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, April 30, 2015

IS IT MA PO FISH, OR DO YOU REALLY NEED TOFU WITH THAT CARP

The other day, while eating tofu and rice at a Hunanese place south of Market Street, I remembered the fish from somewhere else. The lovely sauce would have gone equally well with that fish.
Smooth, spicy, but not too bracing.
It's a well-known dish.
You've had it.


To spark your memory, here's a recipe for pockmarked auntie beancurd.

 MA PO TOFU 麻婆豆腐

One block firm tofu (very roughly, one pound).
A quarter pound of ground or minced pork.
2 TBS chili paste (辣椒醬 'laat chiu jeung').
2 TBS Szechuan hot bean paste (辣豆瓣酱 'laat dau baan jeung').
2 TBS cooking oil.
1 TBS chili oil (辣油 'laat yau').
½ TBS Szechuan peppercorns (花椒 'faa chiu'), roasted and ground .
½ Tsp. fermented black beans (豆豉 'dau si') soaked, smashed.
2 scallions, cut to short lengths.
2 gloves garlic (大蒜 'daai suen'), chopped.
A dash of dark soy sauce (老抽 'lou chau').
Quarter cup stock and a jigger of sherry.
Pinch of sugar, pinch of cornstarch; blended in a little hot water.

Cut tofu into chunks, gently blanch in boiling water, and drain. Saute the ground pork, garlic, and bean paste with both oils till the meat is no longer pink. Add the chili paste, dau si, and soy sauce, stir around to mix everything, then add the tofu, stock, and sherry. Cook for a few minutes, then add the ground Szechuan pepper, scallion, and the sugar - cornstarch water. Heat a little longer and serve it forth.


That, you will agree, is a highly specific recipe. Most cooks simply wing it, and may omit the fermented blackbeans altogether, or substitute a hefty splash of rice wine for the stock and sherry. Vegetarians (usually crazy white folks) will bugger it up entirely by leaving out the meat.

The meat is essential; pork and beancurd are a perfect pairing.

As are fermented bean sauce and fish.


DOU BAN YÜ 豆瓣魚

A similar approach and saucy result can be used with a whole fish. Many restaurants will offer a fried fish slathered with a fermented bean sauce, topped with minced scallion, in a lovely presentation where the rubicund hue of the sauce contrasts beautifully with the fresh green appearance of the scallion, adding chunks of tofu to the dish for further effect.

It is indeed very appealing, and there is a textural contrast.

But you didn't want ma po tofu with fish instead of pork.

You wanted fish.

The essential fish is carp. Called 鯽魚 ('jik yü') or 鯉魚 ('lei yü') in Chinese, and available live at wet markets. It must be freshly killed before cooking to preserve the exquisite sweetness of the flesh. You can also substitute mud carp (鯪 'ling'), which is native to the Pearl River delta. Gut and clean it after bashing it hard on the head.

Score the fish a few times in the thicker part of its body, dust lightly with cornstarch, and quickly deepfry it to colour the outside, but no more; you do not want a hardened plank or indigestible lump. Be Belgian in your approach to this, rather than English.
When done, put it on a platter.

For the sauce, the general procedure is very similar to ma po tofu, and aside from the meat and beancurd, the ingredients are too. But add ginger (sliced or slivered) and a small dash black vinegar.
Same amount of fermented bean sauce, hot sauce, hot oil, and garlic.
A little bit of soy sauce will accentuate the sweetness.
Sherry or rice wine (米酒 'mai jau'), water.
A pinch of powdered pepper.
Minced scallion.

Hot wok, quick hand, and just wing it.

Pour the finished sauce over the fish.
Garnish with cilantro.
Eat.


加竹筍
["gaa juk seun"]

If you really need a textural contrast, use matchstick-cut bamboo shoot.
Add it to the pan when colouring the garlic and ginger.


NOTE: Bamboo shoot (竹筍 'juk seun', also written 竹笋) can be found in cans at most Chinese groceries. They are sometimes available fresh.
If fresh, trim and cook them for half an hour, then let them cool in the water completely before use. Tinned shoots are usually already pre-cooked, and simply require rinsing and a quick blanch.




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

DO I LOOK WICKED WHEN I EAT?

No, I didn't have anything special. No exquisite example of Cantonese cuisine, hard to find unless you speak the language like a native and know the secret Triad handshake. No snake head in shark fin consomme.
Just a kongsi saammanji: club sandwich.
一個公司三文治,奶茶。
係度食,啊。
喺。

It was an easy choice, and by sitting near the window I had enough reflective surfaces to observe pedestrians in either direction outside, plus the restaurant staff in all directions inside.
I love reflective surfaces.

There's a big dining room in the back, and a baked goods and take-out counter near the door. Have a full meal, or buy a box of snackipoos.


White guy comes in for coca cola and a sweet roll. Chinese woman buys a donut. Three matrons purchase pork floss buns on the way out. Elderly Chinatown bachelor gets a meal to go, and while waiting peruses the Sing Tao Yat Po. Mandarin-speaking young lady orders a dinner.
Strictly take-out, she'll stand.


I remember her face. And to be perfectly honest, I also remember the shape of her behind. Because it was very nice, and more or less on eye-level.
I had seen her earlier pausing outside, then heading up the block.
Her figure had been quite discernible outside too.
I very much enjoy window seating.
It suits me.

Perhaps she's from somewhere on the East Coast, staying at a hotel. Possibly she came here from Taiwan. Her English might be fluent, but in that place and at that moment that made only two of us, as everyone else was a native speaker of Cantonese.


