Sunday, September 17, 2006

Comfort Food - West End Style

The blog below started out to be this one but it got away from me. So now I'm writing the story I started out with and hopefully I won't get sidetracked again.

My daughter arrived back in Vancouver after almost a year spent living and traveling in in southeast Asia, Australia and New Zealand. She showed up a few days early so everyone who would have gone to the airport to pick her up was at work. In fact she didn't tell anyone she was back (but that's another story). So she wandered around, dropped her stuff at a friend's place, then called me in the afternoon. We agreed to meet for dinner wherever she wanted.

She chose Kam's Singapore Cuisine on Davie. Now, Kam's has been around for a long time. The food is sort of a mix of Thai but with a hint of something or other. Spicy or not, hot or not, noodles, coconut steamed rice, meat, fowl, fish, veggie, fast, friendly, fair pricing. You can order anything on the menu - it's all good. Bring a hanky or tissues for the sniffles, especially if you order the Hot and Sour Soup. It's delicious but your nose will drip.

Kam greets everyone at the door - most gracious, always with a smile and his signature 'Howaya!' when you enter. Which should be by 6 pm any day of the week or risk a variable waiting time. Staff are really friendly and if you've been there more than twice in three years, I swear they remember you!

Well, the traveling gal and I go through the hugs and tears and the I missed you's. People at the other tables are all happy because she's got there early and they've overheard her speak about her travelling while chatting with the hosts and servers (who of course recognized her after a whole year!) Told ya! But that's not the good part.

The good part is, when she said, "I'll have the usual, please", she got it without having to list it.

And the usual? Deep Fried Tofu appetizers, Crispy Ginger Beef, Mixed Seasonal Veggies with Peanut Sauce and Steamed Coconut Rice (steamed in banana leaves). Beer, too. Enough for 4 people so there is always a doggie bag when ordering for 2.

Monday, September 11, 2006

Friendly Neighbourhood Cops - Only in Vancouver?

I'm helping someone move into a new apartment a block away. The movee is hauling a huge suitcase full of stuff. Attached to that case is a slightly smaller one that is also stuffed full of things. Over her arms she also has more bags stuffed full of things. At least the suitcase has sturdy wheels so that pulling the cases thru a back lane, up past the sushi place and the video store, around the corner, across the street is manageable. Until we get to the front of the building. There are some stairs to negotiate and it just isn't going to happen! I can't help because my arms are full, too.

Off to one side is a policeman talking to someone who might be a buddy, a neighbour, a dealer, whatever. On the sidewalk, a sturdy bicycle with a cart attached. It is holding and or is surrounded by luggage, a backpack and some green garbage bags with clothes. Maybe someone is being evicted? Anyway, in the middle of all this the cop sees we are struggling with the double suitcase, runs over, lifts the suitcase up the steps, very polite, very helpful.

So we continue up the sidewalk to the building entrance and another cop is coming out of the building. She holds the door open for us, while trying to keep track of the guy she's leaving the building with.

As the door closes behind us I hear the one officer telling the other their next stop is to get a prostitute off Davie Street. He's bothering the tourists. Just another beautiful warm sunny Saturday in the West End.

Thanks for helping, eh!