Wednesday, May 19, 2010


Sometimes I head down to Chinatown on the weekends. Calgary's Chinatown is full of fat white guys looking for nerdy Asian girlfriends, business men power-walking between the crosswalks, and ancient Chinese folks that spit all over the street and smoke a million packs of strong cigarettes a day. There are places in this city where I feel like I can fully disappear into the crowd, and Chinatown is one of the few. When I need to feel like a nobody, this is where I go. I woke up a few Saturdays ago, after a few rough weeks, and knew what I had to do.

First of all, I've really been craving traditional Asian food lately. I'm not talking about fried rice with the frozen mixed vegetables, or sweet-and-sour anything, I'm talking about sticky glutenous rice and tentacles and things with the heads still on... As of late, I seem to have been able to turn off little disgusto-meter in my head, and have been rather adventurous with my menu choices. Perhaps my regular diet, which mainly consists of jelly donuts from Safeway, has grown old?

Secondly, where else can you buy bootlegged movies in this city? Let me re-phrase that: where else can you buy bootlegged movies in this city (that won't also get you stabbed in the neck)?
If you are seeking a rousing rainy-day activity, here is your answer: head down to Chinatown, and buy every Korean DVD with a man dressed as a baby on the cover- there's like a million of them! Just make sure they're subtitled; I have had many a confusing afternoon squinting at the TV trying to figure out why the Japanese cartoon dog in the movie has turned into a cool teacher at a prep school (I was able to figure out that he turned into a 'cool teacher', because of the sunglasses he was suddenly wearing, but why in the hell would they ever let a dog teach a math class?). Also, $3 movies about guys kicking things? Yes, please.

Thirdly, Chinatown is the cutest place in the city, hands down (although possibly tied with the zoo- when they have a new baby animal). Everything they have is a tiny version of an existing product (check out the picture of the tiny Coke can below!), or spelled improperly (they just can't seem to get it right!). I am totally obsessed with Asian candy. If I didn't hang out at the Chinese grocer across from my work so much, I probably could've taken all of the money that I have spent on Hello Kitty gumballs and flew to Japan to meet Hello Kitty herself by now.

Anyway, here's what I brought home this time:

In Chinatown, there are a million flavors of Kit Kat (most of which taste exactly like regular Kit Kat, but in prettier boxes). If you really try hard, you could almost taste a twinge of tea between the biscuits, but I'm pretty sure the flavor was mainly psychosomatic.
These tiny boxes each had a different candy. Most were rather chalky and boring, but there was one box that made all my dreams come true...
Stawberry-filled Smarties! Finally!

~sarah p.

p.s. Dylan and I leave in a few days for a week-long taco party in Mexico. I don't know much about Mexico, but I've always had an inkling that if I was ever on the lam, it would be a good place to hide. I will drink rivers of tequila and take a million naps and try on sombreros, and I would assume that I should be able to find a reasonably-priced bag of oranges down there (those Mexican dudes that stand beside the freeway in LA always have smoking deals on citrus fruits- imagine what happens if you go straight to the source!). Say goodbye to me now, I just may never return...