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My name is Wong Sing Liu. I am 85 years old and I come from Hong Kong. Before I came to the UK I caught fish, I worked on the sea. I was a fisherman in our village, called Tak Po - it is an island in New Territory. I lived there before I came to the UK. We had to take a bus to Sha Tou Kok from Hong Kong Island. There were a lot of villagers and they catch fish to earn their living - there were a lot of boats. I did not own a boat at that time because I lived on a street. Later I moved to Sha Tou Kok. Then I worked on a ship for a few years and went back to Sha Tou Kok again. It was a very tough life working on the ship. Sometimes the ship had oil leaks and I needed to repair it by myself. After that, I asked somebody to make arrangements for me to come to the UK. I came to the UK in 1968. I came first and after that I arranged for my wife to come here, then my sons were next.
I brought almost nothing with me when I came to the UK Ė just some coats and thick clothes. I heard from some people saying that the weather in the UK is very cold, sometimes snowing and sometimes sleeting. The majority of the people here work inside the building. My first destination was Aberdeen. I worked in a Chinese takeaway at that time but the shop closed down soon afterwards. Then I came to England and asked somebody to get me a job. I went to a place named Derby. I lived in the countryside nearby Derby. I worked there seven or eight years and I lived in that area for about 15 years. There were a lot of Chinese and Chinese takeaways. The place I lived is about half an hour's drive to Derby. I still go back there sometimes because my son is living there.
I learned to work in the kitchen when I first came here. To be frank, I could not adapt to the life here when I first came because I knew nothing here. So I tried to learn things from the Chinese here, I worked as a chef in the Chinese takeaway. I didnít earn much money and needed to work for other people. Being a boss is important to me, if I canít be a boss then I need to work for other people and that is not so good. I worked in the countryside for a few years until I retired at 60 years old, and after that I came to Birmingham where I have been ever since.
I still miss Sha Tou Kok. I have relatives living there, so I go to Sha Tou Kok every time I go back to Hong Kong.
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