Friday, July 20, 2012


This past month I’ve been privileged to teach two English classes on the Cal Lutheran University campus. It’s part of a program called Upward Bound, which helps high school students, from various parts of Los Angeles, needing that extra leg up. The kids are terrific and it’s been an extremely rewarding experience.
            Yesterday, my teaching assistant and I were permitted to “tag along” as our students, who are also taking a class in Chinese culture, were brought to Chinatown by their two instructors.
            I haven’t been to L.A.’s Chinatown in ages and going by bus rather than having to drive was a particular treat for me. (I’ve always enjoyed bus and train rides --- allows one time to space out).
            When we arrived, we went immediately to a temple. Here, we approached the alter (laden with offerings such as meat and fresh fruit) and partook in a custom involving sticks, stones, and luck.  Fortunately, the number I chose was a lucky one (at least that’s the interpretation I received).
            From there we did some shopping at a nearby plaza and visited a local grocery store. There were an assortment of teas, dried shrimp, and just about anything you’d expect to find at an Asian market.
            We dined at a restaurant called Empress Pavilion where apparently President Clinton and President Bush both dined (at different times I’m assuming).
            The food was ordered for us by our knowledgeable teachers, Christina and Debbie, and it was a feast: numerous appetizers, main courses, and side dishes (noodles, dim sum, lemon chicken, shrimp etc.)
            We shopped a little more and then it was time to return to our ‘normal lives’.
            As I looked around at women walking by,  carrying umbrellas to shield them from the sun, I was reminded how diverse Los Angeles is.

Have a great weekend, and thanks for joining me on Rhodes Less Traveled.


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