Yicheng Sun and Ryan Hussey

Recorded May 17, 2018 Archived May 17, 2018 45:12 minutes
0:00 / 0:00
Id: chi002558


Yicheng (YC) Sun (24) and his coworker Ryan Hussey (34) talk about their families, first crushes, passions, and guilty pleasures.

Subject Log / Time Code

Yicheng jokes about the cultural gaps between him and his dad, including marijuana which means "poison" in Chinese.
Yicheng describes the significance of tones in the Chinese language and how it contributes to meaning.
Ryan describes growing up in the small town of Rangor and the joke of people from Wales being "sheep shaggers."
Yicheng describes growing up in Fremont, which is in thee San Francisco Bay Area of California before the tech boom happened.
Ryan expresses his delight in guilty pleasures like pies, cheesecake, and punk pop bands.
Yicheng tells the story of his first crush and how he often embarssed himself.
Yicheng describes his various communal living situations, including living with 23 people at one time.
Ryan memorializes one of his best friends who passed away from a brain tumor.
Yicheng and Ryan joke about Belfast and the mythical place of Boojum's which serves Mexican food.


  • Yicheng Sun
  • Ryan Hussey

Recording Locations

Chicago Cultural Center

Venue / Recording Kit


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00:01 My name is Ryan Hussey. I'm 34 years old and I'm in Chicago, Illinois. And the day is May 17th 2018 on my relationships the way I see is he's my coworker out of my friends.

00:22 All right. My name is YC. My full name is each end son and I'm 24. The date is April 17th. And right now we're in the Chicago Cultural Center my relationship to Ryan is that he's my co-worker and a good friend. I thought you were going to leave that okay?

00:46 So the first thing I wanted to know from EYC is who has being the most important person in your life. If you could tell me a little bit about the lesson.

00:59 Okay, I will refrain that question to who's the most important person currently in my life. My dad. My dad shelf home has always been D stoic steadfast Asian Dad type plus I've always had this feeling that I want to reconnect with them more and thus over the couple weekends are so I've been trying to engage him more at it's always kind of hard when you have a cultural barrier with your parents because they both grew up in in China while I was only born there and I raced in America, we have different perspectives on how we see life and also like how much we let ourselves enjoy different things where we grow up is no

01:53 I've had the privilege of being exposed to a lot more different parts of life and they have and you know, you don't know what you don't know and that's my dad is he is he is very happy with what he has over to tie. My employer tried to introduce them to various things. I think the other day he found out that I had Vape weed pens and ask what that was. What did you say the truth? And obviously for marijuana means poison in Chinese I said there's a there's a little bit of advice from his perspective, but I think he has the understand that I make smart decisions in my own life and the other day. He said he's might be interested in trying to figure out what the hype is all about.

02:53 You mentioned the thing about the translation of words cuz you mentioned that to me before about I know in China that's a lot of superstitions. Not a that's a lot of superstition around Woods like similarities like the one you just mentioned her if you could talk a little bit about some of those superstitions. So Chinese is a phonetic language and each word. There are four tones at because of these four tones sound to have multiple words associated with them there a lot of homonyms and for ground pool, like the word for luck is also the word for bats. It sounds a little early identical and those bats are very lucky super scary.

03:49 There was one time where my family my mother got a clock a big big alarm clock out from a co-worker and you know growing up. I always saw that in the garage and I was just like conspicuously on one side and not boxed just like in the garage and always wondered why that was until I asked her and she told me the world clock is the same for the word debt and us if someone gives you the world clock that's that's already gives you a gift clock that's very bad luck and you can't do anything with it cuz you tell me if you throw something away. My mother is very superstitious and I think I'm member Chinese New Year. My dad wants broke a plate on the ground and that's supposed to be a years of bad luck.

04:46 And other bad day to do it.

04:55 I forgot Apple. My Chinese name is 2010 at my my dad's surname is swim and my mother surname is 10 and he also means and in Chinese. So I'm literally my name is a combination of my dad and my mother surnames but in addition to that meaning there's another layer were like for example Swindoll sermon sun and Chen ultimate success and each word has so many meanings and part of naming is being able to stick as many layers as possible. Seems like it was lucky. They were came together there. Yeah.

