Wednesday, January 06, 2010

random notes (boxing day edition)

Steamed Bok Choy

Better delayed than never...

Boxing Day 2009 started with a tradition Amy and I have followed for several years, dim sum at Wah Court in Windsor. We had barely sat down before making our first choice off the trays. I wasn’t sure if Sarah would enjoy her favourite dim sum accompaniment, steamed bok choy (the closest item on the online menu was “fresh vegetable with oyster sauce”), but not only was she able to order a plate without any fuss, she received her favourite sweet soy dipping sauce without having to give a thorough explanation of what it was. Amy and I thought the rest of our dishes tasted better than usual, especially the sticky rice.

Sticky Rice

To burn off the steamed delights, we drove over to Devonshire Mall to check out the mayhem. With manageable traffic and parking spots in sight, we drove in via an outer lot. While passing by the edge of a row, I saw a car pull out and no one apparently lined up to grab the spot—there were vehicles, but they appeared to be waiting for spots further along the line. I say “appeared” because as soon as I slipped in, the driver of one of those other vehicles made it verbally clear I had taken something he felt was his, even if their position and signalling indicated otherwise. I sat tight and stared ahead, determined not to make any false moves, and hoped the other vehicle would move on and direct their frustration at somebody else.

No dice.

Whenever Sarah cast a backward glance, the offended driver yelled with a tone that indicated he was prepared to sit there until the spot was his. With no desire to become a police statistic the second we opened the doors, I pulled out of the spot and let Mr. Holiday Aggression have his moment of glory. Shaking, I considered leaving the mall entirely but found a spot near the Crescent TV exit that no one was fighting over.

(This wasn’t the only cranky shopper we encountered over the holidays. While in a suburban Detroit Whole Foods the next day, a blur in a blue jacket rushed by us as we browsed the dairy case. The blur loudly complained that we were in their way as they went to meet the rest of their party, even though we weren’t blocking the aisle. Mom determined there wasn’t something quite right with the blur—I doubt they heard her response.)

Once inside, the mall was crowded but navigable. Several stores restricted entry to small groups—such precaution may have been required earlier in the day, but not by the afternoon. A peek inside the window of one shop made the cynics in us wonder if this tactic was carried on in an attempt to create a mystique to draw in teenagers, even if the crowd inside wouldn’t make a fire inspector blush or overextend the sales staff.

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