Introduction: There's a little bit of history involved in this story. Currently there are about 10 million Manchu people and very rarely they speak the Manchurian language. Manchu are descendant of Jerchen people who in 1115 AD established Jin Dynasty, which was replaced over 100 years later by the Mongolians--my ancestors--who established Yuan Dynasty. Then in 1644, the Jerchen people rolled back to power and created Qing Dynasty. The movie "The Last Emperor" is about the last dynasty, which ended in 1911, and the subsequent period of feudal conflicts and the Japanese occupation. The last emperor's relatives scattered all over the world since then.
“Do you know who that is? He’s the Manchu prince. People call him ‘Prince’.” Soo says. Every time Pammy and her husband Pan come to Flushing, New York, they will meet Soo and her husband Shing at the best dumpling house there. Half way through their lunch, Soo suddenly says that Prince is here and nobody should turn around to stare. Such a warning sounds more like a recommendation. So all three of Soo’s companions turn around and look at the figure.
“He’s tall but not handsome.” Pammy says.
“Pammy, you can never be a diplomat. For royalties, you can’t say not handsome. You have to say he looks distinctive.” Soo says.
“Oh, give me a break, will you? The Manchu court was the most backward and anti-progressive and corrupt. I can’t believe you speak so highly of them.” Pammy scowl.
“Pammy, I sold him his house very close to the College Point. He’s my client and I can’t speak ill of a client. He didn’t even negotiate the price.” Soo says.
“”He’s either rich or dumb.” Pammy says
“Or probably both. What’s his relationship to the last emperor?” Pan asks.
“His great grandfather is the emperor’s cousin. Do you know how nice a client he is? He came just once and closed the deal, unlike my other clients, for whom a real estate agent like me is their house searching slave.” Soo says.
“There must be dozens of princes just like him. Can we get on with our lunch? He’s no longer a prince. Because of their royal stupidity, they lost their dynasty and become common people like us now.” Pammy says.
“Oh, Pammy, they are not like you and me. They don’t work. Seriously. He can afford to wander his time away. The problem is you never know if they have money or not. He opened a restaurant ten years ago and that adventure was a failure. Then he started to help local politicians to get elected and that didn’t last long. Now I think he’s involved in antique trade. Every day at lunch, he would wander in various restaurants and people will invite him over.” Soo says.
“Are you saying he’s having free lunch this way?” Pammy says.
“Soo, ask him to come over. I’ve never had a meal with a prince before.” Pan says.
“Pan, what are you doing? I don’t want to have my lunch with a beggar prince. Soo, don’t call him.” Pammy says.
Before Soo can say or act, Prince has already spotted them and walks towards them.
“Be nice, Pammy.” Soo says.