|Posted by Matt Posner on October 17, 2012 at 7:35 AM|
Life of an IIllegal Immigrant on the Land of Hope
by Junying Kirk
I don’t like my life. In fact, I hate it. I hate it so much that I have tried toremove it from this world, not once, not twice, but several times.
Not a bloody clue what the hospital patients’ record says; I am quite sure that attempting suicide is the reason I am now in a psychiatric hospital in Derby, a small town somewhere in the middle of the UK. My geographical knowledge hasalways been limited. Before I left China, I had never been out of my homeprovince.
IfI had a choice, or any say in my destiny, I would have wanted a different life,to be a different person, or to live in a different era, or to belong to adifferent race. If I had a choice, I definitely wouldn’t want to be born Chinese.What good has being a Chinese done for me? It is all suffering, sacrifice, and surviving. It is not much of a life, worse than being an animal sometimes. Even animals have better welfare than people like me, an ordinary peasant.
Wha thave I done in my previous life to deserve this? I’ve asked myself thisquestion a thousand times, but there is never a good-enough answer. No one will ever tell me. Even though I wear a cross around my neck and pray to Jesus – or whoever above supposedly watches over us mortal souls – asking Him in my despair, I get no reply, nor any kind of a sign that He has heard me. I don’t know if it’s because He cannot hear, or worse, does not care, about a poor sinner like me. Still, I wear my cross, and I persist in asking Him. One day,maybe He will hear me, and change my life forever.
Is my life some kind of a sick joke? I sometimes wonder.
The except above can be found in one of my early chapters of my recent release, Land of Hope. Ah Ming, formerly a peasant in Southern China, then an illegal immigrant in the United Kingdom, provides one of several characters’ voices, detailing their worries, woes and wounded souls. After his fish farm business failed, he ended up with mountains of debts to loan sharks.The only solution he and his family had? To borrow more money from their debtors and paid the snakeheads (traffickers) a hefty sum for a hazardous journey to the West, with the sole aim to make his fortune and change his fate.
I met someone like Ah Ming not long after I started working as a free-lance interpreter, just as Pearl Zhang did in the book. For a period of time, I visited him, first at a mental hospital, then with Social Services. His stories saddened me, filled me with so much sorrow and melancholy that it drove me to sketch his life out on paper, first in a short story for an author’s anthology, followed by a full-length novel in which his tales are featured.
Years have passed since I last laid my eyes on him, but memories of his expressionless face, the ugly scar on his belly after his suicide attempt and his desperate call for help have stayed with me, tugging at my heart, and oncein a while depriving me of my sleep in those dark, insomnia-inflicted nights.
Of course, he is just one of many, far too many in fact, in this wonderful world of ours, whose lives have been swept along by the merciless, unrelenting tidesof our times, so often dominated by greed for money and power, where the rich become richer, and the poor are exploited to the bone, get lost and be washed away without a trace. Ah Ming’s life had so little impact and even in his own eyes it was so pointless that he felt that he had no choice but to terminate it.
Yet,at one time, he had harboured hopes and dreams, like the rest of us, whateverthose dreams might have been. It was the hope that had prompted him to go toanother country, on another continent, not as a tourist, but as a migrant worker,leaving behind his family and his familiar culture.
Ifyou’d like to read about his full story, and that of many like him, please dive in to Land of Hope.
Book Blurb: Junying Kirk completes her ‘Journey to the West’ trilogy with this inter-racial saga. A complex love story is interwoven through a tale of international crime, broken dreams, human trafficking and sexual exploitation. ‘Journey’ is just that, a merciless trek from the coast of Southern China to the drug farms in the heartof England, exposing worlds you never would have imagined exist.
Please visit J J Collins,which is out next stop of this book tour - you’ll be greeted with an extremely insightful and fabulously analytical review of Land of Hope.