|Chinese Night Market in Victoria, June 12, 2013|
“It isn’t fair. I didn’t do anything I wanted to do.”
“I know. Now time for a bath.”
“A complete waste of a day.”
He didn't go take a bath. He went straight to bed. Exhausted.
|"That guy has the best view of the street market," said Duncan|
Did you know that Victoria has the biggest Chinatown next to the one in Toronto? Or that in 1900, 95% of all Chinese people in Canada lived in Victoria? Or that Chinatown has one full block which has never been restructured – it is as it was when it was built at the turn of the last century.
I know all of this from listening to tapes at the Royal British Museum yesterday, or from reading Danda Humphrey’s Government Street: Victoria’s Heritage Mile.
|... Duncan trying the sticky rice ...|
“I can’t believe I have to say I have none,” she wrote back.
I went to Moores, a local bookstore mentioned in the book above, bought the book, and began to study what I planned to see downtown before I leave.
An absolutely charming harbour, a couple of blocks of touristy (touristic, as they say on the ships) shops, and old buildings ... at least old for this island.
|... fudge in a cup for dessert at Victoria Harbour...|
|... 66 flavours and the top choice is bubble gum ...|
I don’t blame him for being mad.
I was at one of those intersections where I didn’t know if I should go north, east, south or west.
My idea was to ask some street people on the corner, since these blocks are their front room. They should know.
Duncan thought we should get a taxi and go right home.
A skate boarder told us to head out through the park and Duncan felt that at least all was not lost if it was that close.
|... whales in leaves outside The Empress Hotel ...|
I dragged that poor kid through dry good shops. His eyes were burning due to the smoke from a charcoal fire over which hot dogs were cooking (why were they called Smokin Bones, I wonder).
I ducked into a Chinese dry goods store to save his life. We did see that famous good luck cat that perpetually waves his arm – all sizes and shapes of those, but wanting none, we moved on. The owner was mopping his floor – all six isles were wet. I estimate his mop solution was ¼ bleach. By this time Duncan thought he was choking to death for another reason.
|... local town councilor and Duncan ...|
|... one man band at the harbour ...|
Duncan and I sat on a bench in front of Bay 3 on Government Street – the place I have been catching the bus home. After a 40 minute wait I went to a nearby idling bus and asked if the #27 had finished its route for the night.
“No, it is still running but it doesn’t stop at the Government Street stop after 5 pm.”
I brought that news back to Duncan and the photographer with whom we had been chatting. The chatting began when Duncan told me that he doesn’t like street musicians, for he feels they are begging. I told him how hard it is to be a musician and make money, how few gigs a person gets – not enough to make a living, usually. We should think about that when we aren’t tolerant of them. The photographer told us that both of his appointments had cancelled for the day, so he had brought his equipment downtown, but had no work.
|... the fawn that walked right in front of us on the way home ...|
These things just happen in Victoria!
Duncan said, “Why do you laugh when these terrible things happen to us?”
"I just didn’t feel that ours had been that bad a day"