Being Chinese

Since I’m from Vancouver and accustomed to excellent Chinese food, can you imagine what it would be like living in a place like Detroit?  That city sure isn’t well known for its food.   After I got married I lived there for a few years and at that time, there was perhaps a handful of good Chinese restaurants.  I went into the most popular one called Victor Lim’s, ordered Won ton noodles and when the waiter came back he handed me a soup bowl with perhaps 8 wontons and 5 pieces of barbecued pork.  I couldn’t believe it.  My stomach growled and I was starving.  I said, “Where’s the noodles?”   The waiter looked at me surprised and said, “That’s it.  That’s what you ordered.”  I said, “Wait a minute, I said wonton noodles.”  He looked at me, shook his head as if not understanding what I meant and said, “Oh, do you want me to bring you a bowl of hot noodles too?”  Betty laughed and said, “Go ahead.  You might as well order the hot noodles too.”   I started to pick up one wonton with my chopstick and it was tasty but this would never be enough since I was really hungry tonight.  It’s a good thing Betty suggested I order the noodles too.  I looked over at what she was eating.  She was quite happy with the chicken  fried rice but I could see that there wasn’t many ingredients in that either.  I realized then that if I wanted to eat good Chinese food I was going to have to make it myself.   Guess that’s what being Chinese is all about. 

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About valerieleeworks

Author of The Jade Rubies and A Long Way to Death Row, from many years of candid interviews with Charles Chi-tat Ng
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