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When I was an elementary school student, the area where I lived was changing very quickly. Hong Kong was a special British territory until 1997. Before China took control of Hong Kong in 1997, many people decided to leave because they were afraid of the Chinese government. That is why there were so many wealthy immigrants coming from Hong Kong when I was a child.
My classmates moved away because their parents sold their house for a huge profit to wealthy immigrants. It was strange to see my neighborhood and school change so quickly. By the time I was in grade 5, there were more kids from Hong Kong than there were from Canada. By grade 7, the vast majority of students in my school were Chinese.
There was a language barrier, and some people resented the increase of immigrants, but before long we started mixing together and becoming friends. We taught each other swear words, and learned about each other’s cultures. Also the economy benefited a lot!
Taiga grew up with smartphones and social media, so he wanted to know what it was like growing up without those things. I told him about using pagers (ポケットベル) and public pay-phones to stay in touch with friends.
We also talked about bullying in school, and how maybe modern technology makes bullying worse in some cases.
Try listening to our conversation!