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.

Thursday, August 08, 2013

SURREAL? PERHAPS. BUT IT'S ANNOTATED!

Bachelors are well-known for doing depraved things late at night.
Bad decisions will be made, and regretted the next morning. Such as feasting on a peanut butter and salami sandwich on toasted sourdough, with a thick shmear of Indian pickle. It was supposed to be a French Dip, but there was no roast beef in the house, hence the substitution, and in lieu of jus (as in "au jus"), I simply used a bowl of Louisiana hotsauce.
It seemed like a really good idea at the time.
But I should've known better.
At three A.M.


I'm blaming the restaurant where I had breakfasted the previous afternoon. Being somewhat ravenous at the time, all constraints flew out the window, which was a pattern that continued throughout the evening.
Sometimes a plate of yi-min hits the spot. Really hits the spot.
Especially when augmented with SriRacha Hotsauce.
Which they have at that restaurant.


阿姨, 我好鍾意食辣嘅, 你可唔可以攞嗰個瓶辣醬畀我?
Ah Yi, ngo hou jung-yi sik laat ge, nei ho m-ho yi lo ko-go ping laat-jeung bei ngo?
["Auntie, I really like eating spicy food, could you bring me that bottle of hot sauce?"]

The great thing about yi-min noodles (伊麵) is the chewy texture, and dry-fry (幹燒 gon-siu) yi-min with roast duck (火鴨絲炆伊麵 fo-ngaap si mun yi min) is extremely satisfying. Little bits of juicy bird, chunks of baby bokchoi, and a big, big, BIG! sploodge of hotsauce (辣醬 laat jeung).

Sheer heaven.

Quite the perfect preamble to a night of smoking a pipe till three in the morning, and other constructive pursuits.

Which the poor German tourists at the next table did not realize. Or they wouldn't have had so much difficulty with the menu.

At one point, a courteous middle-aged Gentleman left his own table and came over, offering to help them and explain what all the listed items were, saying that the restaurant served home-style food, and the waitress wasn't entirely fluent in English. Which is more or less true, but she certainly wasn't the only one with that problem.


阿生啊,嗰啲德國遊客都唔識講英文。
Ah-sang ah, ko di tak-kwok yau-haak do m-sik-kong yingman.....
["Oh mister, those German tourists ALSO don't speak English."]

Their difficulties continued, as they were completely baffled by his sincere wish to render assistance and make their stay in Chinatown smooth and enjoyable, but they eventually ended up with a selection of good food.
And the two kids did a credible job with their chopsticks, utilizing more digits than just thumb and index.
Very fastidious and elegant.

Of course, they did not have yi-min. Glopped with SriRacha.
Very temperate of them.

The problem with dining alone is that possibilities are limited. Hence my choosing a plate of yi-min (伊麵) over a more balanced meal with greater variety. The hotsauce, you will understand, functioned as the vegetable component. It was chock-full of fibre and vitamin C.
SriRacha is excellent salad dressing, btw.
It's truly perfect for smokers.
We need vitamins.


I grasp that the two children probably don't smoke (yet), but their parents had that rascally European look, and without a doubt lit up ferociously after the children were asleep. Or even the moment they left the restaurant.


Much later, after finding out that "English Crust" had gotten involved with a blonde woman several years older than him (老來嬌 lou loi kiu; refer back to bachelors being well-known for depravity after dark), K-chai and I discussed paneer, that being Indian-style cheese. It is made by adding an acidulant to warm milk, then pouring the milk into fine-mesh cheesecloth after it has curdled. The resultant loose lump of cheese will be squooze out and pressed under a weight for a few hours, before being fried and spiced. Either to be eaten as is, as a late night snack with that bottle of Johnny Walker Black Label that all Punjabis love, or added to creamed spinach (saag paneer), or even creamed mustard greens (sarson da saag). Delicious with hot buttered makki di roti and a big glass of whipped dahi.
Naturally there should be fresh chilies on the side.
Perfect bachelor food.

I was on my fifth pipe of the evening by then. K-chai was enjoying a Havana. Someone else was smoking a Rocky Edge Candela. I may have seen an Epernay Illusione elsewhere in the room.
English Crust was happy as a clam.
The bachelor life suits him.
Good cigars.

For some reason when I got home I was ravenous again. Something was gnawing at my stomach. I held off as long as possible, but five hours later I could not resist anymore. It's surprising how fast yi-min is metabolized.
Or whatever it is that digestive systems do.
Dried Italian Salami. Peanut butter.
Both kasondi and thokku.
Louisiana hotsauce.


Both the dream-state while I was sleeping, and the entire morning today, have been surreal. Flecks of movement at the edge of vision. Rumbling effects in the old bachelor digestive system. Twinges. A profound urge to stick myself in a bucket of yoghurt (dahi, thanda thanda dahi).
I envy those German tourists from last night.
And their smooth enjoyable stay.
Yoghurty to tha max.




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