HIYA TOOTS, WHADDYA SAY?
I've had tastier rice porridge, and the yau tiu was cold.
It wasn't really bad, all honestly made, but still........
If only the ambiance of the place had been just a little less industrial.
And if the American-born girl droop-assedly hanging around because she had to do so had been just a bit more enthusiastic.
I can't really blame her, seeing as she wasn't on the same page as her Toishanese-speaking kinfolk, linguistically or culturally.
I wonder what they talk about?
Slim, college age, obviously bright. Probably has a life during the week that involves concepts her parents and pudgy auntie can't possibly even comprehend.
Resigned patience. That's what it takes to dish up cheap chow on a weekend at your family's eatery. Especially on a hot day.
I wonder if someone has ever swept her off her feet, handed her a rose, wined her and dined her, and shown her a whirlwind romantic evening to remember. Possibly made reservations at a fancy night club with a dynamite floorshow, ordered cocktails, and introduced her to interesting people.
I would have done so, had it been less warm and much later in the day, and had she been more my type.
Worth the risk of having her father throw the whole cauldron of hot jook at me too.
Mow yi-si ah, ah sinsang, ngoh yiu kau neige siu nui.......
I don't know about you, but I can see myself doing something precisely like that.
Even though there are no nightclubs with entertaining floorshows left.
And despite the girl possibly calling me a sei low kwai.
Then demanding m-chun sik yin, chau low!
While being apathetic.
It would have been quite entertaining. Just like in one of those old movies from the nineteen thirties or forties. Glib fast-talking fellow with his fedora cocked sideways falls for the innocent young thing, who over the course of the next ninety minutes uses brute force and terrifying violence - also called her sweet personality - to yank his noble side up into the light, demonstrating that under his gruff exterior he's really a nice chap.
When it's over, all the women in the audience have tears in their eyes.
The men are somewhat baffled - "how did I get dragged into watching this twaddle?" - but they sense, somehow, that their wives and girlfriends are softer and warmer after the movie, and that's probably a good thing. Once they've taken the dear lady home and pecked her chastely on the cheek, they'll go down the street to that place that has Bourbon, and light up a Camel cigarette.
Cocking their fedoras at a jaunty angle, and grinning.
Somewhere off in the distance there's the whistle of a freight train.
A street light on the corner accentuates the shadows.
Dark doorways, threatening branches.
Light from an upper window.
Fade out, theme music, and credits. By the time the last names scroll across the screen, the theatre is empty.
Except for a family of raccoons living under the first row, who are growing fat on the left-over popcorn and half-finished raisinettes, almonds, jujubes, crackerjack.....
A very warm day. Too warm for anything requiring craziness.
Ate much too fast, and ended up with mild dyspepsia.
Late breakfast in the middle of the afternoon.
Should've talked to the girl instead.
Rather than her dad.
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Labels: San Francisco Chinatown