shenzhen in nyc, literally

This morning while wandering in China Town, I stumbled upon the “Dapeng Hometown Association” or the hometown association for Dapeng villagers. The Association was established in 1982.

Curious, I went in and ended up speaking briefly with an elderly woman, whose life trajectory speaks to the twisting connections that constitute possible Shenzhen identities. Or outlying identities, as the case may be. Mrs. C explained that she was born in Indonesia, but in 1960 returned to her father’s hometown, Dapeng to escape anti-Chinese policies. In 1964, she swam to Hong Kong, finally settling in NYC in 1985. Mrs. C said she had joined the association because Dapeng was her father’s hometown, although her mother was Indonesian.

I mentioned Xichong and Dapeng Suocheng. She agreed that there was great seafood to be had. We smiled at each other. Mrs. C then took a phone call pausing long enough to suggest that I return to talk with the man in charge of the Association.

Uncanny moment that has me thinking all sorts of thoughts about fated encounters and entwined destinies…