Friday, March 24, 2023


Tea yesterday afternoon was lovely. I went to a place where I had not been in a while. The owner, who is from Hong Kong, was glad to see me again. Which is a change from the usual place, where sometimes it seems like nobody gives a damn'. Yes, no biscuits, nor any flaky pastries -- that isn't what they do -- but a quieter more welcoming environment without the antique peasant types from the old village grumping and grumbling.
And I didn't feel as if my existence was unjustified.

Stronger better milk tea too.

It had turned cold by the time I got there. It was colder afterwards. The streets were emptier, people hurrying home before twilight. There was a slight bitter wind.
Walked over to Pacific to see where New Wing Lung has moved to. It's further up, and past Stockton Street. A bigger location, where a dim sum restaurant used to be many years ago, followed more recently by an office for one of the Chinatown health organizations. Dried fish, general groceries, and canned goods. Some connection, I'm not sure what, with the grocery store I often shop at which has everything. Which is near their old place.

Milk tea, dried fish, condiments, chil pastes. All the essentials.
Really, what else could you possibly need?

No auras of menace.
And no scowls.

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Thursday, March 23, 2023


Shou Zi Chew (周受資 'jau sau ji'; chief executive of TikTok) should have remembered that scene in A Taxing Woman, where the protagonist is told to never ever go into a meeting with gangsters when you're outnumbered. If from this you deduce that I consider the Republican Party to be a bunch of sleazy thugs I shall not disabuse you of that thought.

Yes, there are also Democratic lawmakers in the mob. Rank opportunists in sheeps clothing.
Historically, many have them have been blatant dinos in any case.

A retired loudmouth from New York comes to mind.

And it looks like China and Chinese bashing is bi-partisan. Which tells you exactly what the next election season is going to be like.

By the way: I have considerably more respect for Shou Zi Chew than I do for most members of congress and almost all Republican politicians, many of whom would be better suited to digging ditches and committing mortuary rape than their present roles. The fact that these repulsive un-educated savages were elected to represent us says a lot.
Good lord. Lauren Boebert. Marjorie Taylor Green. Ted Cruz. George Santos. Kevin McCarthy. Jim Jordan. Ron DeSantis. Gregg Abbott. Sarah Huckabee Sanders.

At least that dingbat Kari Lake didn't get elected.

You are all the My Pillow guy.

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If San Francisco really gave a damn about Chinatown they would work on job creation and re-training of the workers there, so that there would be more money flowing into the core businesses that serve the community. Rather than prettifying up the alleyways and encouraging the damned tourists to buy trinkets and nosh there.
Or worrying about the damned awnings.

Since the destruction of the garment industry and other manufacturing sectors in the city there has been increasing poverty in the neighborhood, and the tourist industry provably prefers to hire folks from elsewhere to service the big white blobs who visit.

Employ local people. Dammit.

"There are some politicians out there who are like: 'Let me get in a photo with some Asian people. Let me walk through Chinatown, shake hands with a few Asian community leaders and that’s it. I got the Asian vote!'
No. You actually need to be in tune with what this demographic needs.

------ Forrest Liu, community advocate, San Francisco.

Jobs. Training programmes. Decent housing that's affordable. Educational opportunities for the local kids that do not involve sitting in overcrowded classrooms with a bunch of thug jugend and juvenile delinquents. But the first thing is jobs. Jobs, jobs, jobs, jobs.

Money earned by local people is plowed back into the local economy.

That implies more than just encouragement to sell electric red sweet 'n sour pork to blobbos from Ohio. Who disparage everything here and ignore the poverty because they're on vacation, and there are tall buildings they can 'ooh' at.

The only businesses that are thriving in what our tourist and visitor agencies trumpet as San Francisco's most colourful neighborhood (and fat lot of good that does) are, besides sweet 'n sour pork palaces, the banks, employment agencies and translator services, and hair salons.
Plus grocery stores. And old folks homes and health services.
Places that cater to people who need those.
And bus in for it.

Here's a lovely picture of sweet 'n sour pork.
Please notice the electric hues.
Print it out for Ohio.

