Thursday, April 19, 2012

Chinatown and Beyond!

Our first morning in NorCal, mom and I hit a thrift store! (So the monster emerges!) We are only there for a few minutes as I needed a new purse (the strap on my other one was breaking), but mom promised we would go back- later.

So we're driving towards the Golden gate bridge and parts of it are shrouded in fog. I am now concerned about my wardrobe choices for the weekend. However, it seems to have worked out, as the weather man reported San Francisco to be quite warm. Yay! Concerns abated.

Grandma couldn't eat after noon, so went straight to our favorite Dim Sum house- called Banquet. It was crammed full of Chinese people all talking at once. The only table that opened up right away was a big round table that seated eight, but the server directed us there, so our little party of three sat down and began to order.

About fifteen minutes into the meal, another party of three joined our table! A little Asian family: a mother, father, and teenage daughter. And I thought to myself, "this is going to be interesting." As I watched our food mix together on the lazy Susan. They kept to themselves, speaking to one another in their native tongue. The girl kept getting worked up over one thing or another, laughing one moment and indignantly tittering in the next. It was rather intimidating with them sitting right there. I could just imagine them laughing at my poor attempts to use those chopsticks and chuckling at our "safe" orders.

We were the only white people in the whole restaurant. It was interesting. The nonsensical Chinese chatter was strangely comforting, but I also felt like an alien in that place. Outsider. Foreigner. White-y. As if my tiny 25% Chinese heritage meant nothing because my skin is not dark.

It is a very humbling feeling.

After we ate, we checked into the hotel. Grandma wanted to lay down and take a nap, so mom and I went on an adventure.

She took me to Chinatown! ^-^ It was incredible! The pictures of the tall buildings are in the financial district which we passed through on our way to Chinatown.

In Chinatown proper, there were so many neat shops! It's the year of the dragon, so the vendors pulled out the stops on everything. We went from shop to shop, looking at all the trinkets, buying some, passing over many more. As I ran my fingers through silky fabrics, I debated whether or not I could get away with wearing a Chinese dress without looking costume-y. I regretfully decided that I couldn't pull off the look. (the employees trying to sell the dresses were disappointed also.) But I did buy a beautiful summer scarf with blue flowers on it. It was a steal for four bucks.

We walked up and down the street, stepping into souvenir shops, and wok shops, and kite shops. The place was so exotic and alive with color and sound- dragon murals, the tones of Chinese employees talking to one another, and the rustle of people along the street. We passed a park where small groups of old men were playing games at tables and yelling in their familiar yet unrecognizable dialects.

Mom and I had a great time. And it was totally worth the sky-high parking fees and less than stellar (bad) boba tea we got. The sushi we got for dinner also helped the boba tea. But we've taken so many food pictures already, they deserve their own post.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thanks for leaving a comment! They make me smile! ^-^