Just for Fun
The Newly-Rich Mushroom
by Beatrice; April 20, 2009
When I was in China, there were tons of stories of something worth one dollar that when brought back from some foreign flea markets were found to be worth a million times more. So, when I saw the advertisement “Since 2002, the Vancouver Flea Market has been hosting Antique and collectable shows. . .” the word “antique” attracted my eyes. I couldn’t stop dreaming of becoming a newly-rich mushroom.
Last Sunday, with God’s mercy, it was really sunny. We were excited and therefore started our exploration.
The market looked like a huge warehouse from outside and required tickets.
“You need to pay for a museum, too, if you want to see real antiques.” This was how I explained it to my husband, still dreaming of finding real treasures there.
We stepped into the warehouse, headed to a food court, and smelled rancid cooking oil that drifted into my nose. People around me were mostly shabbily dressed. I could even smell oily, unwashed hair and see dandruff on their shoulders. Five minutes later, just after my nose started getting used to this torment, my husband had already started complaining. No pain, no gain! I forced him to continue.
“The air here is killing me. I can’t breathe,” he said, “Everything is mouldy.”
“That’s the smell of antiques.” I still didn’t want to give up.
“See that pair of funky shoes. Your antique is here,” he frowned, pointing to a pair of muddy shoes, and covered his nose .
I didn’t want to breathe harder, so I didn’t argue. But, you have to suffer for what you want.
Twenty minutes passed, and I felt really dizzy from a lack of fresh air. The market was full of weird things: brand new Chinese knives; one dollar lady’s hair accessories; vulgar doodles; unexplained cell phones and watches; creepy second hand shoes and clothes. . . .
I was interested in some stained lamps and jars, but they were too dirty to touch.
Suddenly, the lights went off. The barks that kicked up immediately in different languages somehow reminded me this was Canada and here might not be the right place to stay.
“I have to go out to have a cigarette before I get any more frazzled.” I believed he was dying.
I followed him closely and heard my dream of being a newly-rich mushroom burst like a soapy bubble.