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.

Sunday, July 21, 2013


Shan't say which Chinatown bakery it is, but it is one of the best. Reason for not being specific is discretion, or polite concern. I don't want to cause embarrassment, you see. It's a very nice place, and one of my favourite haunts. And I want it to be around for a long time.

Their baked goods are excellent, their Hong Kong Style Milk Tea is exactly what the doctor ordered. And the young lady working behind the counter has a certain charm. Intelligent face, with an easily hurt fragility. She's very sweet.

Her relative who bakes, however, is not nearly so sweet. He's probably an extremely likable guy, but he puts in a hard day's work, and, consequently, is tired at the end of it. His friends should know that. And not call him up and make him angry when he's resting.

He might not use his indoor voice.

At one point his daughter or niece or cousin or however she's related to him was indicating frantically that he should calm down and soften his tone. He went into the kitchen instead. Yes, his voice did go down. But that conversation with his pal -- friend -- old classmate -- investment advisor or whatever, was not the most pleasant thing on his plate.

The young female relative is a very patient person. She understands my version of Cantonese, plus she speaks fluent English. Her older male kinsman speaks accented Cantonese, and a very loud hometown dialect that I cannot fathom. Scarcely one word out of every ten is intelligible. I wish I understood it, however, because I would really like to know what got under his skin.


The phrase above is the only complete sentence I understood. It came from the kitchen, and it was quite distinct and clear, given that his conversation was the only sound in the place. It was NOT his indoor voice. His young kinswoman did her best to pretend that it didn't faze her, but every time he said something in there, she winced.

"Don't talk horse pucky!"

Well, that's a paraphrase. You get the idea. Whoever was phoning him should have got the message. He's not a man to be trifled with after a long day at the ovens. And given that he's solidly stocky and has strong shoulders, maybe you don't want to get him angry. But he's probably a pussycat. His daughter or niece has a much more stubborn look to her, despite her vulnerable sweetness. One of these days she'll likely tell him clearly to quiet the heck down. Darnitall.
Before he scares off the timid white people.
Nei m-ho luen-gong yeh!

Obviously I'm not one of those. But I think the next time, I'll go there closer to closing time. He will have headed home for supper by then, and the only person remaining will be the young lady with the pretty eyebrows.

She makes an excellent cup of milk tea.

[I suspect that the exceptionally loud dialect may be Hoi Ping (開平、開平話). Though I might be off-target by a fare-thee-well. Most home-town dialect speakers in C'town are from Toisan (臺山), which like Hoipeng is Seiyap (四邑). But that does not mean that their speech is mutually intelligible.]

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