By Valerie Sartor
Bobby Tam has everything he wants: this forty something Chinese American from Boston has a great job working in an executive position for Air China; he's tall, handsome, and fit; he's engaged to a lovely young Chengdu woman who is mad about him -- and he has a ticket to the 2008 Beijing Olympics Opening Ceremony.
"I'm really, really thrilled about this ticket," he confided; "It's something that I never thought I would ever be able to get, for any price. And in fact I didn't pay for the ticket: a while back one of my bosses just came over to me and asked me if I wanted to see the opening ceremonies. I know those seats go for lots of money. My mouth almost dropped open when he asked me but I tried to play it cool and so I answered, 'Sure.' He handed me the ticket and that was that."
Mr. Tam said he wished he could also get tickets to the swimming, running and gymnastics events but he had little hopes of actually seeing them in person. "But it's okay; you know with the way TV has improved it's fine to watch them on the screen. I've got to tell you that I'm so proud and happy for China to be hosting this great event. China has come a long way, really fast. It's an amazing country."
Mr. Tam has been in China for over eight years. He works as an executive English language teacher trainer for Air China and is headquartered in Beijing. He's also part of the English teaching staff in the British Council in Beijing where he works as an IELTS (International English Language Testing System) examiner as well. He said: "With both the BC (British Council) and Air China I get to fly all over the country regularly. I think China is so vast and so beautiful, it's like a beautiful woman, you can never get enough of her and you can never really understand her but you can study her and admire her. I never knew anything much about China because my parents brought me up as an American. When people ask me who I am and where I'm from I always say: I'm from Boston, I'm a Bostonian. But now, after almost nine years I am extremely proud of my Chinese roots. Sure, I'm an American through and through, but after all these years living in China I've realized that I'm a Chinese American too." Mr. Tam mentioned that he has emailed and called all his friends back home, encouraging them to watch the Olympics and to learn more about China.
(China.org.cn May 12, 2008)