The white guy couldn't quite make himself understood.
I know the waitress; she's very good.
Maybe he's stupid.

Donut woman would have been hard to ignore: "Ngo yiu ko-go, ah, ko hou-tim ge le woh!"
The three matrons were old school: "you shouldn't buy that, nei hai hou fei ge le!"
'You so fat, dang, it make you go "boom!".'
The bachelor got everything.


He wasn't plump; you don't get that way if you only have one real meal a day, even if it is old fire soup, main course, rice, and three sides, plus lime jello for dessert. He read the entire newspaper while waiting for it to be ready and packed up.

The mandarin speaker examined the entire menu flyer. Asked questions. Then looked rather nicely decorative while waiting for her food without realizing it. Possibly because of her clothing. Baggy exercise pants, loose grey tee-shirt. Nobody expects to look like a hot mama in that outfit, but I may have mentioned that parts of her were at eye-level.
She was healthy, and tastefully built.



I hope her dinner was as good as my club sandwich.
Which was excellent, exactly what I needed.
I added chilipaste to every bite.
Seductively hot.




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

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

WINDOW SHADES DOWN AT ALL TIMES

You might have guessed that today, given that it is one of my days off, would have been an opportunity for the peculiar behaviours for which mature men are known. And if you remembered previous episodes of the ongoing essay series "single white eccentric past forty discusses his praedilection for not being fully dressed when there is no one else in the apartment but himself, irrespective of whether he is smoking a pipe or a cigarillo" on this blog, you would take it for granted that there were certain things you did not wish to read about in detail.

Such as what you are certain is coming next.

So sorry to disappoint you.

My apartment mate stayed home sick today. So quite naturally, the only time I was naked was when flitting back towards my room after a bath, while she was in her room dozing.

I tend to be somewhat modest.

[About the ongoing essay series "single white eccentric past forty discusses his praedilection for not being fully dressed when there is no one else in the apartment but himself, irrespective of whether he is smoking a pipe or a cigarillo": That is usually shortened to "Naked Middle-Aged Man". I began writing it a few years ago when I noticed that people had visited this blog by searching for that criterium. As search terms go, it is quite absurd; there are no pictures of such a thing, merely descriptions of what I might do while in the buff. Such as brushing my teeth, or taking a long bath. Perfectly innocent things, such as any bachelor might do. I enjoy taunting anonymous pervs with the subject matter, however. If there ever even were any hanky-panky, it would be entirely absent. No elucidations, no nudge-nudge wink-wink boasting. Precisely, in other words, like the present clean, spartan, and almost priestly state of solitude. Feel free to assume that I am hiding something if you wish. 
You've been wrong before I bet.]


I do not regret any missed opportunities.
It was not burdensome in any way.

Earlier today she left her room to watch some real crime doumentaries on the telly, and we discussed murder, bloodshed, stupidity, tackiness, exsanguination, and decapitation, such as is prevalent in other parts of the country. She tends to be cheerfully obsessed with the bad behaviour of white folks -- Chinatown natives all are, because they are infinitely curious about the habits of strange people -- and despite the fact that she's been speaking white since before she was born, certain habits do not die.

Not surprisingly, her favourite English monarch is Henry the Eighth. Who is the absolute epitome of depraved psychopathic Anglo.
And Anglos are the paradigm of white.

Yes, I know the Roman emperors and after them the mediaeval popes were also shockingly "beyond peculiar", but that was so long ago, and British television series haven't shown that for ages!

She is totally uninterested in the peccadilloes of Chinese emperors or the rancid goings-on among the court officials and eunuchs. That is the dubious benefit of being a native speaker of English and not even half-way literate in Chinese. Sometimes she'll ask about certain Chinese things about which, being half-way literate in Chinese, I might have the answers. But in the main the history of her ancestors native land is not nearly as magnetic as white folks doing stupid shit.

I think she's somewhat disappointed in me.
Not nearly enough stupid shit in my habits.
I'm virtually useless in that regard.


If I weren't so modest, I'd still be discreet.

Holding a towel in front of myself.

To hide the dangly bits.


It was a very long bath. I twiddled my toes and looked at the ceiling, hazy in the warm steam. Then I got out and dried off. At this very moment I am fully dressed, and my hair is combed.
Soon I shall head out for a snackipoo and a smoke.
Milk-tea, and something hot to eat.
First pipe of the day.
And the second.



I seriously hope she's feeling better tomorrow. So that I can have the apartment to myself.



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

THAT WAY LIES DISASTER

One reader this morning found this blog by entering the term "I can see your nipples" into his browser. Now, first off I have to admit that I like that phrase; it is deeply meaningful. I can imagine the circumstances under which I myself might use it. Nipplety wipplety, Batman!
I'm an old-fashioned romantic. That phrase speaks to me.
Both poetry and existential freude exist in that phrase.
Es ist ein glück gebende ausdruck. Für mich.

But I cannot imagine how anyone else might utilize it. Perhaps there are two people playing nipple hide-and-seek? One of them just had new eye-implants? The rats and vermin ate her bra while she slept?

Each further mental iteration gets more absurd.
Mysterious nipplesome motivations.
Aureolic search quests.

How lucky, though, that he has opportunity to conceive of the notion.

Nipples, in the right hands, are altogether remarkable things.

Disaster normally strikes when you think so.


"I can see your nipples!"


Best put saying it out of your head entirely.

Trust me, you cannot see her nipples.

For your own sake, say nothing.

You must look elsewhere.

Invisible nipples.

Lovely.