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Wednesday, March 22, 2023


In a city like San Francisco the person with a Dutchman or Fleming within can find plenty of things to satisfy the inner man. Especially the gustatorily inclinded inner man. Dutchman, or Fleming. Probably not the typical Mid-Westerner, because they prefer bland, burgers, and no seafood or spices whatsoever. But the inner Dutchman type knows his kinsmen pillaged the world for flavouring material -- cloves, nutmeg, pepper, Chinese ingredients -- and the inner Fleming type knows how to employ those things. The inner Mid-Westerner prefers church suppers and lutefisk. Being unamginative and Lutheran in his inclinations.
Poor whiny underfed bastard.

Oh, and by the way: their college football teams suck.

Let's not mention those dimwits who founded Holland, Michigan, and established a Calvinist Theological Seminary there, INSTEAD of a culinary academy. They were defective.

Go'verdomme en nakende nondeju. Stelletje malloten.

Please note that in the Fujian style seafood soup noodles illustrated below (閩式海鮮湯麵 'man sik hoi sin tong min') there are plenty of clams (蜆 'hin'). This is pretty much my own innovation, as Fujianese are fonder of oysters and shrimp. But one works with what is available at the market.
Besides, while I acknowledge the fondness many coastal Chinese have for shrimp, I myself prefer the bolder saveur of shellfish, though oysters are too much trouble. So mussels and clams are my preference. This dish is slightly similar to lo mi (滷麵 'lou min') with the pork and soy egg left out. As well as the garlic. It's made slightly glossy and thick by the addition of corn starch. Let the seafood and the gilded shallot ginger base speak for themselves. Chicken stock, white pepper, soy sauce, sesame oil, cooking sherry or rice wine.

Garnish with chives, chopped scallion, parsley, or cilantro.
Or fried crispy shallot slivers.
All optional.

Okay, most Dutch and Belgians seldom if ever use chopsticks. Which is odd.
Instead, everything comes with crusty bread, and fries.
Especially shellfish.

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The street outside my house still looks like a disaster zone. Wrecked bus shelter, lengths of tree trunk waiting for a truck, leaves and branches everywhere. And further up, a tree lying on its side waiting for final rites. The overhead lines for the busses are down for three or four blocks, and traffic is not allowed on my block as well as two others. According to the internet, what happened was a bomb cylone. Which is a term I never heard before last night.

Lots of elderly Cantonese take this bus line down to Chinatown everyday; I doubt that they're hiking over the hill on foot. Even at a snail's pace.

Except, probably, auntie with the pistacchio-coloured sunhat (開心果色嘅帽 'hoi sam gwo se ge mou' ). Who, starting at the very beginning of the pandemic lockdown three years ago, assiduously kept in shape and increased her stamina by trudging up and down the block, eventually ranging further and further afield. I suspect that she is well capable of skipping across Nob without even breaking a sweat now.

Naturally I found an altenate bus route. Past one or two downed trees on cross streets. Which is where the title of this essay came from. Because I insisted that an old lady sit (阿姨,你坐你坐。'a yi, nei cho nei cho'). To which her response was that there was no need for such courtesy (唔使客氣,吖,我唔坐。'm sai hak hei', 'ah', 'ngo m cho' ), which prompted me to thought-cloud without a sound "siddown, dammit". Your typical middle-aged Dutch American bachelor is strongly of the opinion that a little old lady a foot shorter than myself and twice my age should bloody well sit down before we hit the next pothole, okay?! I insist upon it! But of course it was pointless to argue, as over the years I've learned that elderly Cantonese women are kind of like bomb cyclones. Don't waste time opposing them.

And far be it from me to stand in the way of an unmovable object.
Enjoyed a pipe after lunch at a familiar place, staffed by Cantonese women. None of them elderly. So no man the barricades batten down the hatches stubborness evident, though it's probably hiding just under the surface.
Both my downstairs neighbor and a gentleman across the street are married to Cantonese women, and my apartment mate is also Cantonese, so eventually I'll be surrounded by that rock hard obduracy. We Dutch ourselves are known for a certain amount of muleheadedness, so it will be just like old school week.

