Hi, my name is Winnie Yun Zhang, and I live in Bensonhurst, Brooklyn a big neighborhood of New York City. I have one cousin, and I have a big family. I have a best friend, too. Her name is Janice. Janice is right next door, so we play together almost every day. Most times, I can't play with her because I have to go to a modeling job or play the piano.
I am always busy.
Janice and I never fight. That is because she is nice, real nice. So we became best friends. My cousin, Annie, is sometimes a mean, old cat. She changed her name several times, too. Her real name is Han. Then she used Annie, before that Indianna, then Gena. I do wonder what's next. But what dould I do? Nothing, nothing at all. Cousins are cousins.
Oh, well, life is hard.
I also have a pet. Actually, it's two. They are turtles. Tiny ones. I named each of them; Happy and Doc. Happy and Doc are very curious. They run around very fast. They are almost as fast as I am. Wow! What turtles! I had two dogs and a rabbit before. (When I was in China.) Blacky, the dog, died. Shepard, the puppy, was given away. Whitey, the rabbit is still in China. Now I have only my Happy and Doc. How sad! Janice has a turtle too. Her turtle is named Dot. Very cute, right? I think so, Dot is a very funny name.
And I know it is.
Did you know that turtles are good luck on the Chinese New Year? Well, they are. On the Chinese New Year we celebrate. We please God and eat a very sensible dinner. Mommy and Daddy and Aunt and Uncle drink good smelling beer. Annie and I drink soda or juice. Then we say "Cheers!" Then we please each other by saying,"I wish you good luck," or "I wish you get rich!" You have to say good things to each other. Then you take 3 seons and put them in a rice-filled bowl. It can also be sand in the bowl. A seon is a wooden stick that can be burned on the top, like a candle. Then you make a wish, and blow off the fire on the seon. Then your wish will come true.
-originally published in the September/October 1993 issue of ZuZu.