The almost hole-in-the-wall shop is run by a small built old Chinese lady who carries herself rather seriously. She is the no-nonsense type who gives an aura that warns you not to cross her, lest she leaps from behind the counter and claws your face. Yet she is courteous enough and not at all challenging to speak with. The whole process of measuring and choosing the frames were done relatively quickly and without flip-flopping around irrelevant choices, which is how I prefer (I hate shopping). When the dimensions and materials were finally decided, she took out her scummy looking battery operated calculator and started punching. I said to her "A-yi (auntie), give me a good price, ok." To which she responded flatly "ok."
"Everything $224...with 10 percent discount already," she said matter-of-factly after 15 seconds of calculating.
I almost laughed and told her to stop kidding around. After all, I thought, isn't she too old and stoic to sling an April Fool's joke at a stranger? She demanded $224, whereas Aaron and his brother(s) wanted $1,500++.
I was not in the mood to waste my breath for twenty bucks less here or there…I just wanted the paintings done. So I gave her my credit card before she changes her mind and exclaims April Fool! I said I'll pay half now and half later. She refused my credit card and said "Just pay all next week. You pay 2 times, I get charge fee 2 times." No complain on my side, though I assume that she might be operating with a slim margin. Her shop is located in a high-rent building. I said my thank you, and as I was about to cower out of her store, she called me back in commandingly.
"Parking ticket! Validate for you!"
By the way, seen this stand up session by Russel Peters, an Indian Canadian comedian? :)
Whenever I visit the Chinatown, I can't resist not peeking into Wing Hop Fung, even though there is nothing I need (well, ok, I hate shopping, but not too much). I noticed that they redecorated their tea department with wood panels and shelves to make it look boutique-y. Their tea selections are more or less the same, though.
I like to browse at their teaware selections, which are decently priced, comparatively speaking. This time, I came across a small bamboo tea tray (24 x 15 x 6cm) that I thought would be perfect for traveling. It's small and light enough to be carried in a carry-on bag. It is also relatively well made. The best part is…it’s only eight bucks. I took one home. Not a bad find, me think.