Eye of the Chicken
A journal of Harbin, China

If I had a million dollars . . .
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Ok, folks, this is just too, too weird for words.

I had lunch with another old friend today. (Delicious lunch; this woman is a Food Science professor and a foodie - I knew the meal would be outstanding, and it was.) We were joined by another friend of hers, who wanted to meet me because she and her husband and son are planning to immigrate to America in a few years when the son is ready for college.

During the course of the conversation, I learned more about the friend's immigration plans. You might think (as I did) that immigrating is tough; that people need jobs in particular categories, and even then, it might be difficult.

Well, not so much. Here's what this family is doing. Under a program of some sort (dreamed up by whom, I do not know; I would love to know more about this), they loaned US$500,000 to . . . oh, this is so good, I want to drag it out a bit . . .

They loaned that money to developers in the city of Cheyenne, Wyoming. That's right. The good folks in Cheyenne are borrowing the money for five years, during which time they will build something - an apartment complex, I think.

My friend explained that her friend even gets email updates, and pictures showing the progress of the construction. (Just like the pictures some people get of the little African kids they "adopt"!)

In exchange for this outlay of cash, and provided the Chinese family has another $500K in the bank (to be sure they can live in the US, and aren't gonna become welfare bums or something), and after two years, they can emigrate to the US city of their choice.

At the end of the five years, the developers will commence to repay the money.

I must confess, Dear Reader, that at this point, I just lost it. I howled. I don't know anything more about it than this, but I sure hope those people get their money back . . .

(In case you're wondering, I was suggesting that they move to Ann Arbor.)

What will They think of next? What a strange world we live in, eh?

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