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

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

BUZZPO: A CLICK BAIT HATE SITE

Someone, naturally, decided that the protest in Baltimore was a waste of time because of the past history of the man whom the police in that fine city murdered. Apparently the arrestee had been apprehended numerous times previously.

On Buzzpo, Eric Reed wrote: "Of course after Freddie Gray’s arrest, we’re all familiar with what occurred afterwards. In the meantime, it appears that thugs are burning Baltimore down for a felon and a drug dealer."

SOURCE:
HERE'S THE ARREST RECORD THEY'RE BURNING BALTIMORE FOR
By Eric Reed

Mr. Eric Reed seems to have missed the point, that being that the police are not supposed to beat up somebody so badly that his spinal cord snaps. That's just not done.
Police custody, outside of the great stinking hellhole of Texas (where mr. Eric Reed hails from) is not supposed to become a death sentence.
Texas is different. We realize that they're totally insane there.
We have enough experience with Texas to know that.

Here's mr. Eric Reed's bio on Buzzpo:


Eric Reed

Eric Reed is the President and Founder of Gun Rights Across America. GRAA, was founded in December 2012 by Eric as a result of the push for more gun control in our country. Eric watched the Sandy Hook tragedy on TV, and he wept with the rest of America for the tragic loss of so many innocent children. But he also watched President Obama turn this tragedy into nothing more than a ludicrous political agenda just a few short hours after the shooting occurred. This sparked something deep within him, and made his blood boil red, white, and blue. He decided that he could no longer sit idly by and watch Americans rights wither away. GRAA has since become the fastest growing gun rights organization in the nation, has over 250,000 followers on social media, and recently has moved to memberships to take their fight for Americans rights to the next level. Eric resides in Texas with his lovely family, and was named the 2013 "Grassroots Activist Of The Year."


I'm rather glad that he founded Gun Rights Across America, because like many San Francisco liberals, I too have a fire arm (Glock semi-automatic).
It's for protection against trailer parkers, tea partiers, and Texans.
There ain't been any of those in my neighborhood in years.
I heard the last one tasted just like chicken.
My semi-auto is a treasure.
Thanks, Eric.


Again, people are not supposed to be so severely damaged by cops during arrest that they end up with a broken back and in a coma.
Not in the civilized world.

Things are different in Trailerparkistan; I grasp that verity.
Baltimore isn't there, it ain't Texas.
Dumbass redneck.



By the way: Praise the Lord.
That is what y'all do, right?
Have some more Frito pie.




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

THE ANSWER IS TWENTY EIGHT!

The other evening I saw clickbait that offered to guess my age, based on my Facebook photos. So of course, being a gullible sort, I took the test.
It's ridiculous.

According to them, I'm twenty eight.


28?


QUOTE:
You're 28 years old!
Your photos tell us that you're 28 years old and already working your dream job. The only thing missing right now is the right person, as you're single and searching for the true love of your life. To give your luck a bit of a boost, you change profile pictures more often than your underwear and retouch them so much, that you could compete with any top model.
END QUOTE

You know, there's just so much off kilter with that that I can't find words for it. I am not even anywhere near that age, and my dream job would pay me millions for sitting around looking contemplative and intellectual, and sometimes alert and wise. Kind of like Yoda. But better looking.

I'd say things like "this one, the power, strong it is, in", or similar zen-sounding gibberish. Twenty eight? Me? Hoo hah!
You're nuts.

Naturally I said something about that when I posted it to my page.


"No no no no no! I'd like to DATE a 28 year old. Can't you stupid clickbaits get anything right?"


I'm actually NOT that picky. Twenty eight is just an approximate.

What IS key, however, is that she must like chocolate.




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

Monday, April 27, 2015

A GENERATION OF CELL PHONE ZOMBIES

It hasn't rained for a while in the city, nor even rained enough in many years.
Most of us who have been here for years remember torrential downpours ("oh yes, that was the year that.."), and we cannot wait until the recent arrivals from Flyoverstan get drenched. On the one hand, we're sick of them and their memories of real weather, on the other hand, despite a reputation for tolerance and openmindedness, we have a streak of mean a mile wide, and they've worn out their welcome.

We want them to get soaked in the freezing rain.
So that they're thoroughly miserable.
And hate the weather here.


Beloved San Francisco institutions are all disappearing because those migrant hosebags from the rest of the country are driving up the rents.
True San Franciscans sneer at the East Bay, and despise everything between the Oakland Hills and Chicago or New York.
Particularly the people: paranoid Christian Teaparty Republicans, their manners, morals, values, and especially their repulsive adult offspring who flee Flyoverstan and get all hip once they reach San Francisco.
Please, go back, all of you. You're loathsome.

Plus you dress funny and eat too much.


A landlord in the North Beach / Chinatown area is trying to chase out all of the long time tenants so that he can rent his miserable fleabag hotel rooms to internet yuppies desperate for a pied-à-terre in the downtown.
We're talking elderly people, poor folks, and cripples.
Versus young, white, and unbearably hip.
And four times the rent.

See, the Google bus (or is it the Genentech bus?) stops less than a block away. They can get a glutenfree zero sugar donut and cup of sustainably farmed espresso -- or a kale smoothie -- and then wait in quiet lines reading their text messages before they are whisked away by their all-benevolent nurturing tech companies.
Other than sleeping in the neighborhood, and getting shitfaced at a south of Market club every weekend, they do not contribute to the life of the city. They can't cook, what with being modern American twenty-somethings, they purchase their clothing and entertainment from the internet, and they have absolutely NO intention of frequenting local shops and restaurants cheek by jowl with THOSE people.
Chinatown restaurants aren't fashionable in any way.
North Beach doesn't have East-Coast pizza.
Our Irish bars have too many Irish.
We're not hip enough.
Or at all.