Just ask my former regular care physician about his attempts to make me quit smoking. He was Fujianese from Sumatra, so entirely unprepared for a blankly defiant yet infinitely courteous absolute refusal to even consider the proposition. I always tried to soften the blow by leading the subject onto Indonesian and Malay food, which is the great overlapping interest of both Netherlanders and Peranakan Chinese.

He now knows how to stirfry kangkong with shrimp paste and chilisauce, plus garlic and a dash of rice wine. Sort of in the manner of the long-settled community in Penang.
Which is very good information to have.
He came out ahead.

Ninety percent plus of the staf I have dealt with at Chinese Hospital are Cantonese women. Surely he had encountered rigid stubborness before then? Maybe he didn't realize what was going on? Perhaps he blanked out the memory.

In any case, he's gone back to school and is no longer there.
Likely there was a reason for that.

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According to a well-placed source, I am a "nasty old scunge". Primarily because I have repeatedly ignored the Turkey-vulture Bill of Rights, and neglected my obligations to give him regular feetsie-rubbies and let him eat the occasional small creature. He is saddened by my blithe disregard of the proprieties. I'll offer him a chockie to distract him. Because I have no wish to stroke his feetsies, and small creatures, whether visitor or resident, are not to be gobbled up under any circumstances. As the head roomie, Ms. Bruin, agrees.

There is presently a despondent turkey vulture sitting in the other room.
He is sulky, because he has been severely spoken to again.
And I have failed to support him in this.
I am, he avers, defective.

Yeah, look little dude, there's no way I'm touching your nasty feetsies. And I am a nasty YOUNG scunge (whatever that is), if you please. I am not old!

I am being laughed at by several small critters.
Discretely behind furry paws.

Last night the weather outside was fit for neither man nor beast. And, with the bus line that runs past the building out of commision because two trees fell over in the wind, smashing up three parked cars, wiping out the bus shelter, and dragging down the overhead lines, as well as blocking the entire street and the sidewalk opposite, public transit necessarily had to be re-routed. I was not going to walk over several blocks in cold wet weather to find a possible alternate route to Chinatown, so I called the bookseller and told him sorry but next week.

Instead, I spent the evening contemplating the concept of claypot ginger chicken.
If this were Guangzhou, Hong Kong, or Kuala Lumpur, the bus line would not be down, and fresh claypot ginger chicken would be readily available mere minutes away. Which would be perfect in last night's weather, except that they would not have such weather. Low eightes, mid seventies, and low nineties, respectively. And only slightly rainy, all three.
Though there will be a downpour for an hour or so in KL.

Singapore: high eighties, scant rain.

The same recipe can be modified with the addition of sliced black mushroom, and, if you're a Dutch American scunge in San Francisco, some chopped bacon frazzled at the bottom of the clay pot before dumping in the partially cooked chicken chunks (stir once or twice, add sherry and soy sauce to sizzle after a good fire). That same D. A. scunge would probably have also added some chili paste and sherry (or rice wine) to the mixture earlier, and the judicious use of Indonesian style sweet soy sauce (ketjap manis) speaks to me.

Young Dutch American Scunge cooking; it's a concept.
I'm surprised no one has discovered it yet!

It was cold and wet all of February in Jakarta (around eighty degrees). They probably ate tonnes of ginger-rich food during that time. Warming, and comforting. Both qualities much needed during continuous inclement weather. Also, chilipaste.
Sambal goes with everything.

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Tuesday, March 21, 2023


Turns out my timing is just right. Left the house in between rain, got my blood drawn in record time -- no wait for a woman with a needle, over in seconds -- hiked on over to a branch of my bank, and headed to lunch at a chachanteng while it was not really coming down. Had my first coffee between the hospital and the bank. And the day seemed much brighter and warmer in consequence.

Had lunch while it clattered down later, got home before it cloudbursted with mighty winds.
Finished smoking my pipe at home while making tea.

One particularly bright spot was showing the needle-wielding lady at the hospital the effects of Raynaud's Syndrome. Dull blue fingers. It startled her. I always get a kick out of waggling blue fingers at someone new.

[Raynauds: First started happening in cold weather after the office moved to the new building, so it's been going on for well over a decade now. If the temperature is below 57° Fahrenheit, the blood circulation in my finger tips shuts off. Much colder and it's alll the way up to the hand. Purely temporary, but the visuals are startling.]