05:39 Till I keep going cuz I know your name so you don't have a Welsh name. So my my name is just my name and you do have people have Welsh names, but then that would just be that the name that they would use all the time. So basically like my old my nephews and nieces they whole I have well spellings of names like my nephew Harry. His name is spelled h a r i so they have well spelling that there are Welsh names and then normally what happens that has anyone who's got like a Welsh name that's like super hard to pronounce then they'll just fell just struggle when they go anywhere other than whales I could say the name properly except for like the 10 welshmen in Patagonia.

06:39 I'm having like a grown up there. Sure I can tell you about where I grew up. So well, this is pretty big country and it's like varied so there's lots of big cities that but where I grew up and was on angle say which is the tiny island in the north of whales and it's just super remote. That's like not really anything that before now they have two Bridges. So the spoiled for Choice back in the day that only way you could get that I was when the tide went out then people used to ride horse and carriage is the cross-triangle say so growing up. So I guess it was kind of like a stereotype about Welsh people that are like a the most common kind of insult that anyone gets gold from Wales simulator. I think people from New Zealand is that they couldn't cold sheep shaggers.

07:39 Like I weigh more sheep than there are people so where I grew up with the countryside and yeah, I think that's kind of I think I still have some of that I met were I think I've never really it shag. Well once I've lived in like cities, I always end up moving out into the suburbs because I don't think the city life is for me. I think I love all the benefits that come with the say like all the amazing places to eat and drink and like friends places to work. So like the the work that went into is much better is much better. If you do that and you work in like a big city where you going to work like that clients and things I've never really been like comfortable in the big say I never wanted to live in London or anyting. I think it's just too much for me.

08:39 To go back that for like a week and then I need to go I need to get the cat out. So here's a question. I've been meaning to ask you but it just felt like its I've always been afraid cuz in my well today's the day I didn't buy my family my family my mom's side of the family is well, that is English that from Manchester where I used to live on my mom's side, as in the family, but it was like for my great-grand outs generation is why I stopped so, I don't know if it's the same over here, but I'm back in the UK following is like not really though profitable anymore since like the huge Global a globo just like National Supermarket Drive-In prices down. So yeah, so farming hasn't been in my family for a long time, but I think you can tell from my cell phone.

09:39 Times. I've never done that a day of hard work.

09:48 It's funny. We were just at a interview where a one of the interviewees complimented us about being great workers. And I'm pretty sure this this interview would completely undo any good karma from that previous game.

10:06 Okay.

10:13 So

10:15 Actually before we move on from a family's Mom and Dad's, but maybe I'll ask the story about what's like a good story that you have that your parents like to tell about you from when you were growing up all what's like a funny story from when you are growing up.

10:42 Good question might my family tends to be fairly reserved about what we say external each other people. I feel like we lead not famous or inFAMOUS life. I mean

10:57 Yeah, I'm not sure what my mother would share to other.

11:02 Other I know they talked I mean Chinese families always like they're your children is your resume type of situation instead of if I change the question from like a funny story what you think when people ask your mother than what what y'all doing she must be proud cuz she's got a great job said I think she has a hard time understanding what my job is

11:31 Being a designer is does not fall within the Venn diagram of being a doctor lawyer engineer. Okay and does it's hard to explain in just one word and I think she says that I interact with businesses. Okay, like a businessman like a businessman like a proper man. Okay. Hopefully one day I can fulfill that dream of description for so.

12:03 Where did you I already know this that feels weird asking but I grew up and why was like growing up in Fremont California? And which for some people that's a contentious thing for me Eastbay is wherever the BART line goes to and there was a bar at Fremont about a couple years back. I think he stays you generous means around Berkeley, but they're horty torty hippies. When I grew up Fremont with a very different place. I remember in the front of our house and this is just a row of like small single-story buildings in the neighborhood. Very Diverse Staffing American kids with white kids Indian kids Chinese kids at there will be a parking lot in front ice and it was like a gravel abandoned parking lot with a crusty car.

