Date: Thu, 1 Jul 2010 21:43:44 +0000

From: Susan
Subject: : Barbara Yung
To: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Hiya Rob,

I know what it's like living in England and parents having a chippy. I grew up in one as I came back from HK when I was 8 years old. I then had to work in the chippy after school. I even had to help out during lunchtimes! My school was only maximum 5 minutes away, so I had to go back and help as it gets busy with all the school kids. I sometimes don't even have time to eat anything as by the time I finished serving, it was time to go back to school. I wasn't allowed out and can't have a boyfriend especially not an English one! So I understand what it was like for Barbara!

The only time I was ever happy was at school as it was then that I can have some fun. At home, it was work all the time and as I said, my mum kept beating my sister up over nothing and that was every day. I think it was escape for sister and I when at school! At least we get to see friends and have a laugh as at home it was always yelling and shouting! I hated the holidays as it's work, work and more work for sister and I!! I just wanted to be in school 24/7 so that I didn't have to face my mum!

I was born here then my parents sent me back to HK when I was 3. I came back when I was nearly 8 and had to help out in the chippy. I can tell you there was no childhood for me as I had to work after school every day until 10.30pm. I was not allowed to have a boyfriend or go out. No parties or after school activities as I had to help out in the chippy.

I used to hate going home, school was my lifeline! I hated school holidays as I was stuck inside the chippy 24/7. If Barbara had to go thru all that then yes, I do understand what it's like to be stuck in! I used to envy all my friends as they can go out when they want, and have a boyfriend which was something I was never allowed. I see my friends going to the pictures and going shopping but I was never allowed. I did have a boyfriend in secret and I can tell you it was awful, as I know a lot of people who comes to the chippy and I used to be afraid that they will say something to my parents! I try to avoid going out with him in public and the feeling was just so awful!!

My parents didn't beat me but my mum was an awful person to live with. She did beat up my sister very, very often which gave me nightmares that lasted for many many years! My boyfriends were English but I had to hide away each time we went out in case people saw us! Yes, I know what it's like to be Chinese in a foreign country as everything were limited for us with strict parents!

I think it would be great that Chinese girls in the UK lived a life like me should be mentioned! I had a friend who was in the same situation as me but she was worse as she was like my brother, she got beaten by her mum and was shouted at all the time. In the end, she ran away from home and has nothing to do with her family especially her mum! I have no contact with her as I left home first and I heard afterwards that she left not long after me. It's so hard to make people understand what sort of life we had unless that person has been through it or knows someone who has like yourself.

To be honest Rob, I think it's not just that period of time, even now, there are girls out there having the same fate as what we had. Mind you, I did know some in my period of time that they have had a good life as they didn't have to help out in the chippy and their parents were real good to them.

The worse thing is, whilst we were growing up, understandably we start to like the opposite sex but we know that our parents won't approve and sneaking around is not a happy thing especially when the whole town knows you from the chippy and being worried that someone might see you and say something! People don't know how strict our parents were, so of course they don't realize by saying something, they have gotten us in trouble! The feeling was awful but what could you do??!!

My life is ok now but it did have its up and downs especially with my ex. I know this may sound unfair and irresponsible but I went with my ex as he was my lifeline to get out from the chippy and to freedom. Well, to be honest it was not freedom as I had jumped from one fire into another one!

He was like my mum in a way trying to control my life which he succeeded. We got married and you guessed it, I had to work with his parents in the takeaway! I got out of it after I had my kids and then our marriage just went downhill.

I know it sounds awful but I never really loved him and the more control he wanted over me the more I just hated him! He was very possessive to the point that he searched for me if I wasn't home when I said I will! It was too much. Don't get me wrong, he tried to please me with material things but what are material things when I am not happy!

I don't mix in the Chinese community as I don't like all these women gossiping. I stay in a lot and just go out shopping. I have a few friends to talk to and that's enough for me. At the moment, I'm very happy with my partner and my 2 boys are 14 and 13.

I miss the little town I lived in but I can tell you I did not miss my childhood which was nonexistent!
Anyway talk soon and take care!


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