People like me thoroughly appreciate those hot air hand dryers which some places have, like the bathrooms down at the hospital. I wish I was there now. The temperature has dropped since lunch time, and my fingers hurt again.

It's also darker and gloomier.

Every week there are moments when I think that there is light at the end of the tunnel, Spring is in sight, surely it will be warmer soon and the rainy weather will be over, and then every week Greta Thunberg flies overhead and replenishes the reservoirs. And the storm drains. And the supply of fallen trees. Drowning small furry things in the process, and creating millions of dollars of damage.

At present, the bus stop down the block is out of service. Two huge old trees down, three cars crushed, bus shelter totalled. Rather a pity. It's highly likely that I'll be hearing power saws all evening because the entire street is blocked until the debris and huge chunks of concrete plus the timber are all cleared.

Good thing I got out and got in when I did. Things will be different tomorrow.
All in all, that was an excellent pipe smoke though.
Aged red Virginias.

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Monday, March 20, 2023


Tomorrow morning I need to leave the house early for blood tests at the hospital, preparatory to seeing Dr. Xxxx next week for consultations which will lead to a peripheral angioplasty on my legs. Which means no coffee in the morning, darnit. No breakfast either, but for some of us old bachelors coffee IS breakfast. Well, the first pipe of the day too, but smoking a pipe in the morning should have no effects on the lipids etcetera.

So I'll have a smoke on the way over, or immediately afterwards. Whatever.

With that as a prospect, I made sure to have a good lunch today.

Mid-afternoon, Vietnamese Chinese restaurant.

Grilled fatty pork. And rice.

Plus hot sauce.

Had a nice bowl afterwards in a sandblasted briar which is nearly fifty years old, from back in the day when everyone smoked and doctors in all branches of medicine (including cardiology) prefered the smooth rich taste of Camels to any other cigarette.
A Turkish and domestic blend. Fine tobacco.
Getting up early on a day off, when it is cold and rainy, is a distasteful prospect. I might want to go back to bed immediately afterward, and forego a cup of coffee nearby, unless I need to pee in a cup, which will absolutely require coffee. As well as a good forty five minutes for the effect on the bladder of a hot cuppa to take effect.

Someone in their twenties could probably tinkle anywhere anytime, no pre-prep required. For any forty year old plus person, as I am, that is a dubious concept. We've spent years holding it in rather than whizzing in public like today's young men are wont to do.

Just take a walk downtown. There's twenty something fellows leaking everywhere.
In coffee shops, on their cell phones, waiting for an Uber.
While buying and selling hi-tech stocks.
No self control, tell ya what.
Damned yuppies!

I hate this weather, especially in the morning. It's uncomfortable this time of year. Windy, cold, rainy, and intensely miserable making. I shall need a teddy bear.

Do you have one I could borrow?

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Years ago there was a street person who would sit on the Kearny Street steps, who had four utterances. "Hey man, gimme a quarter." "Go get me a burger." "Buy me a bottle of Ripple". "Got a cigarette?" It was a simple existence, funded largely by the public. Old, out of it, arthritic, with his rent actually paid by one of the city or federal agencies.

Don't ask for details, but I know that the ceiling of his abode was covered in flies.

I cannot remember if he ever changed his clothes, but he did drop his pants accidentally once or twice. This was well before Fox News regularly trashed San Francisco for being "woke". Before the country took care of its old people and bused them to drag shows or Donald Trump rallies to hoot and jeer and soil their seats.

I'm sure the neighborhood fondly misses him.

He represented class
One day social services finally became aware of this semi-ambulatory public health hazard scaring the public and disturbing the peace, and shipped him off. He is probably a model citizen now, somewhere in Florida, kind of overweight, garbed in an American flag sweatsuit, driving around on a personal mobility scooter with 'don't tread on me' decals and 'vaccines kill' stickers, getting ready to riot tomorrow when Donald Trump is arrested.

I'm looking forward to seeing him on the news.

