My visit to Vancouver also gave me the opportunity to arrange a meeting with one of my cousins, on my mother's side, that I only discovered the existence of about 3 months ago. It was while thinking about all the small family restaurants in the Canadian prairies that I suddenly realized that it was highly likely that my aunt and her family, who I had never met, operated one of these ubiquitous Chinese cafes. As luck would have it, one cousin had moved to Vancouver so we had a wonderful get-acquainted meeting one evening during my visit.
At the end of May, I got to participate in a wonderful event that involved a Chinese dinner at a long-standing restaurant in Vancouver's historic Chinatown on Pender Street, Foo's Ho Ho. The traditional village foods were featured on the menu. Over 100 supporters of the restaurant, which is facing stiff competition from newer and bigger restaurants in other parts of town, came to dinner and to hear 3 "laundry kids," Elwin Xie, author Judy Fong Bates, and myself, talk about life as we experienced it growing up in the laundries that our parents operated. It was an enthusiastic audience and everyone enjoying learning about and sharing some Chinese immigrant history.