I didn't grow up in Chinatown. Neither did my mother and father. My ancestors didn't come to North America to pan for gold or build the railroad. No one in my family paid a head tax. Chinatown was just a place we visited every weekend to stock up on supplies. Even still, this neighbourhood, this community, this place we call "Chinatown" has become very near and dear to my heart.
A somewhat awkward, bespectacled Chinese man by the name of Xiao Wang wandered onto the stage of Holland's Got Talent. The PhD student announced he would perform a rendition of "La donna è mobile" from Verdi's Rigoletto. And that's when Judge Cornelis Willem Heuckeroth, who goes by the nickname Gordon, cracked his first joke: "Which number are you singing? Number 39 with rice?"
Obviously, the face of B.C., quite literally, is changing. Immigrants account for 45 per cent of the population in Vancouver, 52 per cent in Surrey, 59 per cent in Burnaby and 70 per cent in Richmond. Immigrant populations are rising everywhere, even in the whitest regions of the province. And they aren't buying what the NDP is selling. Big government. Vast social programs. Union allegiance.
I had spent a whole afternoon scribbling on the entry hall wall, up the staircase wall and onto the second floor sitting room wall. In those days, the discipline of choice for Chinese families was the bamboo cane feather duster. That too, I remember painfully well. So it is with much affection that I open and dedicate my graphic novel, Escape to Gold Mountain, to Granny with her words: "David! Stop drawing on the walls! When you grow up, you had better still not be drawing cartoons!"