thanks to ydhsu for the pic
This past weekend we decided, to hell with curfews, likely meltdowns, a napalm powered cranky toddler with lungs of a robotic screaming dinosaur, we were going out. OUT. As in, out of the home! When it's nighttime! We are a young and semi-but-not-really-free family! We can do whatever the heck we want! Maybe even swear, or eat fast food! Course, we didn't want to go too crazy. It's not like we were going out to the local indie movie festival followed by a Slam Poetry competition and finished by a after-hours rave at a disused grain elevator. But, you know, something semi-exciting!
We settled on the Richmond Night Market. Apparently the largest night market in Canada, which, is, well I'm not sure that's saying all to much. In a country where the weather is lethally cold, malarially humid, or 'meh, you call this summer!?', I'm not sure we can say we lead the charge in Night Market..ing.
Richmond, for those of you who don't know, is an expanse of flat land which goes in every direction as far as the eye can see, or to the mountains, whichever comes first. It's population is overwhelmingly Chinese, even for the Lower Mainland. This is like saying Zimbabwe is overwhelmingly African, even for Africa. Or that parts of America are overwhelmingly armed, even for America. There are parts of Richmond that have, I think, nothing but signs in Chinese. These swaths of the city desperately need an Occidental Town, where people can buy pot roast and overpriced but on the non-legal action side of the law merchandise.
Where was I?
Ah, Richmond Night Market. Where every form of trinket and bauble can be bought, cash, no refunds, 'tax included'. If you're into Hello Kitty or Asian cinema at all, this is the place to be. If you are wondering what people do when they buy commercial-grade 28 slot DVD copiers, well, this is the place for you too. If you are in the market for cheap knockoffs that most likely will disintegrate in your hand if exposed to rain, sunlight, wind, or, you know, use, then come on down!
The entire ground is packed with enterprising souls with a contact in Hong Kong and the ability to set up an outside awning. They have that look of 'it's my father's tent, I just want to go to the mall, but I'll pretend to mind the shop'.
The food fair is where it's at, however all manner of Vietnamese, Korean, Chinese or fusion cuisine you can think of. Dim sum? Got it. Bubble tea? Is there any other kind!? Oddly cut fried potato on a stick? You betcha! Mini-donuts? Why not! It's a place where MSG, adult-onset diabetes, and mild angina get together for a PARTY!
It was a nice get away, if hot. We saw, and those of you who are new parents will giggle in recognition, the sun set for the first time in... well, it felt like years. There were no meltdowns, oddly, and thankfully, enough. The food punishing to the body but awesome. I think we got some trinkets, which have since been lost, tossed, or spontaneously exploded under a stern stare.