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qi zhao
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                     The Disappearance of My Hobby

Everyone has habits that they cannot change or forget. Especially when they are far away from their hometown or countries, these habits will become unforgettable. For me, "Yin Cha"-drinking tea, has always been one of special habits in my life. Drinking tea can make me feel relaxed after a busy day. However, I have lost my favorite habit since I moved to the United States, and it is one of the important parts in my life. Since I moved to Chicago, I haven’t found a tea house for me to relax in, and I can’t have the traditional "Dim Sum" or a tea time with my family. These were all occasions when we spent time together and got close to each other. 
The first thing I have lost in the U.S is the traditional tea house where I could relax and enjoy my free time with friends. My friends and I usually went to the tea house "Di Tie Zhan"- subway station which is nearby my school. Most customers there were students, because it’s not very expensive, and it has many different kinds of tea, such as tradition Chinese tea, milk tea, flower tea and fruit tea. Also, it has desserts made from tea. Sometimes, I would order a cup of tea and just sit on the sofa and listen to the music or daydream. Sometimes after school, I played table games there with my friends to enjoy our free time. Since I came to the U.S, I haven’t found same place like the tea house in my country.  Even though there is the tea house that is similar, it's expensive. In the U.S, fewer people have the habit to have a small talk with friend in the tea house, such us in the Starbucks or Argo tea. They prefer to sit alone reading the book or watching their computers. I realize that I might not be able to find the same place like the tea house “Di Tie Zhan” anymore. 
The second thing I have lost in the U.S is the traditional “Dim Sum”.  For Cantonese people, Dim Sum is the main role of the Yin Cha, not the tea.  Before I came to the U.S, I went to Yin Cha with my family every weekend.  When we sat down, the server gave us a card that we could get Dim Sum from the Dim Sum bar.  At the Dim Sum bar, there is a long line of tables with more than a hundred kinds of Dim Sum. I picked what I wanted and when I finished the waiter helped me send the food to my table.  Also, there were some waitresses pushing carts filled with the day’s special to every table to recommend.  However, Chicago only has few restaurants that feature the Dim Sum, and there don’t have many choices. At those restaurants in Chicago, people just use a pen to circle the Dim Sum from the paper that with Dim Sum photos.  I think this is not the traditional “Dim Sum”.  It’s not just about the taste, it also about the feeling that is indescribable.
The last thing I have lost in the U.S is the way I could get close to my family during tea time.  When I was in China, I always got together with my family to have tea after dinner. We talked about some interesting things that happened recently, or problems at school.  However, after we came to the U.S, I felt I am getting away from family.  It has been a long time I haven’t had a tea time with my family.  Everyone is busy to trying adapt the fast pace of the U.S life.  My father is in China, and he just stayed in the U.S for two or three months a year.  My mother’s workplace is far from Chicago, so she only comes home on the weekends. My sisters and I have to go to school during the weekday, and we also need to work twelve hours per day on the weekend.  When we get home, both of us are so tired to do anything. Our schedules are always staggered, so we don’t have time to chat, and that has made me feel I am drifting away from them.
There is an old saying in China, people always realized they have already lost something when they gain others.  My family had a chance to come to America and start our new lives, but we also lost something that is important for us.  Since I came here, I have found that Yin Cha is far away from me and I miss it so much. It’s not just about the tea or the Dim Sum, it’s about the connection between family and me.  I would like someday to have a chance to have good tea, eats delicious Dim Sum, and the most important thing is I could spend time with my family to have a small chat.
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2015-10-09
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