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Sunday, March 19, 2023


It's something that has baffled the greatest minds of the modern age. What does Karen want? Why is she so frustrated? What will it take? This blogger thinks he has figured it out. Karen wants the forties back, when a well-bred white women could calmly shoot her lover or husband, then Hysterically explain to the cops "I... I... I... don't know what happened! It just exploded! It's an accident! I was just cleaning this old thing before dinner, and it went bang! Oh, I shall weep now!" And of course the police believed her, just a helpless woman. No one could have expected this. So sad, so sad, a tragedy, the best thing is for her to go on and extended vacation and remarry.

No one would swallow that these days. Karen is, understandably, peeved.

That was also the day and age when, if a man had trouble with his good lady wife, and couldn't have her committed to a loony bin, he'd simply go up to his cabin in the Sierras, shoot a couple of wild animals, and have some Bourbon over ice in the evening.
Four or five weeks of that, and he'd have his sanity back.

It was, of course, a golden age.
As you understand.

Sadly, this never worked for the economically lower class, who as everybody knows are coarse, vulgar, given to depravities uncounted, and kill each other all the time because they are inbred and mentally not up to snuff, sometimes downright vicious, and lack the proper refinement and moral fibre.

This epiphany came to me as a direct result of a pipe tobacco I tried today. The Beast. Inspired by Aleister Crowley. By Cornell & Diehl. 51% Perique, soaked in spiced rum for seven days, with Red Virginia Cavendish, Black Cavendish, and a touch of fire-cured Kentucky. It's a bit high on the nicotine levels, and some one once described it as tasting like a fart. Deep, rich, fruity even, on the whole a very pleasant smoke.

Not one I'll stockpile, because the tin note is funky, especially a few hours after opening, and this might well be something Edgar Allen Poe would smoke, or Ctulhu, or The Mouth Of Sauron, but I'll probably have several more bowls from the tin at work.

Goes well with a cup of tea.

The other pipe tobacco new to me was Anomalous, by Per George Jensen and Sutliff. Red Virginia crumble cake with nice condimentals. A few bowls over the past three days. Rather fun, very civilized. Katerini Perique seems to be something that Sutliff and Scandinavian have proprietarily. It's good.

The entire series 'Birds Of A Feather' sofar have been excellent.
Basically, I've swilled buckets of tea all at work these past few days, and was high as a kite by noon everyday on caffeine. Smoked too much, probably. So having good stuff to put in my pipes lying around was a blessing. Made putting up with the diseased old fossils in the back room bearable.

Being a sane well-balanced individual, of a calm disposition, I am a joy to have around. Unfortunately they cannot grasp this. No wonder Karen wants to off them and weep.

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As a fashion statement, painting the exposed surfaces of your breasts green for Saint Patrick's Day is berserk. Probably. as well as cold. And good luck getting all of that off.
I pretended that I did not see it, because this is San Francisco, and I am very much accustomed to deliberately not seeing things.

Also, if you really want to show 'em off, do not wear a dress of the same general colour, even if it is tight and they pop. It took a second look. Which I really didn't want to do, due to not being personally acquainted with them. Which I didn't wish to be either.

As a personal philosophy I will happily make the acquaintance of a pair of mammary glands under the right circumstances, if the right person suddenly wishes to introduce them into the conversation. "Atboth," she will say, "these are my physical appurtenances, who desire your attention". Or something like that. Privately, and somewhere warm and cozy. She will not trot down the street flopping them at me while on the way to the next drinking hole.

I have not been on comfortable terms with mammaries in a long time, not even a nodding acquaintance, and this is sad because I remember a time when breasts and I got along.
Trust me; me and breasts were like that.

We enjoyed each other's presence.

Never-the-less, emerald-hued bosoms of a certain hugeness do not tempt me, and not that I've actually thought about it but I would wish to avoid being near them.
Flamboyant tit displays are a bad sign.
If you had a recent boob-job, and are pleased with the results, well bully for you. You do not need to show them off. If we're interested, we'll ask for the name and address of the plastic surgeon. If not, not.

I had left the house with a pipe for the last smoke of the evening. That's what I was intent upon. The breasts were not the focus. They could not have been. I do not actually know any breasts at present. And I'm sure I would have remembered these if I did.
Great green boobies, honey bun. Aren't they cold?

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Saturday, March 18, 2023


Did you do your happy little dances yesterday, after supping too much green beer and eating your fill of heaven's own manna, corned beef and cabbage? It puts hair on your chest. Irrespective of gender. And America is addicted to it all.