13:03 And I wish I was down there. I think now like ever since like the tech explosion like that entire area has been acting like his large two-story houses, like almost like you got a big mansion style. Everything looks the same all the neighbors that I grew up with playing like backyard baseball and like Backyard Basketball have all moved away. And yeah, it's it's a completely different vibe. I don't really see the kids playing out in their yards anymore and do used to be one street and you can really call it a downtown cuz I lived in The Burbs but it was like this historical Mission Street and it there used to be like a sandwich shop a cheese shop at various like art and cultural things and now they've been replaced by like education center. So people can go get after school help or study for the SAT.

14:03 Please or something like that. So it's a very different place now.

14:11 Hi, I was going to ask you about.

14:26 Text Ricky So as you know, I am currently not eaten. Well, not this week for the past few months. I've not been any in any carbs or sugars are the reason for that was for this project. We're working on. But yeah, the reason was also my favorite foods cheesecake too. So I think maybe my guiltiest pleasure.

15:06 Is probably how much bad stuff that I I know that go to kill a fly to that I have although I wouldn't label as a guilty pleasure at but because I think it does no, I don't feel guilty about it. I think so people are always ask guilty pleasure for like music. I really like the four. I have to listen to my youth but I've always liked the band Sum 41 and I think people can we play Opera? It's our goal like a pop-punk found guilty pleasure that I just genuinely like that music. I just don't consider a guilty pleasure because I just think they're actually good. So I don't know if he can speak ill about. I probably just wouldn't sell some people.

16:06 Birthday, I'm going to get you like their album. That would be awesome. Get the entire office to sign it with Avril Lavigne. Have you ever had that casting like a storytelling thing called mortified where people basically go up and they read that teenage diaries. One of them was a people were talking about that first crush so you don't have to say their name, but I'd like to hear a little bit about you know, if they knew that you had a crush on them on that went God.

17:06 Middle school or lay Elementary School. How old is that? I don't know schools have

17:16 What is Middle School?

17:18 Okay. Yeah, there was one girl who I thought he hung. I feel like

17:30 Precocious myself. I mean to be fair there weren't that many options at my school cash myself, but it was a immigrant town and we are all different shades of Asian. You got the Indians to Koreans Japanese and Chinese and

17:55 There was one girl. I thought was basically she was the only one that hung out with like the nerd group. So I think over like the succession and I'm saying this to make myself feel better over the succession of likes middle school high school. I think everyone had a phase where they had a crush on her. Yeah, but I felt like when I was one of the earlier ones that count it's all in Tim's. If you making you any pro to Asus you're not very self-aware or have very high eqms don't have very high EQ. And what happens is like, you know, how like you look towards the person you like you not to see their reaction whenever something cool happens during class. She's like literally like two seats behind me and during class whenever anyone laugh I would feel like

18:55 I think that what you wrote to go away with that. I you were more like in my life, but I can fully behind you and I just remember I literally think like and I think there was one moment where I like I was coming like I was visiting her house for some reason. I think she just literally asked if I liked her and I kind of just froze like deer in the headlights cuz we were also like she was my own company accompaniment for like so I was doing for like a piece I used to play the clarinet and I was so pretty shy about asking her but she was pretty good at piano. So I thought I could have Frozen I said no no.

19:48 And I do not know what I did. But I do know that I was very obvious and that you know, how like kids had blogs back without like Highschool call it or Middle School drama. I think there was another guy she was a close friend to and her friends posted various like Snippets sly comments on his blog under my name is one time where I am in her danced and a bunch of other people under my name saying acting very angry with her and I just got a bunch of like weird looks the day after very confused. It's funny. How is that, you know how people and blogs. I'm so glad snow to have the Glock.

20:48 By yourself

20:51 What was your first crush? Okay. So this is a weird one because I'd have girlfriends already back and remember that when I was in high school. So in the UK you go to high school for from 11 until 15 or 16 depending on your birthday. So I know I was in high school and I'd like a few girlfriends already, but the person who I hide that maybe 14 and this was like my biggest crush in high school was the scale and I was like obsessed and I never told her and I just there was like that listening to that podcast gave me all these back flashbacks.