But in some sense they do participate in local life; they Uber. Which means that they can Uber to a fashionable watering hole elsewhere in the city, have a mojito and some designer food while chatting with other hip people, Uber over to a club owned by East Coast investors, then call Uber and get back to their North Beach / Chinatown technocoolie barracoons without ever having to interact with, you know, THOSE people.
Long-time neighborhood residents.
San Franciscans.

If they have to eat, they use Grubhub, Spoonrocket, and Munchery.
There's Task Rabbit and The Armory for everything else.



I got out of the house at eleven this morning, and had a wonderful day. Lunch with an old friend, then a chance meeting and a long conversation with an associate from years ago who was smoking a cigar in the familiar spot, followed by a trip on the Cablecar, a tea-time hot beverage and a jin deui at Blue Sky in C'town, and a long stroll to the park behind the Pyramid with a pipe in my mouth.

The bus back across the hill coming home, however, was a bit stressful. Before it even got to Sansome Street it was already filled with émigrés from Flyoverstan. And their damned cellphones. Sweet Jesus wearing purple yoga pants, what a bunch of blisters!


Get off your phones, ignore your text messages, and talk to someone!
Interact, be social, show consideration and humanity.

Unless you're reading this on your phone.
In that case, please continue.
Leave a comment.





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

Sunday, April 26, 2015

WATCHING MY CALORIES? LIKE HECK I AM!

From Friday morn till Sunday evening I sweat in the salt mines, associating with the mad and overstimulated cigar-smokers, as well as what may modestly be termed a small group of like-minded bright-eyed individuals, that being the pipe aficionados, of course.
This takes place in Marin County, the epicentre of self-centered stargazers and tie-dye underwear makers.

Marin, as you have probably heard, is filled with dreadfully sincere spiritual types, many of whom avoid gluten in between chanting self-help mantras for peace.

Come the revolution, all of their heads will be running in the streets.

That, of course, is the future. At present time they pee.

If elderly, and wearing incontinence pants.

While riding the bus to SF.


When I got on yesterday evening, I wondered at the passengers who fled, cursing the bus driver and loudly exclaiming about the odour. They had suffered, they resented it, and they had paid overmuch for these privileges.


"Good luck with your bus, man, it staaaaank!"

"Your bus all kinda nasty!"


And other cheerful utterances.

At first I didn't know what they were talking about. After I had sat in my usual seat, a woman came up to the front and asked the driver "did someone pee on this bus?" "No ma'am. Nobody peed."

By the time we had been rolling along for a few minutes, I became aware of a strong warm reek. A pong remarkably like pee, in fact. When we passed the Spencer stop by the freeway, I had already put generous pinches of menthol snuff up both nostrils. It did not disguise the smell, but played with it, accentuating the richness and concentration. In some ways it reminded me of a cat box that needed emptying. One with non-absorbent sand or gravel. Which you get if you keep recycling the sand or gravel, because eventually it cannot take any more, even if completely dry. All porosity is fully taken up with urinary deposits, crystalline or condensed to the tar stage.

At the far end of the bridge, at the toll plaza stop, several tourists paid the four fifty to get back into town. I felt like telling them "no, don't do it! It costs too much, AND it stinks!"
But I was pretending I was asleep and SO not going to get involved.
Tourists always ask if the bus goes to Union Square.
Toward the Fishermans' Wharf area.
North beach or C'town.
Ho. Tell.


The smell filled the bus. Catholic grammar school. Men's room at Grand Central. Porcelain wall at Diego's Border Cantina. The bog at The Castle.
A leather tannery. Post-consumer waste.
La vraie définition d'urinoir.
Canada.


You know, I nearly caused a crash. Several blocks after the gentleman across the aisle disembarked at Fillmore, I asked the bus driver "is it my imagination, or does the bus smell better since that man got off?"

He just started laughing and beating the steering wheel. Darn near lost control.

Well, it did smell better. And it no longer smelled like pee.

The driver had earlier made me concerned, as at times he seemed to be trembling and sweating, or on the cusp of loosing consciousness. Veering dangerously close to other lanes. Leaning forward at an odd angle.....

The pee master had been sitting right behind him.

Probably made him nearly pass out.


This evening I got on the number seventy, and noticed the same elderly gentleman, two seats behind me. I promptly tagged off, and waited for another bus.



So yes, the title of this post makes NO sense, given what I just told you. But I was planning to talk about my food for the last three days. Keeblers, yoghurt (breakfast). Chicken pita and yoghurt. A vegetable and meat-ball casserole, yoghurt. Little snack biscuits, yoghurt. chicken-veggies-rice, yoghurt. Toast with turkey liver pate, yoghurt. Icecream and yoghurt as a late-night snack. More little snack biscuits for breakfast, and yoghurt. Chocolate chip cookies. Yoghurt. Chicken salad sandwhich, yoghurt. And a BIG cookie. Plus yoghurt.
Everything washed down with buckets of tea.
But I visit the bathroom when needed.
Especially before leaving.
There or here.

When I came home this evening it was to discover that our landlady had baked, and brought us a plate of oatmeal - raisin cookies.
I'm drinking tea right now.




