See the statue of the cat that I’m holding? You may recognize it if you frequent Asian establishments. It’s usually near the cash register or in the window of the store. I discovered the meaning of why the cat has one paw raised while I was doing a presentation for Asian Heritage Month at Children’s World Academy last Friday. My friend and co-presenter, Walter, explained that the cat is beckoning people to enter the store. The cat is holding a coin in its other paw, a sign that people should enter and spend money. It was as much a revelation to me as to the kids. Continue reading →
It’s time for another New Year celebration! The ball won’t be dropping in Times Square and there won’t be a countdown to midnight, but there will be festivities and firecrackers in Chinatown on Sunday. Continue reading →
The first time I heard of Ian Hamilton and the Ava Lee series was a few years ago at the Blue Metropolis Festival here in Montreal. I was scouring the schedule deciding who to see when I spotted his name and the description of Ava Lee, the main character, a Chinese-Canadian forensic accountant. What? There was a crime series featuring a Chinese-Canadian woman? I had to go hear what Hamilton had to say.
I finally got around to reading the first book a few weeks ago when my friend and blogger, Tranquil Dreams, lent it to me. Ava Lee is a forensic accountant and has a partner in Hong Kong simply Continue reading →
Saturday night, my family had an emergency meeting of sorts. Our favorite Chinese restaurant, Papa Jackie, is closing for renovations for two months as of May 8th. My brother sent out a text alert Thursday announcing that he had made supper reservations for Saturday night at six o’clock. We responded quickly like any dutiful family member would when there’s a promise of a good meal. So there we were, eleven of us, squeezed around a table for ten. Every table in the restaurant was reserved and most likely, so was the next seating at eight. Continue reading →
I thought I’d kick it off by introducing an author I met last summer in Ottawa at a book festival called Prose in the Park (read the post here.) Melissa Yuan-Innes, a.k.a. Melissa Yi, is an emergency doctor and the author of a doctor-detective series that is set right here in Montreal. I purchased the first book Code Blues and enjoyed it so much I bought the second, Notorious D.O.C. I’m officially hooked. It’s no surprise to me Continue reading →
I dropped by Chinatown this afternoon where the celebrations for the New Year were taking place. The Montreal Chinese Lion Dance Club was performing the ritual dance in front of various stores in Chinatown to wish them luck and good fortune for the new year. Here’s a short clip.
I wish you all good fortune for the Year of the Rooster!
To celebrate the arrival of 2017, my friends and I checked out the free festivities at the Old Port. I’ve spent many New Year’s Eves on a sofa with the remote control watching the ball drop in Times Square and fireworks around the world. This time, I decided it would be a good start to the New Year to get off the sofa, put on the long underwear, and brave the cold and the crowds. Continue reading →
One evening in Beijing, my tour group had supper at a family home located in a hutong. A hutong is an old residential neighborhood. Many were bulldozed in the name of progress and replaced with skyscrapers, but apparently, the Chinese government put a stop to it in order to preserve those that remain. This was an opportunity to see a private home, and get away from the bland meals served by the restaurants that catered to tour groups, even if it was only for one evening.
To get there, we took an old mode of transportation: a rickshaw. There was at least a dozen of them lined up along a wide street waiting for passengers and we would need all of them for our group. The drivers happily helped us climb in and when everyone was seated and photos taken, the rickshaws rolled out one after the other, like a wagon train rumbling across a frontier. Continue reading →
Language was definitely an issue for me in China. When sales people started talking to me in Mandarin, I’d stop them and ask if they spoke English. Luckily, there would be another customer close by who stepped forward to translate. So being a Chinese in China who couldn’t speak the local language, I found some local signs amusing, even if it was just a typo. My favorite is the last one. Continue reading →