I myself had grilled sausages, curried mustard greens, and chili paste eggplant yesterday, with rice stick noodles, and hot sauce. I just can't handle CB and C. Even with Sriracha.

No beer. Green or otherwise.

And Erse clog-dancing ain't my thing either.

I bet the folks in Dublin just love it when their American kin come to visit. Stupid behaviour, fake manifestations of Irishness, and too much drinking by folks who realistically shouldn't.
I am horribly glad that we Dutch Americans don't have anything remotely like that.
The only celebration of Dutch culture in the US is National Donut Day.

Can you imagine darling little Dutch girls in ethnic costume going down Market Street doing hippity hoppity dances? If you can, please stop. Get help.

Have some green beer with your donut.
This Dutch American is all about your stupid cultural celebration.
Warmly supportive of your silly dances.
And the drunkeness.

There are very intoxicated people at the intersection down the hill. They must be Irish, they're dressed in green.

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Friday, March 17, 2023


This blogger is feeling feisty. Which is as good a way to start my work week as any, because although it's Friday, it's my Monday. As well as Saint Patrick's Day, which I do not celebrate, because usually some fifth generation droodge with a miniscule fragment of Irish ancestry will take offense at my accent (vaguely English, decent diction) and threaten violence.
So I've never gone out to get drunk with the frat boys.
Or whatever Neanderthals do today.

Erin, go braless!

Sorry, that's just a suggestion. I don't know anyone named Erin, and in this horrid climate she shouldn't do that, it's as good a way to catch peumonia or frostbite as any.
Every scrap of clothing counts.

Besides, if a man were to wear lime-green fluffy pompoms and absolutely nothing else over his sensitive bits, this might then "encourage" people, some of whom would be improved by severe clubbing with a walking stick, such as I suggested a year ago would be appropriate for law office employees traveling without masks on the number one California line during rush hour and infecting other people. And I still think that's a splendid idea.

Yes, you can work from home if you're in a body cast.
A lovely lime green body cast.

BTW, my turkey vulture often requests that, to provide him with proper nourishment, I should unselectively whack people over the head and harvest their body parts to feed him.
People without masks on crowded buses come to mind.
He also wishes a happy Saint Patrick's Day to all you naked people.

As is well known, I advocate nudity only in service of commercial enterprise, having once suggested, strongly suggested, that a proper English pipe tobacco blend (Virginias, Turkish, Latakia) would be best sold by advertisments with a naked lady playing an accordion.

It was one of my most brilliant marketing ideas, yet sadly no enterprising merchant of the fragrant leaf poison took me up on it.


It's Saint Patrick's Day. What better way to celebrate that than with an English blend in a pipe manufactured by a quintessential British company?

Might actually smoke some of the celebratory product I mentioned on Monday in it, though.
The vicious irony appeals to me.

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Thursday, March 16, 2023


Or, if you're unlucky, a toad. So kissing me is a crapshoot, like Russian Roulette. I came to this realization after stepping outside to check my mail and walk around the block smoking a late afternoon pipe. Right outside my front door a couple in a car demonstrated the early parts of a mating ritual, further up the block two young people were glued to each other. Of which I disapprove in public, where's a bucket of cold water when you need one? Kissing me might be the best thing you ever did, but the odds aren't good, and I advise against it. After all, I stink of tobacco and today's fastidious woman avoids such people.

Probably froglike, with toadish characteristics. Not quite toxic to the tongue, but very likely not the nicest amphibian in circulation.

There are risks.

For one thing, I m not a very social animal, and while I did spend far too much time today wondering if there were another bakery with milk tea to which I could go in the afternoon now that my usual place is on my do-not-visit list for a while (pissy Toishanese regulars, in case you were wondering), I am not desperate enough for human society that to have a cappuccino somewhere else instead.

So I stayed home all day and fixed myself an early dinner.
The turkey vulture and I enjoyed our meal.
The folks I'm avoiding are often there, and of course I'm far too white, foreign, and damned lofanish to deal with, and though I'm passable in spoken Cantonese, I'm not at all conversant in Toishanese, which is the most perfect and expressive language on earth, used habitually by deities and supernatural beings in elevated conversations.