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

YAHOO PARENTING: BREASTS, LOBSTER POUNDING, BREASTS, GIGGLING DAEMONS, BREASTS, DOGS

A friend informs me and his other Facebook friends that an Arizona chap objected in writing to a giggling and otherwise expressively happy toddler in his neighbor's back yard. The article mentioning the incident is easily found, so no need to link it. In essence, the obsessive-compulsive noodge neighbor was concerned that his two high-strung hounds and a bird would not deal with this situation, and freak-out. Bad parent!
They suffered, he opined, and that was unacceptable.
He threatened to call the cops on the kid.
Unless this behaviour stopped.
Childish joy.

I may not have re-acted well when I suggested "shoot the damned dogs; they're nuts."

Seriously. If your dogs go batshit when exposed to children, they need to be put down. I don't care that they aren't even vicious dog-fight Dobies. Chihuahuas? They do not belong anywhere near a child.
Nor even a non-football halfback or pro-wrestler.
They don't belong anywhere.
Period.


BREASTS: THERE ARE TWO! OR MORE!

From a similar source comes news of airline employees reacting badly to moms breastfeeding their infants while on board. Apparently, even if the tits are covered up, and the mother and child are skulking discretely in a back seat turned away from the aisle, some people will be shocked, horrified, disgusted, and profoundly disturbed.

The very idea of breast not covered by a layer of tarpaulin, ugh!

Those people do not need to be around other humans.
Dump out of the plane, Do it in mid-air.
Along with the dicky stews.

Save the breasts.


"Shoot the damned dogs; they're nuts."


In the same vein, a lobster restaurant on the East-Coast banned screaming children, and got one hell of a backlash from offended customers, who wished to bring their horrendous brats to dinner.

Personally, I cannot think of a greater potential disaster than arming some of those ADD monsters with lobster mallets and claw crackers and unleashing them on crustaceans and the dining public.

It's a sinful waste of lobster, is what that is.
I would pay to watch it, though.
Victor gets boiled.


I now have an idea for a brilliant new weekly television show that will revolutionize entertainment television. It includes breasts, loud infants, dobermans, more breasts, mayonnaise, lobsters, and seafood Cobb salad. Plus more breasts. Breasts are always good clean fun.

Reality teevee meets zom-bitch apocalypse.
Culinary competitiveness.
Breasts.


Filmed on an airplane.



In other news, variations on Sophia and Olivia are extremely popular girls' names in the English-speaking world, along with Holland, Brazil, Italy, Denmark, France, Germany, Argentina, and Scotland.
I do not know why I now now this.
Or why it's even useful info.
Thank you, Yahoo.
Shut up.




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

Saturday, April 25, 2015

CANTONESE GIRLS ARE BEAUTIFUL REDUX

Four years ago, in severe reaction to an internet weasel who commented disparagingly about the appearance of Cantonese girls, I wrote a post asserting that indeed a fair number were quite comely.
No, ain't going to bore you with a reprise.
Instead, a definition of terms.
Followed by a rant.


Internet weasel: someone who, usually under a pseudonym, makes statements to rile people up, OR takes delight in spewing irritating crap. That's a very narrow definition, it can be expanded greatly.

Cantonese girls: a female person of Southern-Chinese ethnocultural derivation, whose age is somewhat immaterial to this discussion, but you may assume that what is meant is an individual of post-highschool years, and safely before she looks like grandma. When Cantonese girls are grandmas, you might not know in any case; fewer wrinkles than Caucasians, and probably quite a bit less hefty too.

[By that definition, my own grandmother could have given any Cantonese girl serious competition: petite, elfin, and fine-boned. She was a stunner when she married my grandfather, as anyone could plainly tell.]

Comely: from old-English "cȳmlīc", meaning of pleasing appearance, pretty, lovely, attractive.


The other day my apartment mate, who actually IS a Cantonese girl, was watching a true crime documentary, during which an advertisement for the NoNoPro played at least three times. Naturally I looked the product up on the internet. Some people opined that it was not as good as a wax job, and left a smell of burning hair in its wake.

This I mentioned to her. So she asked me to look up the Epilady. Because that's what the internet is for; satisfying intellectual curiosity.
She was more than passingly familiar with the Epilady.

Cantonese girls sometimes have hairy legs.

Perhaps you did not know that.


HAIRY LEGS!


Actually, almost all women have hairy legs. In the case of pale Northern Europeans you might not notice it as much, because the hair colour won't stand out quite so boldly, and for black women the same holds. But any of the people with skin types between pale ivory and a medium dark olive, if they have black hair, will be quite self-conscious of it, if they are female. Obsessive, fussy, and neurotic.
East-Asians even more so.
Consequently they are always on the look-out for a quicker and more surefire method of yanking out those pesky obvious hairs, that stand out even from a distance, and make them feel like a Yeti.

Men never do that. Obsess about leg hairs, that is.
We're perfectly fine with our hairy gams.
Mmm, the fine shaggy thighs!


There have been times I could hear my apartment mate in her own room swearing up a blue streak as she dealt with the issue. Much as I am fond of thighs and calves and finely arched insteps, I cannot judge the results of her depilatory actions, nor wager whether the effort was worth it or not.

She is a Cantonese girl, but we are not in a relationship. If we were, gentlemanly discretion would still prevent discussing the matter.


I will however affirm that she is beautiful. As are all women who are snarky, quick-witted, intelligent, and foulmouthed when circumstances warrant.

What I can say is that she weighs less than an equivalent white woman, and is unwrinkled. She no longer yanks out white hairs from her head in my presence, so maybe she colours them.

Her hands are small and elegant, her fingers are narrow and tapered.
Her bone structure is delicate. She wears clothes well.
More waif-like than statuesque.

In her mind there are many Cantonese girls who are far more attractive than she is. She would never describe herself as beautiful or even pretty, the furthest she'll go is "not too damn goofy looking".