21:51 The one thing I've done was like I don't really know how I did this cuz I have a terrible memory by kind of like memorized kind of like class schedule. I like mine. And whenever we had like a class close together, I would be able to liked I'm leaving my class so that we would like just kind of like orchestrated. Yeah. I never I never told her that I like how to crush on her. And I know it would never know but one of the things I think he's really funny is even there like we would really like close friends. I like front close friend groups that on the last day of school everybody and there's like a tradition in the UK while you were everybody like sign Vita each other so you like right all over them. And if you don't really do any way I can prolong like takes loads of photographs not to tell if a paragraph normal.

22:51 How do I remember that? I had just like loads of photographs of like the pictures developed at Menards guy. Of Texas with Maya with my mom and she was like, who is this girl? She said pray pray bad fight ever. I never I never seen anything like on reflection. I feel like maybe that she might like me too because we used to like spend a lot of time together and stuff anyway.

23:38 So

23:40 More on that and I'll actually it may be able to change the subject.

23:48 Okay, what's something that you do that other people would think is with?

24:01 What's something I do other people think is weird?

24:07 I feel like General like the my living situations tend to be unusual for people. I think for the past maybe X 6 years. I've never lived alone and I've always had five or more roommates or housemates. I guess like currently I live in a house with nine other people previously before that. I was in the house if they are the people in the max. I was the first time I moved into Palo Alto. I was in a house with 23 other people my God, this looks like the the slums I would characterize it as so not like the mention of today since graduation. I miss you win $23 had three three bedrooms that one last bedroom was just for the owner and he had entire room for himself. Wow, and every

25:07 Dallas was in bunk beds inside at the three other rooms. So, you know, they'll be like three bunk beds for sick people in a room and you know, it was like a place is basically the cheapest housing I could have found in Palo Alto at the time. The rent was like I think like

25:27 $300 like a month fact that I needed that and I remember it fondly. There were a lot of those people were like Russian and Ukrainian in German, like sort of like not really migrant workers. But, you know people work in service level jobs, and I definitely so dumb open my eyes Tour cycling the thing that Evil Dead II disorder get by and gave me perspective and I also like I've visited quite a few of those people and I visited them in Germany. I'm going to Russia later this year. I'm hoping to get in touch with some of them and see how they're doing. So definitely for me like that experience open my life to like. Oh, I think I want to be surrounded by people that are different from me. I want to be surrounded by Nexus of multiculturalism and diversity and so ever since that I've lived in

26:27 What people classically called communes I guess, you know, everyone sort of pictures in Cooks does a chores to various degrees. It's not that it's not like always home by like sometimes like this, you know, it's for financial reasons people live together, right? It's hard to get a house these days in the Bay Area with housing prices so large, but for me, I wouldn't have it any other way just because the flag I got to do is actually get to see so many perspectives the world that's quite a long time to like not have lived alone. How do you feel when like hit where he is staying in a hotel or like any time that you've been in a house on your own? How do you eat? How do you feel? Yeah, I get physically fit like and I feel Restless. I have this like, I'm not a natural extrovert like but as an intro

27:27 Like just laying down and just being quiet around other activity is you know refreshing because I think my own personal essay is so like, and stay awake. Do you around that energy for the PS Vita energy to so I like seeking seeking out places with lots of lots of lots of people growing up. I think I call I want to go back to China because they're so many people. I'll never be alone.

27:57 Not sure if I do that.

28:04 Yeah, and right now I literally today I just found at least to move into this nonprofit in Palo Alto called Magic and then they've been doing the communal living a sort of Education with the Stanford Community for like over V forty years, like people have like some people in Magic have lived there for like 40 years and have their their families are that raise children and it's kind of like a different way of like growing up because I'm not drop by there for dinner at one of their visit. There's a pair of twins and and they lived in match of their entire life and they were giving like a biology presentation at a store like 18 year old girl is giving like the station to like group of Stanford grad students and then afterwards everyone's I could encourage her know how to give better presentations. Just like, you know, when I was 18, I was like playing flash.

