Chapter 8: Choices
Translated by me, edited by Kai.
The huge wheels of the plane touched down on the runway with a rumbling sound. Being jolted out of his sleep, Jiang Hai looked around with half-lidded eyes and noticed the scene outside his window. When he saw the beautifully radiant, clear skies outside, the moodiness caused by his abrupt awakening quickly disappeared, changing into a bright, hopeful outlook.
“Hey, Jiang, time to get off.” Just as Jiang Hai was stretching his cramped and stiff body, a slightly high-pitched and filled with fake enthusiasm voice reached his ears. Hearing this voice, Jiang Hai can’t help but wince.
“I know, I know. What’s the rush anyway? The plane hasn’t even stopped yet, how are you going to get off? Jump?” Jiang Hai snapped.
“Hahaha, Jiang, you’ve definitely got a sense of humor.” Hearing Jiang Hai’s reply, the person paid it no mind and quickly brushed it off.
When the plane came to a stop, the boarding platform was connected and the two exited the aircraft. Due to the privileges from Jiang Hai’s credit card, they swiftly cleared security and left the airport. Outside the airport, a car was ready and waiting for them. Seeing Jiang Hai and his shadow, the waiting driver opened the door (1) and the two immediately took their seats.
“Jiang, let’s go to the hotel first for some R&R before heading over to see that plot of land. The land isn’t too far from the airport, it’s just an hour’s drive from the city.” The person beside Jiang Hai babbled on.
“Don’t try to fool me, you think I don’t know where we are? Where we want to go is in the opposite direction of the city. We are currently at General Edward Lawrence Logan International Airport, south of Boston. We want to go to Winthrop which is on the north side!” Jiang Hai displayed a map of Boston on his phone and stated, in a grumpy mood.
“Oh, who knew my boss is this smart. Not only is he young and has lots of money, but he can also comprehend maps. I am ashamed” The person continued, paying no mind to Jiang Hai’s mood.
“If you don’t shut it, your very intelligent boss will have to find someone else as his guide.” Muttered Jiang Hai while giving him an irritated look. Hearing this, the other person quickly closed his yapping mouth.
“Go to Winthrop.” Jiang Hai instructed the driver, then went back to sleep. Thinking back, it had almost been a month since he had received the money.
Since he had confirmed his choice to emigrate to America, everything else was pretty straightforward. Phillips can really be worthy of the title, the third biggest auction house in the world. While others may require over a month to complete the process of receiving a passport and visa, but it took Phillips only 10 days before it fell in Jiang Hai’s lap. Afterwards, Jiang Hai boarded a plane and headed to his first stop; California.
The annoying chatterbox with him, is called Will Anthony. He is a black dude and is one of Phillips’s American based employees. Since he is the only one who can speak Mandarin fluently, he was specially selected to act as a guide and translator for Jiang Hai in America.
The city of Los Angeles, and other major cities, such as San Francisco, in California are all popular places for Chinese emigrants. As such, there is a low occurrence of racial discrimination acts. Other places which also aren’t racially discriminatory include San Diego, Irvine and so on. In short, California is very Chinese friendly, but it was quickly rejected by Jiang Hai due to three reasons. One, the land here is too expensive. Two, there are hardly any fresh water sources. And three, most of the Chinese here are from the south, unlike him, who is from the north.
Thus they went on their sightseeing trip around the country (2). Their second stop, Orlando. This is not a big city, but it makes it’s name as a vacation stop. Sadly this place is too close to south America, as such, just as Jiang Hai had finished examining all the holdings here, he witnessed a shooting and so it was immediately rejected.
Next, heading north, they stopped in Seattle, Washington. Jiang Hai immediately fell in love with the place here. Tones of freshwater, plenty of sea water resources, next to the Pacific ocean. Lots of green forests, good air quality and with a great temperature range this area really moved Jiang Hai. However, it dropped down on his consideration list since it has a major downside, the earthquakes here are just too frequent.
Soon afterwards, they visited the rose city of Oregon: Portland. Surrounded by a sea of grass, this place is great for ranch farms. The people here are also friendly and welcoming, thus making it another possibility. Sadly, there isn’t an ocean nearby.
Finally they decided to check out New York and Boston before coming to a decision. Truth to be told, even the most optimistic person will not even try finding any good places in New York. Not even Jiang Hai. Though it is another matter altogether for Boston. Most people will know the city through its universities. It has the world’s top law school, Harvard. Top tier research university MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology). Top tier musical arts institute, Berklee College. There is also Ivy member Tufts University and Boston college.
This is a city brimming with universities. Not only that, this city also has an amazing amount of history, including having the world’s first street lights and the world’s first telephone line. China’s enthusiasm for basketball was born here, but this is also where basketball started.
They observed all of Boston’s education institutions as they passed through the area; Jiang Hai thought that they are all tidy and clean, but the whole city felt somewhat cramped. This is due to being one of America’s first cities. They were built to be like so. At the very least, Jiang Hai doesn’t have be a part of the cramped quarters, since the plot of land he is interested in is on the outskirts.
Boston is a coastal city. It’s just like other major Californian cities as well as Seattle, but it is not situated in an earthquake prone zone. There is the risk of the occasional blizzard and hurricane, but this is very much like the weather in Harbin, so it’s not of great concern to Jiang Hai. After he compared it with California or Seattle, there are no earthquakes in Boston, land is cheaper and it also has got massive fields of grassland. Compared to Oregon, Boston is closer to the sea. And don’t even mention Florida or New York since Jiang Hai had never even thought of settling there.
The roads in America are not like the ones in China, and are incredibly spacious and domineering, as if splitting the land into two. As soon as you leave the city, you arrive at the well maintained highways. This is rather unlike the road conditions in China, where the first thing you do with any car is raise its base to avoid being grinded down (3). Therefore, it didn’t take long before they reached their destination.
“Look Jiang, that is our objective, Green Forest Estate.” Will pointed to scenery outside. When Jiang Hai’s looked outside the window, he couldn’t help but widen his eyes. He suddenly had a feeling; ‘This is it’.
The plot of land in front of him is called the Green Forest Estate. This is what you call picturesque. Endless seas of grass waving with the wind, A large forest in the distance providing both scenery and windbreak. A perfect spot to lose oneself, pondering the mysteries of the universe. Past the forest is sea, its waves rumbling and crashing as they batter the golden beach, which is holding the sea at bay. Beside the beach is a cluster of manors and a plantation of small gnarled grapevines growing nearby. This estate has it all. Ranch, fishing ground and winery all combined in one. What else can you ask for?
Seeing the breathtaking scenery, Jiang Hai is really satisfied. Since this estate has stopped its operations for some time, there are basically no animals. But Jiang Hai’s decision seems to have already been made. After a couple of minutes, the car reached the entrance to the ranch. A middle aged man was waiting for them. He seemed worried, but still came to welcome the guests with smiles.