Never-the-less. And be that as it may.....

Cantonese girls are beautiful.

Despite their hairy legs.



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

Friday, April 24, 2015

YOU HAVE ME CONFUSED WITH SOMEONE ELSE

If you came to this blog, it was because of several possible interests. You could be into pipe-tobacco (which most of my readers aren't), Middle-Eastern bloodshed (much the same as pipe-tobacco), food, odd linguistic stuff, Dutchness, Chinatown, neighborhoods in Hong Kong, or animal tales. There's even a chance that you are fascinated by clothing. Specifically, stylish clothing, emphasis on underwear. Such as is suitable for poncing around the house while wearing, along with a briar pipe in the mouth, or enjoying a small cigarillo and a cup of strong coffee.
Male or female. Private poncing makes no gender distinction.
What you do in your underwear is nobody's business.

[NOTE: Over two weeks ago I analysed visitor data, and took one finding as the premise for a post. Happily, and tongue-in-cheekily, I speculated that enormous numbers of Russians in the hinterlands of Muscovy were cruising the internet for naked men, such as I myself daily am. See this essay: 'naked and alone'.
Then a dreadful realist called me back down to earth, by stating the obvious: "some sort of trolling tool has your site logged and it trolls the site for comments that contain e-mail addresses to use for phishing/spam. No one from Russia is actually visiting this site. If you utilize Google Analytics, you'll see that the majority of hits from the Ukraine, Russia and China are on the site from 0- 10 seconds. Trolling tools. Not readers." Which, had he been a regular reader of this site, he would have realized I already knew, seeing as I've often mentioned spam-bots and gibberant commentary underneath posts. Never-the-less, the idea that depressed Slavic types choose to cheer their grim selves up by exploring the wonderful world of Nakedmanistan amuses me. Hence the occasional mention of middle-aged male nudes. I am male, past my twenties, and when circumstances require not fully clothed.]


Underwear. Boxer shorts. Grandaddy pants. Scanties. Little scraps of fabric. He-man garments. Long Johns, Short Johns, and perhaps No Johns At All. The tent where Jones lives. Loin cloth or more.



DOS UNTERVESH

You will be pleased to know that today is a happy underwear day.
Not female gatkes -- comfy or otherwise -- but boxers.
Stylish short-like garments for smoking.
Cigarillo now, pipe later.

Today I am wearing octopussy pants. Pale green boxers with a pattern of smiling octopuses. Octopodi. Octopi. Eight-legged aquatic beasties with big grins on their ponims. Their good cheer is my good cheer.
I've got other happy undergarments.
One with little owls.
Also happy.


Under my clothes, cephalopods.
Imagine that.


AFTERWORD

The primary reason for bringing this up is that another person recently called me "mister grumpy pants". I wish to assure him and everybody else that I am NOT a grumpy pants. More a 'dancy pants' type, or a 'bemused pants', 'dreaming pants', 'eating dinner pants', or, last but not least, a 'happy pants' type. As well as 'octopussy pants'.



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

Thursday, April 23, 2015

KENNEDY TOWN AND FURTHER

When the MTR is finally completed, Kennedy Town will loose the 'beyond nowhere' ambiance. At present, the best way to get there is by the double decker trams (香港電車,西行 'heung gong din che') that run along Catchick Street to Davis, which is the last stop but one on the westward leg. One block north is the New Praya along the water, one block south is Kennedy Mansion at Belcher Street; classic crowd-housing. In between is Hau Wo Street, which stretches for only one block between Davis and the parking structure on Smithfield. Small eateries, laundromats, and shops selling items for daily use.

[Trams: 香港電車 ('heung gong din che'; incense harbour electric vehicle). The Hong Kong tram company (香港電車有限公司 'heung gong din che yau haan gung si'; 有限公司 = "have limits public manage", LTD) started service in 1904. Riding a double-decker tram is probably the best way to see the island, and during the day service is regular and frequent. Western District Trams (西環電車 'sei waan din che')) run along Catchick, then loop on Cadogan.]

My prediction is that someone will eventually want to turn Hau Wo into a destination restaurant alley. If by now that hasn't already happened; there's plenty to eat there already.


Sun Hing Restaurant, where drunken expats go for early morning eaties, is at number eight Smithfield Road where Hau Wo ends. They open early, but by a more reasonable hour (like, say, seven or eight A.M.), the clientele consists primarily of aunties and uncles scarfing down runny custard buns, siumai, and hargau.
HKU students flock here later in the day.

Do not go there at three A.M.; that one trip to Lan Kwai Fong exposed you to enough Smashed Aussies and Hamsap Englishmen to last a lifetime, you don't need anymore.
There's only so much 'Oy-mate' ruckus a grown man can take.
Beyond that it becomes dreary and repetitive.
And English perverts are jejeune.
As well as dirt-common.

[Honestly why DO so many Englishmen (and Dutchmen, Germans, etc.) display their worst side when abroad? Thailand, apparently, now assumes that every white visitor is there only to engage in degeneracy, and Malaysia justifiably employs the rotan on misbehaving white backsides. European cities standardly call out the riot squads when soccer fans flock in from neighbouring countries. Americans, I concede, are certainly not known for classy behaviour, but Euries get smashed everywhere they go, and then start waving their privates around. 
Or vomiting. It's quite incomprehensible.]


新興食家
西環堅尼地城,士美菲路,8號,地下,C號舖。
SUN HING RESTAURANT ('SAN-HING SIK-GAA')
Shop C, Ground floor, 8 Smithfield Road, Kennedy Town.

