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.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014


Being able to speak Cantonese (sort of) and Mandarin (very badly) often elicits one of two irritating comments, either "gam, neige lou poh hai Tong yan, hah?" or "you probably want a Chinese girlfriend".
Both suppositions are quite incorrect. I am not married, so I do not have a lou poh, nor do I wish to have a Chinese girlfriend, ever. But instead of explaining that they read it all wrong, I usually change the subject.
What I really should say is "good lord NO!"
What a painful and dangerous concept!


My Cantonese is not fluent enough for in-depth communication, merely good enough to listen in and occasionally interject something. Plus I can establish that I probably do know what the heck it is that I just ordered, and therefore do not need to warned away -- Cantonese restaurateurs do not want a dissatisfied customer -- as well as reading menus, labels, shop signs, and parts of the newspaper. I'm perfectly happy with that level.
It's the same for my abilities in German, French, and the noble South-Limburgian dialect, and far better than I speak several other languages.

[I've watched much of Monty Python ('Monty Python Repülő Cirkusza') in Hungarian. At this point, I could probably recite the preamble to The Lumberjack Song in that language. The Magyar nyelv is a wonderful tongue. Magyars are also Asian, sort of. I do not want a Magyar wife, but thank you for jumping to that berserk conclusion.]

I have no desire for a Chinese girlfriend because if we don't share the same first language, both of us would be heading into a disaster.
Besides which, expectations would be vastly different.
As well as our cultural and racial hang-ups.
Same goes for all other Asians.
Not enough in common.

I should also mention that I do not particularly like Asian women; they aren't any more socially adept or decorative than Europeans.
And not a whit less crazy.

I like women who read.

At least, read more than celeb gossip columns and fashion magazines, or cookbooks. Women who have read intensely and frequently since college, for both entertainment and knowledge. Women who consider reading a natural and worthwhile thing to do, for many hours at a time, daily.
I guess what that really means is that I do not like most women.
Most men neither, but, erm, not looking in that direction.
The stereotypic blonde is also out; she can't read.

[Among Asian women, the Japanese read. But they're totally batshit crazy, bless them, as well as being Japanese.]

At this point, you are probably saying to yourself "well dang, he seems like an arrogant prick, why would any woman like him?" And you're right.
Why would any woman like me?

It can't be my knowledge of Chinese. Or German, French, and South-Limburgian. Nor is it the ineffable charm and gentle wit that I almost certainly do not possess.
You know, as a middle-aged pipesmoker who just hasn't struck it rich, I am by utterly no means any girl's ideal catch. None of my favourite subjects, dictionaries, or books, are in any way universally appealing, nor status-enhancers. I am not athletic, and certainly not style-conscious.

I am not good for your career, I shan't buy you a house or a car, and as far as consumer goods are concerned, I am a complete wash-out.
Neither prestige nor material benefit is likely.

My gift-giving, while sort-of thoughtful (I try), is rather limited to books, ceramics, tobacco products, wine, food, and flowers.
No handbags. Ever.

Frequent snackipoos in down-to-earth Chinatown eateries, however, are a given. That's probably not high on anyone's list, but it is the one constant beyond which all other constancies must fade.
Pastries. Milk-tea. Crunchy-flaky-warm.


I can cook shark fin soup, cheung fan, haahm yü yiuk beng, noodles, curries, Indonesian food, Filippino dishes, and very European stuff. Think in terms of "Belgian meets Southern Chinese, heads over to the Dutch East Indies, and gets clobbered by an angry ghee-wielding Hindu en-route".
Although remaining passionately committed to parfait de foie gras.
Please note that 'Belgian' came first in that description.
That's not necessarily a good thing. Nor bad.
But lord knows, it ain't sexy.

I am totally fluent in Dutch and English.
At least I think I am.

Pipes. Tobacco. Food. Hot sauce.
There. That about covers it.

NOTE: Readers may contact me directly:
All correspondence will be kept in confidence.


  • At 9:23 PM, Anonymous Mr. Bunnie said…

    But weren't you attached to an Asian girlfriend for nearly twenty years?!!???

  • At 9:28 PM, Blogger The back of the hill said…

    Not Asian. Asian American. Of Cantonese ethnicity, born here, with English as her language of greatest fluency.

    We had many books and cultural reference points in common.

    And it was actually over twenty one years.

  • At 10:23 PM, Anonymous Mr. Bunnie said…

    So she was Asian. Did you find that really such a problem?

    It sounds like you got "issues".

  • At 10:53 PM, Blogger The back of the hill said…

    Born here, ergo American.
    Asian ONLY by hyphenation.
    Not by culture, language, or habit.

    Asian girls are far too often total spritzheads, whereas among American girls, some are of Asian ancestry.

    Unlike many of her Asian kin, she did not have that crass superficial opportunistic materialism that seems so dreadfully common among many modern women. Education systems (ours included) have failed, if no real values have been inculcated.

    The Euries don't seem to be doing a better job, by the way.
    Most of their younger generation are ignorant and savage.


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