I had an appointment at 2PM near the International District, so I decided to get there a couple hours earlier for lunch and to pick up a few things.
The International District (aka the I.D.) really is more of a Chinatown (or Asiatown could be closer to the truth?).
There is this literally fishy store where we buy our fish food. It's in a back alley, it is cramped and dark with tons of aquarium tanks. A really sweet older guy with a great smile runs the place. It looks like the whole thing could have been part of the movie Existenz. So I stopped there first for my $7.00 mega bulk bag of fish flakes that will last into the next decade.
As I walked from there, I crossed paths with a 'Free Tibet' protest.
After they moved passionately on their way, I trudged on past chinese herbal shops, bubble tea hangouts and on to Fu-Lin, a tasty Guangdong province restaurant that serves tasty Chinese bento boxes, complete with hot & sour soup and tea:
I got the bean curd with vegetables. The mushrooms, bamboo shoot and black fungus are so yummy in that dish. And they have these little teeny samosa-type things that add the perfect unhealthy counterpoint to the rest of the veggie-filled box.
From there I went to Ten-Ren, my favorite Chinese tea shop. The woman there is super-nice. I walked in just to pick up some tea, but I got invited to sit down with a group of ladies and drink tea with them.
I have no idea who they were, but they were so welcoming. We tasted and talked about the merits of each tea. I left at 20 till so I wouldn't be late for my appointment.
There is always something to discover in the I.D., and this day was no exception. Sigh.