William Lin sits on a stool behind the counter reading about hope. It's early Saturday evening in April 2011, and he has printed a copy of Barack Obama's 2009 inaugural address. The white papers with alternating paragraphs of English words and Chinese characters are splayed out in front of him between a container of 10-cent caramels and box of pepperoni sticks. Lin's Toronto convenience store is quiet around dinnertime, save for the fridges in the back that buzz like an empty stomach. He reads under the fluorescent light through wire-framed glasses atop his freckled nose:
In the face of our common dangers, in this winter of our hardship, let us remember these timeless words. With hope and virtue, let us brave once more the icy currents, and endure what storms may come.