Trust me, everything is 太好食,舊式點心風味。
You will love it.

It isn't a large place, and may feel a bit crowded. But the food is great, the ambiance vibrant and bustling, and the staff friendly and helpful.
If communication becomes an issue, just point.
And please don't act drunk or hamsap.
Enjoy your meal.


香港大學出版社
HONG KONG UNIVERSITY PRESS

One other major reason to head west is books. A university bookstore is, naturally, a major magnet. The Hong Kong University Press does a few dozen titles a year (the best dictionary for students of Cantonese is one of theirs, BTW), and many of their publications are worth acquiring.
 See this link: HKU PRESS


香港大學出版社書店
香港,薄扶林道,香港大學,百周年校園,逸夫苑,地下。
HKUP Bookshop
Ground floor, Run Run Shaw Heritage House, Centennial Campus, The University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam Road, Hong Kong.

Open five days a week, holidays excepted.
Ten till tea time.


GLOSSARY

Kennedy Town: 堅尼地城 ('kin nei dei seng'; solid nun ground city). Catchick Street: 吉席街 ('gat jik gaai'; propitious seat street). Davis Street: 爹核士街 ('de wat si gaai'; daddy kernel scholar street). New Praya: 堅彌地城新海旁 ('kin nei dei seng san hoi pong'; solid complete earth city new sea-beside). Kennedy Mansion: 堅尼地大廈 ('kin nei dei daai haa'; solid nun great multistory). Belcher Street: 卑路乍街 ('pei lou jaa gaai'; inferior road primary street). Hau Wo Street: 厚和街; 'haau wo gaai'; generous harmonize street). Cadogan Street: 加多近街 ('gaa do gan gaai'; add much nearby street). Sun Hing: 新興 ('san hing'; new prosperity, up-and-coming). Smithfield Road: 士美菲路 ('si mei fei lou'; official beauty luxuriant road).

Drunken: 醉 ('jeui'), 醉醺醺 ('jeui fan fan'; quite plastered), 飽醉 ('baau jeui'; filled up), or 爛醉 ('laan jeui'; stinko, rotten drunk); people from the British Isles are frequently 醉到啤啤 ('jeui dou pei-pei': lacquered beyond the point of being a spectacle).
Hamsap: 鹹濕 "salty - greasy"; perverted, lecherous.

Runny custard buns: 流沙包 ('lau saa baau'; flowing sand bun; 流沙 = quicksand). Apparently it's delicious. Siumai: 燒賣 (roasted vends; pork and sometimes shrimp in a pasta envelope; rarely beef).
Hargau: 蝦餃 (shrimp bonnet).

I have never had a runny custard bun, in case you were wondering.
Never even knew that there was such a thing.
And yet, I am drooling.

A few dimsums that one must try:
Haahm seui gok: 鹹水角 ("salt water cornet"), deep fried pork dumpling. Fan gwo: 粉果 ("starch fruit"), a Teochow pasta bonnet with diverse filling. Wu gok: 芋角 ("colocasia cornet"), fried taro pouf around a meaty filling, extremely good to eat with hot sauce. Yu chi gaau: 魚翅餃 ("fish fin dumpling"), shark fin dumpling; a mixed filling item so named because of the cunning way the dough skin is folded along the top.
There are, of course, very many others.

For a complete listing of dimsum, see this essay:
Dim Sum: Kinds, Names, Pronunciation (March 28, 2012)


Lan Kwai Fong: 蘭桂坊 ('laan gwai fong'; orchid laurel lane), a bar district in Central (中環 'jung waan') filled with clubs, misbehaving Westerners, and hip dives. A place to avoid. Smashed Aussies: 醉酒佬 ('jeui jau lou').
Hamsap Englishmen: 鹹濕英紅 ('haam sap ying-hong').
Euries: 歐垃圾 ('ngau laap saap').


ADDENDUM

Pok Fu Lam: 薄扶林 ("indifferent protection forest"), a village in Hong Kong (薄扶林村 'pok fu lam chuen') and the valley of the same name, on the other side of the hill from Kennedy Town. This is where the first dairy farms were established, so that Englishmen could have a proper tea, such a beverage being theretofore utterly unknown in China.

夢裡仙女

The settlement was founded in the sixteen hundreds or before. A local shrine, the Li Ling Fairy Tower (李靈仙姐塔 'lei ling sin je taap'; Li spiritual immortal elder-sister pagoda) is probably the only place where the spirit Lee Ling is venerated. According to local lore, centuries ago the village was tormented by ghosts. One night miss Lee appeared in a dream to a resident and promised to drive away the spirits. Since then the village has been under her protection.
The tower honouring her was built in 1916. Though many of the villagers are now Christian, there is still a modest yearly festival associated with the two-storey monument.

Presently modern housing development threatens the village.
It is likely that it will make way for apartment blocks.
Trampled under the hooves of progress.



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

Labels: ,

LARGE FURRY QUADRUPED

They have gai choi and yuen sai. As well as bottles of abalone sauce, and abalone - scallop sauce. These are big bottles, and there is only one of me. So it would take months to finish even half. Besides, I have a smaller size bottle of the abalone sauce at home, which is enough.

There are also cookies there, and condiments galore. Their vegetable selection is rather sparse, but, on the plus side, there is a cat.

A very large gingery cat. Who is friendly, but likes to play-bite.

I need to stress that it is a very likable cat.

Fun to pet. And tell 'no'.


As in "no, I am not edible". Or "no, I don't think you want to do that". Or even "no, I have to leave now, it's nothing personal".


