The all-Thai American dream team
One family finds that when it comes to achieving success in America the opportunity is out there for immigrants, and if any of the locals say you should drop the old ways and assimilate, just tell them 'Fuggedaboudit'!
In the early 1890s, when my grandfather Arthur Eckardt arrived in New York from Germany, he couldn't speak a word of English. Waiting for him at the dock was his big brother Otto. Arthur came strutting down the gangplank, proud of the big hat he wore: a high crowned, broad billed hat like Otto Von Bismarck's that symbolised that he had risen from an apprentice to a journeyman to a master ironmonger. Otto grabbed the hat off his head and threw it into the East River.
BIG APPLE BITTEN: Above, the author in Times Square with daughters Elizabeth, left, and Erika. PHOTOS: JAMES ECKARDT
"You wear a hat like that and everyone's gonna know you're a foreigner," Otto growled. "Keep your mouth shut and learn English. Because these Americans will rob you blind. Welcome to America."
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