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.

Monday, February 25, 2013


One of the pleasures of living close to Chinatown is that one can scoot across the hill for a milk-tea and a snackipoo at a moment's notice. Nothing quite beats a hot stimulating beverage and a small pastry for sheer affordable comfort. Most coffee shops are gone, and their place taken by bakeries with big dining-hall coffee machines. Counter seating no longer exists, and lunch specials are hard to find. But the places that are around nowadays are just as good an environment to hide out for an hour or two as their predecessors.
And the selection of snackipoos, though not entirely the same, still features many familiar items, and there's a wider selection besides.
So you won't hear me complaining.

Especially not with a snoutful of buttery crumbs.

I suspect that at such times I must look incredibly guilty.

You'll just have to imagine the shenanigans I might have been up to.

Recently that was a strong cup of gong-sik naai chaa (港式奶茶) and a lou-poh beng (老婆餅) at the Yummy Bakery And Cafe (人仁西餅麵包) down on Jackson Street. Their cakes are very good (far too much for one person, though), their selection of interesting snackipoos is outstanding, and the young fellow behind the counter can't recall that I speak Cantonese if I haven't been there in a while, though the boss-lady (老闆娘) remembers it quite well.
I guess to the young, all of us older people look the same. And there must be hundreds of mature men in San Francisco, though you wouldn't think it.
This being a city for brash twenty-somethings, and all that.


Yes, uncle (阿叔) is feeling his age. Not in the sense of creaking and tremors, which are still several decades in the future if at all, but in recognition of the fact that I am older than Jayzus in the eyes of young people. Being, as I am, just a little bit over thirty. Which is impossibly ancient, good heavens, I probably need a walker, and my nice hot milky-milk at night. Plus a nurse!
It doesn't help that I keep meeting sweet young couples. Lovers who are just so bubblingly full of piss that a man feels like going into hiding, even though many of them think I'm like, totally, fascinating.
Sometimes they refer to me as 'Professor'. Either because I smoke a pipe, or seem to know stuff about quite a number of things.
Knowledge: it's frightfully old-school.

Anyway, they'll frequently pull my whiskers conversationally for a while, and thank me ever so prettily for my time. Then they leave holding hands.
Why are all these people in relationships? Such things are wasted on immature kiddies! Darn it, this dry old fart would like it so much if a nice shy bookish librarian would chat with me for hours. Young lady with brains and glasses?
I would try to be at my most scintillating!


I'm fairly certain the girl who works there on occasion remembers my minor linguistic ability; she always seems far less flusterable, far more in control.
But both of them are very competent and gracious. As well as conscientious.
It says a lot for the owner that she brings out the best in her staff, who may actually be relatives. Good people, and a good place.

I stayed for forty five minutes finishing my tea, and saw several customers come in, scope out the offerings, make their choices, and leave happy.
A number of them bought a selection of pastries for family or work-mates.
All over Chinatown there are folks with buttery crumbs on their lips.
Radiant people, with dreamy smiles.

It's yummy.

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