29:04 Games on the internet didn't do you any harm.

29:20 I would like to ask you a deep personal question. How would you like to be remembered?

29:35 I'm not really sure. I think it's quite it's quite strange for me. I think like like you I'm I'm definitely like more of an introvert or an extrovert and I think in terms of like how I'd like to be remembered I think at first when you asked me that I was thinking about it as like the ground like scheme of things like how I'd like to be remembered I think I wouldn't really I don't think I'm somebody who kind of like craves any sort of attention all like I wouldn't really want to be remembered by like lots of people but in terms of like the people who already know me and like the way that I would like them to be with them to remember me, I think in terms of like the people who know me, I I'd really like

30:29 I'm going to have it. It sounds that way I'd I'd like to I would definitely like to be remembered as somebody who

30:37 Like in a lot of effort so like whatever is I do I like to think that I wouldn't yeah that people would always think that I was like so like professionally that people would remember me is like that I was always hard working on like I'm helpful, I guess and then yeah, I guess in terms of

31:00 Yeah, I know. I don't know. I don't I don't I don't think that I'm like super Griffin like a super driven person who's like Crush everybody in that in that path, but I think yeah, I guess I'd like to be remembered like fun play. I don't know. I think I think so. It makes me think like how cuz it makes you think about like how you should be behaving, you know, if you want if you want to be remembered in in the same way then you should probably behave like I said why so yeah, I don't really know. I'm not sure. He's like how I'd like to give him that I'm not sure how I would actually be remember this address of people who know me, but I guess yeah, I think

31:43 Did you have that weird this is going to maybe go deep now. Do you have a half. So about what would happen if you if you died, you know, like this is maybe like a dog saying that maybe I feel about before he's like axial who would who would go to your funeral and like what what kinds of things they would they would say and I guess the one thing that that I do think about when I thought about that he's just that I would really like to have like a lot of flak. I guess like touched a lot of people's lives there. Like I would I would hate to be someone who's like how you know, like a funeral why people don't nobody realized that I don't want to be like like well known and have like lots of T. I wouldn't want to be like how a famous person has a funeral in any way, but just that the people who I've met over over the years even like friends come by that like lots of people with turn off and they would have kind of like fun.

32:43 Loving memories is kind of like they only thing that went to half out there. I thought we had so it's like that's the only thing that I was like to have like lots of people unlike sharing stories of like having lots of fun. You know, like yeah, I guess I like it. To be like a really warm kind of like huge group of like all the people who I who I love in my life to be kind of too old to be that kind of like exchanging stories about my ex got nothing. So I guess that's how I'd like to be remembered if I can give a word of encouragement. I think you're doing a pretty good job. Well, then you better be at my funeral.

33:43 Okay, I'll get somebody else to hold you so that I wanted to ask you about him. I'm really interested in like obviously we work together one of the things I so have you seen the movie Office Space. I have. But what are the things they say that in America that you'll guidance counselor asked you is that they ask people when they're in school. What would you do if you had $1000000 and then apparently $1000000. I know it's not that much now we went and Tack I thought it was still a good number cuz he's not like winning the lottery. Why do you say you would do if you had $1000000 if you whatever example you gave us like something you would do then they'll be like, oh, how could we more sound like a profession for you? So if you had a

34:43 If you had $1000000, what would you do? Okay, I mean there's the Starkey real answer. I would give and then the actual answer is always the business if I think the

35:02 The actual answer and I think this discussion is getting thick. What do you want to do with your life? Right? I would put that money into allowing me and as many people as possible to sort of expand their like a perspectives on life and I sort of see that as I can or combination of travel and storytelling hearing other going to other places and hearing about their perspectives.

