That First Bowl of Pho
A couple of years before I began editing Boyle McCauley News, a friend took me to a restaurant in Chinatown and led me through the process of ordering and consuming my first ever bowl of pho soup. This was a triple first for me: dining in Chinatown, eating pho, and using chopsticks. Since then, I have become accustomed to engaging in all three of these activities. I always reflect on this experience in the context of it taking a friend to push me out of my comfort zone and introduce me to something new, fun, and delicious.
At other times, I have been that friend who has introduced new places and cuisines to others. One time, after lunch a friend and I ended up going to a gift store in Chinatown to purchase a set of chopsticks so my friend could practise using them, hopefully to get better at it for our next lunch adventure.
I am not sure how many people I have brought to the restaurants, stores, and events Boyle Street and McCauley have to offer, but I know that each person walked away with an experience they never would have tried if not for my encouragement and persistence. In some cases, they left with a new perspective on the neighbourhoods and have become return visitors.
Trying something new doesn’t have to be something extreme or require a great deal of effort or planning. It can be something simple, like taking someone to a new restaurant to try a kind of food they have never tasted. Sometimes these small things can make a huge impact. I’ll always remember that first bowl of pho and the subsequent life choices I made – like becoming editor of this paper.