|home | about this site | stories | the gallery | schools | migration histories | tracing your roots | search|
I was born in Hong Kong in the New Territories on July 20 1949. My full name is Sau Lan Tsoi. I am a Buddhist.
I only started school when I was 10 years old and only studied in the morning, five mornings a week for 2 hours, Monday to Friday. I was adopted. My education finished when I was 13 years old.
Coming to the UK
There was no further opportunity to attend school and I had no job. I was just wandering around and I came to England when I was 17.
I had no idea what I wanted when I came to the UK.
My father was here first and opened a business partnership he asked me to come and join him.
Charlie my brother came before me, he came when he was nine.
I didnít miss anything about Hong Kong because I had no family at home by then.
My first thought was to do a bit of studying here. I studied for about 6 months and then started working.
I arrived in Bristol in 1966 and lived there for five years. It was okay, a big city; very clean, cleaner than Huddersfield. I worked in a Chinese restaurant, in the pantry, making teas.
I worked as a waitress, even though I donít speak English I can understand the language and thatís adequate for a waitress for a short time. I worked at the Rice Bowl restaurant on Fitzwilliam Street, Huddersfield in the 60s and 70s.
Iíve got a very good memory, so I didnít have to write things down. But I did work in the kitchen more than as a waitress. I really would have liked to have been a doctor.
My first impression of Huddersfield was of the houses being black, because they were covered in smoke. I thought the British people liked drinking (alcohol), dancing and going out. I have only made Chinese friends here but thatís because I donít speak English. I wanted to learn it but I found it so difficult to learn. I understand most of it but I find it difficult to speak it.
All my children were born in Huddersfield. The first in 1972, my eldest is my 34 year old daughter. I have three daughters and one boy. They helped me get by. They put pressure on me to learn English but I found it too hard. Out of my children, two are dentists and two are oral hygienists.
Iíve tried to tell them Chinese traditions but they donít listen to me. I feel they are very integrated into British society, the white society, so they are not interested.
I would be very happy if my son married a Chinese girl that would be excellent. Iím not so bothered if my daughters marry white boys but I would like my son to marry a Chinese girl so they can carry our family name. I see myself as Chinese and donít wish to be British. How can I be British if I donít speak the language? I have lived here for forty years but canít call myself British as I donít have the language. But the UK is my home and the Chinese Centre. Hong Kong is just a holiday.
Back to all Stories
Contribute Your Story to Moving Here
|contact us | help | site map||copyright | privacy|