The article opens with the story of 43-year-old Jicun Wu, who's been in a hospital for four months after an attacker came up behind him outside his takeout and hit him in the back of the head and in his torso, severely injuring his pancreas:
His legs were frail and appeared wasted, looking much older than normal for his 43 years. Even now, Wu still can't eat solid foods. And he hasn't been able to walk on his own yet.They're just one case among an alarming number of violent crimes that happen near or in Chinese takeouts, though the police department apparently doesn't keep exact statistics. Why does opening a Chinese takeout restaurant have to be such a dangerous business?
"He's like a skeleton," his wife, 34, said. "Aya! He's like a little child."
Now, she feels scared when she opens the takeout on her own. She has trouble sleeping and worries constantly about her husband's health.
Their plight is a stark example of how difficult life can be for immigrant Chinese who run the ubiquitous takeouts, some in crime-ridden areas where the owners can be perceived as outsiders. They work long, tiring hours behind bulletproof or plastic windows. Some don't speak English well, learning just enough basics to conduct their business.
"It's more easy to run a Chinese restaurant" than to work other kinds of jobs, Chen said. "We don't know how to make a living with other skills."