" SpiritofSaltSpring:BC:Canada:GulfIslands:SaltSpring:Salt Spring:

December 05, 2009

Victoria's Chinatown: A Great Fast Food Experience

Yesterday I had a meeting in Victoria in the early afternoon. As usual, I was early, so I treated myself to lunch. I wanted  to eat somewhere as inexpensive as possible but with decent food of course.

The meeting was near Chinatown anyway so on what was a stunner of a day, I wandered around and discovered that there appears to be an "it" place right across from the CRD offices that serves up all sorts of spicey noodle boxes. It was too busy.

Next, I wandered back from where I'd come and saw a little hole in the wall (my favorite kind of place when I'm in the mood for that kind of thing). My instincts said the food would be good. It was quite crowded and it looked like it had been there since the 1930s. In fact, on a wall high above were two photos of Fisgard Street from a long time ago. Actually, it didn't look all that much different.

The ceilings were really high. The walls were covered with the ugliest gold embossed wallpaper that looks like it belongs in the bedroom at a really cheap brothel. There was a fishtank, a really big fishtank, sitting right in front of my table. I kept looking at the fish, all vibrant purples, whiter than whites and a little seal fish. At least that's what I'm calling it. This fish had the head of a cute little baby seal but it had the tail of a fish. That's weirder than all those mutant miniature dogs you see in Vancouver's West End. Unlike those dogs, the little seal fish was so cute. Are you confused? When all the polar ice caps finally melt to an even greater extreme will the real life-sized seals mutate into this form I wondered?

Across from me was an elderly chinese man was eating alone. I wondered if this was his Friday lunch outing. He was very well put together. Beside me a Chinese couple were eating their wonton. I enjoyed listening to them speak Mandarin (I think?) A woman cam in and sat next to me. She put all her cycling paraphenalia on the second chair at her table. I started talking to her and she spoke about how great it was to live in Victoria (she'd been there about 3 years) and be able to ride everywhere.

I was trying to eat my shrimp udon and feeling like the guy on the other side of the room was smiling to himself as I used  chopsticks the whole time to eat my soup to get at the noodles. Not exactly proper I guess. Like eating soup with a knife?

There was only one waitress who was clearly overworked in the craziness of the lunch rush and being near the door I could watch both the activity on the street, people comign and going to the vegetable stand across the street and the people coming in. I really enjoyed the bustle of it all and even better, I didn't know and had never seen a single one of these people.

After my meeting I wandered down to the harbour and it was so crisp and sunny everything sparkled. I then decided to go into The Empress and looked at all the Christmas trees decorated by different organizations placed throughout the hotel. I walked past the tea room and thought that one day that is something I want to do with friends. I want to have tea at The Empress Hotel with friends.

I used to think that I couldn't live in Victoria, that it was too boring. Now, each time I go, I"m beginning to think my mind is being opened to being changed. But, for now, it's a great day trip!

No comments: