I don't know how many of you remember the movie an American Tale, the one where the mouse and his family is moving from Russia to America. To them America was a land filled with promise and possibility, and potential because "there are no cats in America, and the streets are paved with cheese".
Many Uyghurs look at moving going abroad as that same bright hope. As they sit around and compare stories of how great it would be, the reality is often blurred by a dream. I have had many people ask me questions concerning what they have heard about life in North America. Some of them are still accurate "is it true that you can go to the doctor for free in Canada?" Although I do make sure to remind them that health care is paid for out of taxes and such, so really everyone pays for it.
The other day I had a woman ask "is it true that in Canada you have two taps in your kitchen, one with drinkable water and the other with milk?" 'Wow', I thought, 'where did this rumor start?' These people really are looking for a promised land, a place flowing with milk and honey. Sadly those who end up in the west often find it doesn't live up to their dreams. The roads in America, like everywhere else are made of cement, and there are still a lot of cats running around.