The last five weeks, I was unplugged: no email, no Facebook, no Youtube, except when I went into town once a week, for an hour.
So it was highly amusing, when I invited my friend The Camera Dude for dim sum, and he created a Facebook group called “Yum Chah” complete with its own theme song.
People say digital social networking separates and isolates us all. But this is a guy who creates instant community via computer and cellphone. In no time at all there were six people happily slurping up dumplings and all manner of deep fried things around our big round table in a cavernous dim sum palace on Dundas West, the Forestview This. Is. One. Of. The. Last. Old. School. Places. Left. For Dim. Sum. said Camera Dude. My. Ma. Comes. Here. Every. Day.
I looked around. Faded carpets, yellowing walls. But the dim sum trolleys glittered with their wealth of deliciousness: I had a garlicky shrimp and spinach dumpling that had me groaning with delight. Camera Dude pointed out all the Chinese grannies ruling various tables, surrounded by generations of descendants. The tough-faced women running the trollies flirted with Camera Dude; someone brought him his special chrysanthemum tea on the house.
Dim. Sum. Doesn’t. Work. With. Less. Than. Three. People. said Camera Dude, firmly. He’s right; you need to have critical mass so you can order a dazzling variety of stuff.
I had been floating in this city since coming back from The Remote Island, unmoored. A round table, good food, and a gathering of artists and dumpling lovers grounded me, reminded me I was home.