I thought all of America was like New York City!

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Photo credit: Portugal.com

When Ana traveled from Azores, Portugal to California in America, she thought she was going to live in a city like New York City. Azores or the islands as she calls is surrounded by water, green landscapes and is a fishing town. Like most islands, the lifestyle is extremely relaxing. I asked Ana how she came to America and her first few days here:

I don’t remember when I came here. Maybe it was the 80’s but it has been a long time. I am bad with dates. My future husband visited Portugal and we met there. He petitioned for me so I came here to get married to him. My family was back home in Azores, Portugal. I was the only one who moved to America. I wasn’t scared to come here to live with him. My grandmother, father, mother had already visited America at different times before me. We had a rich uncle who brought my grandmother, father and mother at different times to visit America. I had an idea about America and there were lots of pictures. I have cousins and uncles in Canada and Boston area, but my immediate family is back in Azores. I thought all of America was like New York, busy all the time. I landed in San Francisco and when they drove me out of the airport I was like oh my God, this is so big. When I landed in Boston before reaching San Francisco and I saw freeways, I thought it was so big. We did not have freeways in Azores. We had one way streets. I saw lots of difference between Azores and America. I thought we were going to live in a city like New York. I thought all of America would be like New York.  I did not know where he lived. When we drove into Milpitas, I wasn’t impressed by any of it. I was surprised at how the houses were built especially the shingles on the roof bothered me a lot. I came into a Portuguese family so the food was not an issue. The first time I went out was for coffee. I thought I was going for espresso but when I saw a big mug of coffee, I was like what is this. They said its American coffee. I said what is the difference between American coffee and Portuguese coffee. Back in Portugal, our coffee came in small cups like shots of espresso. I had never drank so much coffee before. I loved the food here from the very first day. The people were very polite and laughing all the time here. People back home were rude back then but now they are getting better. The weather is so good in California. I love it over here and don’t want to go back. But I miss my family and ocean a lot. I remember I used to open the window and I could see the ocean in Azores. I miss that view.”

 

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