Oh, and I haven't forgotten the American born person who said "it almost sounds like you are speaking Chinese", or the seiyap waitress at a place I do not go to anymore who surmised that it was Mandarin coming out of my mouth.


All in all I am perfectly happy not being around people. I see enough humans on a weekly basis that there is no need for any additionals. Just me, my pipe and my lily pad.
And the ghosts of dead people.

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What my former girlfriend and present apartment mate fails to understand is that I do indeed eat enough. She thinks my frequent food-drawings/paintings using the graphics programme on this computer are indicative of a hunger, and a lack of sustenance. I shall not disabuse her of this misconception, because indeed they are. I am yearning to travel again (present funds preclude that), I wish for someone to eat with, and I am keenly appreciate of her efforts to supply me with cheese (and other dairy products), sausages, and meatballs.
It should be mentioned that the turkey vulture says I have fatty thighs.
So I must be eating enough, I feel him pecking me.
Exploratorily. Speculating.

"Is this wizened old geezer ready to harvest yet?"

I should mention in my defense that I do my part to feed the household; fresh vegetables, condiments, fun snacky things, noodles, and fish balls. All of which I purchase in Chinatown. The most recent fish balls are a new discovery, being made of shrimp and filled with salted egg yolk. They are very delicious. And also chockful of cholesterol, so I shan't mention them to my cardiologist, although he'd probably love 'em, being himself Cantonese American and therefore by instinct or inclination likely to love, even lust, for completely unhealthy yet delicious seafood AND cholesterol-rich items.

By the way, in case you are wondering about the cheese, she is convinced that unless there is cheese in the house the resident Dutch American (me) will pine away and eventually there will be disconsolate wailing. Something that must be prevented at all costs.
Also, Northern Europeans (me again) thrive on sausages.
As well as meatballs.

Cantonese Americans (like my apartment mate) have strange misconceptions about Dutchmen. We are fragile creatures, not good at taking care of ourselves.

We are also opportunists. And we like cheese.
And she is nice, and safe to live with.
So I ain't saying anything.
Nor shall I mention that we also like streaky pork belly meat, cooked in various different ways. In soy sauce and rice wine, or steamed with ginger, stewed with preserved winter cabbage (冬菜 'tung choi'), or, as in the picture above, with salt fish (鹹魚 'haam yü').

Quick-fry the salt fish after rehydrating, decant. Pre-fry the meat (which is sliced, but not too thick), then gild a little ginger and garlic with the meat pushed to one side, add the white ends of the scallions, mix everything and cook a little over high heat, stirring. Frazzle with rice wine and a drizzle of soy sauce, add water or stock, plus a tablespoon or two of starch water.
Add the salt fish and let all simmer for a minute or two.

Heat up a clay pot. Add a little oil and perhaps some coarsely cut shallot, swirl a bit and when nicely hot dump in the meat; it should sizzle nicely. Drizzle in a little rice wine or sherry, cover, and after a few minutes add the scallion green, recover, and put the claypot on a protective pad or plate on the table.

Serve with rice. Plus, of course, sambal (chilipaste).

Please note that cooking with salt fish or shrimp paste stinkifies the apartment, so keep the kitchen door closed and the window open.

Yeah, um. My apartment mate doesn't mind my cooking smells. Which is another great thing about living with her. If she was Anglo, there would be comments, even if she was male.
Plus I'd probably be forced to eat salad. How sad.

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When I woke up it was with the taste of your childhood in my mouth. Your hometown, and something your mom or an auntie made as comfort food, if your hometown has over a billion people. Pickled pressed mustard tuber and meat shreds noodle soup: 榨菜肉絲麵 ('jaa choi yiuk si min'). Which is very easy to make. The combination of the pressed mustard tuber and pork shreds is old fashioned and classic, and shows up stirfried and sauced over rice or chow mein, also with rice stick noodles, and sometimes as a filling for buns.
But soup is the more comforting version.

