One of the cute places we stopped at while driving through BC was this little trader post store. M was (as usual) desperate for a coffee (he’s addicted) and on such a hot day it was nice to stop for a while.
This place was pure gold. Inside it had the most eclectic collection of things I’ve ever seen in a cafe/coffee shop. I guess that’s why trading post is a more appropriate name for it. There was everything from Guatemalan bead jewellery (fair trade I believe) to map books, jams and preserves, bags and hats to ceramic tiles.
But what I found most fascinating were the pictures on the walls, hung there not for sale, but just for history. They were black and white photographs depicting life from the early 1900s, photographs of the original Chinese family (the Lom family) who lived and worked there from about 1900, a picture of the road (highway 3) when there had been a major flood that washed it away etc.
Once M got his coffee, we went and sat outside. There was a partial shed area with outdoor tables and chairs so you could sit in the shade and still enjoy the heat (it was low 30s this day – celcius). Coloured lights were strung up and potted flowers provided more colour.
You’ll notice there is a woman sitting in this photo on the right hand side. Her and I got talking. Her daughter was working behind the counter inside the shop, and she was waiting for her husband to come and pick her up. She talked to me about the photos of the family inside the shop. The Chinese family who had originally owned the building had run it as a laundromat for many years. Her husband had attended primary school with one of the daughters. She also told me how she remembered the primary school before it was turned into shops.
Seems like if you get the right person talking and they are in the mood you can learn a lot more than simply having a cup of coffee.
Another thing I saw, which I thought was really cool and reminded me of my mum, was an old ringer washing tub that had been turned into a flower pot. I remember my mum using something similar when I was a little kid. It must have taken her hours to stand there and wring the clothes out through the roller… As a kid you simply don’t realise how much time these things take.