Which station is Chinatown

Susanne L. Born

Most of the 60,000 Chinese resident in London today live all over the city. They go about their business in isolation from one another - mostly the "catering business": The Chinese food, which is so popular with the British, is prepared in a small shop and is picked up by customers there or delivered on a scooter.

The Chinese only come together on special occasions such as birthdays, the Chinese New Year and weddings. Your meeting point is Chinatown, a manageable neighborhood in Leicester Square that seems to be slowly drifting into a state of neglect. Even the oriental kitschy archways and the pagoda-style telephone booths cannot save much. Chinatown is almost overwhelmed by the number of restaurants it has.

Some offer dim sum, Cantonese canap├ęs, rolled from table to table on serving trolleys - and because of the intensity of the work, the Chinese housewives are particularly popular outside the home. The restaurants also offer all kinds of regional specialties: from Szechuan to Beijing, from canton to Mongolia, from Hunan to Shanghai. If you are looking for a quality criterion when choosing a restaurant, you should make sure that mainly Chinese people stop there. Like "Jen", a tea salon on Gerrard Street, where hot jasmine tea and delicious soups are sipped.

Treatment with tiger penis and antelope horn

In the "San Ling" health centers, traditional Chinese medicine promises relief for asthma, impotence, colds and many types of skin diseases. The doctors, as the diplomas hanging on the walls attest, have completed clinical training in Europe as well as Chinese. The treatment at Dr. Teresa Cheung begins with an unconventional set of questions (How often do you drive a car? Do you earn well?), And then goes on with an intensive inspection of the body. The diagnosis: a tea is prescribed that consists of all sorts of strange ingredients. Dried tiger penis and ground antelope horn are also included ...

In the entrance areas of the houses threatened by decay, cardboard signs point to "Model Debbi, very pretty and tall" and "Model Paula, sexy and long-legged". The old Chinese women in black silk trousers seem to ignore this kind of activity. Lively chatting, they set off with triple steps to the "Far East Chinese Bakery" to eat filled sesame balls.

Underground: Leicester Square Tube Jen, Hong Kong Cuisine, 7 Gerrard Street, daily 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Far East Chinese Bakery, 13a Gerrad Street, daily from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. San Ling Medicine Center, 7 Little Newport Street (Chinatown) or 97b Golders Green Road (Golders Green), Tel. 020 / 8731-8687. Mon to Sat 9 a.m. to 10 p.m., Sun 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. The treatment costs 15 pounds.