35:30 There's a show called sense8 on Netflix where you don't just a group of kids and they can also didn't like their empaths. They can all share the same feelings and thoughts of every other person. Like if someone's really embarrassed some else you can use close to that as possible for as many people as possible. Like we talked so much about life diversity and like a different different viewpoints and I think that like, you know, everyone of you with are valid and he don't once you're exposed to everything and then that's where you start, they in tours like an actual make a truce right as much as I can you sort of moral a relative truth can be

36:21 Would that be any black spiritual ass back to that? Like I know that you until your meditation to think that would fly apart. I think none of those spiritualism but but being able to be in tune with your own body on mine is a big part of getting a New Perspectives, you know, the easiest thing you can do is shift your own thoughts instead of like going to be like a $10 trip around the world, right? So I think the pickup place to start with most people spend so much time talking and we spend so much time externalizing to the world around us and sharing that people don't spend enough time looking inwards and I think that leads to a lot less understanding of ourselves. Would you lie to us understanding of others?

37:17 Evans behling on the spot just Ali leadoff from that. So he took the money out of the equation. If you could only welcome to this network, Identifix would have to tie multiple work cuz if it would know you haven't got the million dollars at him while I'm taking alphia all you've blown it all you all you put it in Crypt. If you could only work on one project the next year, what would it be?

37:54 I think if I were to work on one project for next year it would and it would be related to people sharing their stories how to start up a couple years back and it was about sharing your travel stories through video on through text. I think the reason I was drawn to that was because I think that's like what I wished I had in a world where there was a way I could just get the perspective of like a monk in Laos the perspective of some kid from Wales.

38:32 In the last few minutes that we have. I want to ask you.

38:41 What was the earliest memory this is one of the questions. I hope you are not saying no idea. I don't half like I don't have like a really like memorable like I leave memory. Okay. I don't know if that's weird people have asked me that in the past and I have got no idea. How do you remember what my earliest memory is?

39:23 I want this to be the last question, but if you could hold onto like one memory for the rest of your life and only that one memory, what would you choose?

39:36 Wow.

39:43 I see that I really stopped.

39:49 Dory I guess

39:56 All right, we're working on this project which is about cancer research. One of my one of my best friends. He was going okay over and he unfortunately he passed away three years ago.

40:14 He had a brain tumor and he

40:19 And both know they didn't make it. But yeah, I think if I could hold onto one memory, I would pay something related to him. Like he probably be something just really not know any like special moment. I think just I guess there was like some days I could party that he had at his house before where it was. Like it wasn't like a wild pie. It was just like a few close friends and we have wine and cheese and then at we just got in a bike shed stories and how to relieve hike just enjoy each other's company. I guess I'd really want to hold on today.

41:06 The memories of him before he got sick.

41:13 Thinking about that memory. What do you feel?

41:20 It is it is is out there like a weird thing but I have two same thing with like my granddaughter when he was sick. But the thing that made me think of those two like I go to give an example that like before

41:36 Like when I saw him before he died it was like it wasn't really like him.

41:45 So I just really wanted to remind pimple like how he how he was before he was.

41:54 I think it would be proud of you for saying that.

41:59 Text

42:10 So if we have to wrap up, I've got one question for the African history. So if you have to recommend one really amazing place to eat in Belfast, I think it's really important that we get to Belfast is the capital of Northern Ireland, which is not Ireland. It's part of the UK.

42:52 They're kind of like the south after UK, but they're Slightly North and Belfast Belfast is known for many things known for building the Titanic and then thinking it it's known for building to the Lorien and then plug into that company that is known for this place and ask them what to do in Belfast if they have to do one thing before you leave in the be like why is this

43:28 Mythical legendary Mexican restaurant where every day during lunch, there'll be lines like three blocks long for people lined up to get it and it would be people be wearing boot camp shirts their boojum sauce. And so I must be great. LOL like I was in the airport and like I asked when I was working and all my co-workers as I saved it for my last day in Belfast cuz I was so hype about it and you know what? I think the journey was better than the burrito physically a bit worse than Chipotle.

44:33 And that's where it's going to say to each other and believe you made me cry joke story. I think you told a lot of jokes to this is going to be a dumpster felt like it was great getting to know you better. I think that you are stories. I found all of them super interested. Thank you. Thanks.