Creating One’s Own Ghetto

There have been a lot of Chinese people settling in Richmond, British Columbia. There are commercial areas that are largely Chinese. Among the names bandied about on this is “Lichmond”.

But it is not just the Chinese who are responsible for this.

In the fall of 2003, I was on a co-op work term at a company in Richmond. I rented a room in a house that was just off No. 3 Road (Richmond’s main street). To get to work, I would bus north to the Richmond bus loop in downtown Richmond then catch another bus to go further north then east. In the evening, I would reverse this.

Where I was staying, I was responsible for getting my own supper. Early in my work term, I noticed a Chinese restaurant near the main bus loop on No. 3 Road. I had spent ten weeks in China on another co-op work term the year before and was hoping to get some of the food I had enjoyed.

I did not get exactly what I had had, but I got something good. I was never treated other than politely in my visits. I was in there many times.

Despite this restaurant being right by the bus loop and on a main street, I only ever once saw another non-Chinese in the restaurant and he was with a group of Chinese.

Go figure.

Often, we create our own ghettos.