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...a glimpse into life on Vancouver Island, needle felting, photography, food, gardening, etcetera...etcetera
"Happiness always looks small when you hold it in your hands, but let it go, and at once you learn how big and precious it is."
Maxim Gorky

Friday, August 5, 2011

Last request...

 When asked what they wanted to do on their last day with me, 
my nieces both agreed a trip to Chinatown was in order.
No arm twisting on my part...I love any excuse to go poke around in Victoria.
ESPECIALLY Chinatown.
Although the main attraction is only a few square blocks,
it is a plethora of weird and wonderful sights, smells and sounds.
It's hard not to miss the entrance...
Known as 'The Gate of Harmonious Interest' it was built in our sister city
in China, Suzhou and has gorgeous detail everywhere you look...
Up above, in the apartments, if you listen carefully, you can hear the shuffling
of Mah Jong tiles and the chatter of gambling...
Back in the day, my mom told me stories of how scary and dangerous Chinatown used to be.
Fan Tan Alley was a private walkway which led to opium dens, cock fighting
and strange goings ons...not a place for little white girls!
 It's known for how long and narrow it is and in it's present day incarnation, it's full of wonderful
shops...quite safe for these girls...
The shops hold treasures of all shapes and sizes...
...and the food!!!
oodles of noodles...
...tons of rice...
...sauces to drown in...
...whole dried fish anyone?...
...a tea for everyday of the year...
...aisles and aisles of just, plain "what's that for?"...
...like this...
Whole ginger root in syrup. I couldn't resist the lovely blue jar and took some home to try!
Veggies...mysterious...mesmerizing...
Once a huge laundry factory, now being turned into downtown loft living...
Some landmarks still operate the same as they ever did...
 This place has been here since before I was a girl.
Some have become local hangouts...
And so we come away with a shopping bag full of goodies.
Some we've had and some are new to us but one thing about Chinatown is that
it's another world, a different culture, a beautiful way to spend the day.


3 comments:

gz said...

:-)

the wild magnolia said...

WOW. I was thrilled to tag along. Great share and great pictures.

Cobalt Violet said...

Great photos Kerry! Love them. That first one with it's pop of color ... the shop with the lantern and birdcage puts me right there!
I love going to China Town here.
My framer is there and that is my excuse to go walk around and get almond cookies. :)