Coarsely mince ginger and garlic. A little extra ginger is okay. Take about a cup of pickled mustard (榨菜 'jaa choi') and rinse once or twice. Then coarsely cut about half a pound of pork into matchsticks of a decent thickness. In a wok stirfry the pork with a little oil till the colour has changed, move it to the side of the pan and add the garlic and ginger, followed shortly afterwards by the pickled mustard. Mix everything over heat, add a dash of soy sauce and a jigger of cooking sherry or rice wine. Mix again while stirring, and pour in four or five cups of boiling water. Add ground pepper. Let simmer for five to ten minutes while preparing the noodles. I prefer broad rice stick noodles, which don't take much time at all to be ready. Drain the noodles and place in bowls. Divide the soup among them, garnish with minced scallion. Should be enough for two people.
Note that you do not really have to rinse the pickled mustard, but many people who are not accustomed to hot chilies will. It also removes some of the salt, which your doctor might advise. I never bother with rinsing the pickled vegetable.

In addition to using a bit much of ginger, I also go overboard on scallions, and often add chopped mustard green (芥菜 'gaai choi') to the soup while it is simmering.
It makes it more lovely.

You'll often find pork shreds and mustard tuber fried rice (榨菜肉絲炒飯 'jaa choi yiuk si chaau faan') at chachantengs and small restaurants.
It's a good quick lunch.

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Wednesday, March 15, 2023


After purchasing groceries I recommended a bakery to visitors desolate because the famous egg tart place was, as usual, closed. The place I mentioned has superlative egg tarts, and I often go there because their offerings are uniformly excellent. But I myself shan't go there for several weeks, because the last time I went, when I uttered a greeting to several people, it was ignored. It may have been the weather, it might have been something said about me among the regulars, perhaps it was just all round bad temper or a mistake, or possibly a typical Toishanese pissy attitude. Whatever.
It's my turn to be grumpy about things.

I like the place very much. But I too have an attitude.
And they aren't the only game in town.

The egg tart I had with my cuppa at teatime today was not as good as the ones at the place I'm avoiding. But I had a much better time. A little friendly chit chat in a cheerful and bustling environment. And a lovely hot beverage too.

The milk tea was excellent.
It's been a remarkably busy day. Early lunch, shopping, chores, a visit to the pharmacy, teatime. The weather is considerably better than yesterday, the approaching end of the abysmally horrid weather and cold temperatures is in sight.

Chinatown has been quite enjoyable this week.
And there was sunlight today.

Pipe for smoking when one is generally not pleased
with other human beings and feels somewhat feisty.

There are of course too many people not wearing masks, on public transit, at Walgreens, or touristing in Chinatown. But by avoiding the main drags whenever possible one runs far less risk of bumping into infectious imbecils from elsewhere.

There's a glimmer of light at the end of the tunnel.
That's not just miners with a dead canary.

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Other than a table full of elderly men there was no one there when I walked in, though the scattered evidence showed that the lunch period had been relatively busy and long. Possibly the horrid weather had something to do with that emptiness. People were probably anxious to get home. It was raining a bit, more of a thick drizzle, but the wind was something awful. At times throughout the day the apartment building trembled because of it, and judging by the sirens lines and trees were down across the city. Things were going sideways.

The frightful weather has lasted longer this year, and been more extreme.
I feel like I should write an very angry letter to the editor.
Blaming the other party, and today's youth.

I'm sure that voters in Trumpland are blaming "them commies", as well as members of BLM, transgender people, and antifa. As well as windmill energy, which also causes cancer.
At least they're no longer obsessed with black helicopters and Fema camps.

This chachanteng's version of a club sandwich is not as good as the other Chinatown place where I have it, but it's still pretty darn enjoyable. Too many Hong Kong style restaurants barely toast the bread; it looks pale and anemic, though obviously a little crispier than cottonwool American loaf.
The key thing is a good combination of flavours and textures.
Plus decent fries, which are very important.
And Sriracha.

Naturally, a chachanteng must have good HK milk tea. I've grown slightly obsessive about having a cup of milk tea before going out into the howling gale with my pipe.
Especially if eating lunch late, as I usual do.

I rather like nearly empty restaurants, they seem so inviting!
And the people watching is better.

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Tea yesterday afternoon was lovely. I went to a place where I had not been in a while. The owner, who is from Hong Kong, was glad to see me ...