At the back of the hill

Warning: If you stay here long enough you will gain weight! Grazing here strongly suggests that you are either omnivorous, or a glutton. And you might like cheese-doodles.
BTW: I'm presently searching for another person who likes cheese-doodles.
Please form a caseophilic line to the right. Thank you.

Wednesday, January 09, 2013


Readers may have already recognized that this blogger enjoys watching happy women eat. There is something cheering and heartwarming about seeing someone involved in so primal yet innocent an activity that is endlessly fascinating. The food-engaged face evens out to a look of keen concentration, or a visage of pure pleasure and peacefulness.

A woman at her best is a woman enjoying a bite to eat.

Especially a young woman with a lovely forehead.

A pretty young woman of wit and intelligence.

Who has a warm engaging smile.

It was early evening yet when I got to the restaurant, and rather than going whole hog on dinner I simply had some chow fun with bell pepper chicken fermented black bean sauce. Ginger and scallion. Crisp, savoury, slithery.
While I was eating (mm, splurt of hot sauce here, another one here...) the staff alleviated the boredom by one after another having their own dinner.

First Kitchen-Uncle got himself a bowl. Then the older woman. Then the younger one. As is typical of people working in restaurants, they all had different things to eat. Yet remarkably, seeing as the place serves mostly noodles, they each ate something noodly.

Naturally I observed the young woman most keenly of all. Middle-aged men are not nearly so much fun to watch, neither are older women. But bright young women with lovely foreheads, who are pretty, and have warm engaging smiles?
My complete surreptitious attention!

She holds her chopsticks in a way that is both girlish and elegant. 
And despite her verve, she is very lady-like.

Kitchen-Uncle probably understands that one of the primary reasons I go to that restaurant is the young lady -- only when she's there do I come in -- so the observation must be discrete. Yet it adds so much to my own meal that I am quite nearly addicted.
A bright clean cheerful environment, a hospitable welcome, good food.
And a charming intelligent woman.

I finished my own meal and dawdled over my hot tea and iced coffee, so as to give the three of them plenty of time to finish their meal and chat among themselves.
Which lent me greater chance to observe. I am not entirely unaware of the benefits of fading into the background, you will understand.

Their accents are hard for me to place. They speak Cantonese, but it doesn't sound like HK Cantonese. I'm guessing somewhere close to Guangzhou, but not part of the metropolis itself. And likely not one of the industrial satelites either.
Mostly intelligible, except when Kitchen-Uncle discusses things with great intensity, then his speech shifts.

I hesitate to ask her her name. There's an age difference, you see. A rather startling one at that. It might also be taken as forwardness on my part.
A breach of sorts.
And I fear that if she knew my nomen, she'd append it with 'sook'.
Out of politeness, and in cognizance of my years.

Sook (叔) means 'uncle'.

In Chinese I usually go by 麥, which is a wordplay on my English name.
An easily pronounced single syllable to stand in for a multi-consonant compound.
Just call me 阿麥. Ah Mak. Not 麥叔. Except by children.
Being an equal is preferable to being an uncle.

She offered me more tea afterwards, but I declined. Later at the Occidental, while smoking my after-dinner pipe, I felt a sudden lonesomeness despite the jovial crowd of cigar smokers all around, and headed home.
Let's call it a surprise fit of 'avuncularity'.
And leave it at that.

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All correspondence will be kept in confidence.


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