Thursday, February 16, 2017

a day without immigrants

I was getting my nails done the other day and chit chatting with the nail lady. She was Indian so we talked about that for a bit; I told her where my dad was from and she knew all about it. It's a pretty small place so I was surprised she knew it. She said I lived there for 46 years! I was surprised because she looked about my age (40ish). I asked her how long she had been living here and she said just a year!

How bout that?

I said did you do nails in India? She said she has a bunch of salons in New Delhi.

She had sent her two daughters (ages 24 and 22) out a few years earlier so the eldest could go to SCI-arc, this crazy architectural school here in DTLA. She also brought with her her smallest son, who is 12.

I was of course curious (read: nosy) about the dad, but didn't ask.

Anyways I asked her if she liked it (she's getting used to it) but she's here to support her daughters. She said they don't have a dad, so she has to do what she can. She said, "he used to beat me so bad. In the face, everywhere. He beat me all the time."

She was separated from him in the courts, she said. No small feat, I imagine in India. She left him when her youngest boy was 4 years old because she was afraid he would turn out like his dad.

She is still married to him, though. "He'll never divorce me, I'm still his property," she said.

Anyways, she just did my nails and said she knows its going to work out.

If you saw this woman, you'd have no idea what her story was. Just another immigrant in America doing what they can do to get by.

Anyways, today is "A Day Without Immigrants" and a lot of people aren't going to work. I told the nanny she didn't have to come but was glad she did.

I have a lot of favorite immigrants (here's looking at you DAD) but I can tell you that my life wouldn't function without them.


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