time I was 8 ’till I was about 23-24 years old. He lives in Vienna, Austria which I thought was rather bizarre because he left Germany in the first place because of this guy named Hitler and he ends up going to the same place that Hitler hung out all those years! Vienna, for a long time was the crossroads.
So I go to visit my father in Vienna, I’m walking around this town and I see this old lady. She must have been about 90 years old and she is sweeping the street. I say to my father, “What’s this nice old lady doing sweeping the street?” He says, “She’s got a job, she feels useful, she’s happy, she’s making the street clean, she’s not put out to pasture.” — Billy Joel, An Evening of Questions & Answers and Perhaps a Few Songs