I could've spent hours patting the kitty. While avoiding it's sharp friendly teeth. Seldom have I met so utterly endearing a feline, fearsome claws and jaws not withstanding. What really made the experience exceptionally worthwhile was that the cat had deliberately sought my attention, and let me know that I was a perfect fellow.

Cats and dogs seem to think that I smell intriguing.

Other humans, not so much.

Any day now I expect to see the stupid bipeds panicking and running away screaming. Although one of them did opine that 'Ah Sook' (by which she meant me) was an altogether decent sort.

Ah Sook often gets a cup of milk tea and a snackipoo there.
Has been doing so for years.


APPENDIX

Herewith words for you.

Yuen sai (芫茜): cilantro. Gaai choi (芥菜): stalky mustard, a beloved vegetable, which has a slight bitterness and an appealing crunch. Very good with abalone sauce (鮑魚汁 'bao yü jap'), and probably no less good with abalone - scallop sauce (鮑魚瑤柱汁 'bao yü yiu chü jap'). Cookies: 曲奇 ('kuk kei', "crooked strange"), but in this context biscuits (餅乾 'beng gon', "pastry drieds"). Condiments: 香料 ('heung liu', "fragrant ingredients), or 調味料 ('diu mei liu', "change taste materials"). Cat: 貓 ('maau').

Ah Sook (阿叔): uncle. Lord knows I don't feel uncle-like. Not even avuncular. But apparently I look it. Non-threatening at the very least.
I don't know how I got here.




[獾叔 FOON SOOK]



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

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

BEGINNING THE WEEKEND

Follows a description of noteworthy activities last night after returning from associating with rabid republican weasels at a smoke-filled environment.

Dang, those people are nuts. Did I ever mention the overweening sense of entitlement some of those folks have? Rational people prefer to sit outside, or utilize the comfy chairs when the raptors are absent. I consider my work therapeutic for them, but sometimes I feel shell shocked.
Good thing there are some pipe smokers too.
Not just cigar-huffing rednecks.

But anyhow.


Activities of note:

1) Ten minutes performing corrective surgery on a Teddy Bear.

The bear in question belongs to my apartment mate, and is named Ms. Bruin. She's a very dignified bear, albeit a little worn.
In many ways she is the totemic presence in our household, as well as being my apartment mate's oldest and best friend.

One of the seams was coming apart.
Tools needed: needle and thread.

I appreciate my apartment mate, and do not wish her to be despondent. So of course my deft fingers were at her disposal for this task.
A mission of mercy.

Respect the bear!


2) Ninety minutes refinishing a pipe.

It's a Peterson System Standard, shape 307. The upper edge needed to be taken down by a fraction to restore the crispness where previous use had rounded it. Additionally, the hole was slightly off. In some ways I am utterly anal-retentive. The woodgrain had an intriguing peculiarity, being from nearer the center of an old burl, probably towards the top. Both the remarkable surface translucence and the refractive quality indicated ancient wood. Peterson System pipes are rather a fondness of mine. I now possess five of them, one of which belonged to my father. The last time I visited him I found another one at a Tobacconist in Woensel -- a dark sandblasted piece made for the European market -- so upon my return to the United States there were two such handsome smoking objects in my luggage.

Fine grit sandpaper, files, and various stains.
A home-made polishing compound.
Plus a bit of heat.


3) Three hours of watching peculiarity in North Beach.

And by peculiarity is meant rambling madness, hippies, and stupid drunks. It's a tradition now hoary with age. No matter how much the Bookseller and I resist, our hostess at the last place we visit on our weekly jaunt demands that we have another drink. When our resolve falters, the next morning brings regret.

Last night was pretty okay. Other than the two of us, there were no other Caucasians in the bar. Nothing spells disaster like a horde of tattooed white twenty-somethings full of themselves belting out karaoke songs and downing shots of cinnamon-whiskey. Likely they are all marketing or sales department coolies trying to regain their missing manhood (or womanhood) by arrogance, misbehaviour, a profound sense of entitlement expressed by forcing everyone else to listen to Hotel California, and pissing drunkenly in their jeans because they cannot figure out where the restroom is (it's right behind them, FYI).

We are very tolerant men. We merely observe.
And mentally encourage them to leave.
Please get run over out there.
Find a bus somewhere.


Our hostess at the third place is over a decade older than we are. Her liver probably needs a vacation. Karaoke is nobody's business.

The other woman there last night is a very naughty girl.
But she's going back to school, which is good.
She left before the madness ended.
Which is even better.


I don't have to go to work again till Friday.

Snackiepoos, milk tea, long walks.

No mayhem planned.

Pipe.



Oh, plus ogling girlies. I am a very clean man, but my eyes are a bit dirty-minded. Training them to be otherwise has proven quite impossible.




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

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

VERY LIKELY SHE'S BEREFT!

Ross Alley is one of the most-visited areas of Chinatown. Reason being that it is non-threatening -- no obvious signs of cannibalism, white slavery, daemon rum, and drug addiction -- and contains, in addition to a Christian mission to the heathens, also a fortune cookie factory, a picturesque old geezer, a learning annex, and a trinket shop.

And a smallish pale purple brassiere.
Which reflects impeccable taste.
Slightly padded for comfort.
Discreet lace edging.


Given this data, it should not surprise you at all that there are often tourists present. They're timorous beasties, and quiveringly follow the dictats of their tourguides, without whom they would be lost.

Ross. Easy word. Tourists.


But the smallish brassiere is an anomaly. It is by no means a permanent and admirable fixture, alas. It fluttered down from on high while I was strolling through the alleyway. I would have picked it up and possibly rushed off with it, but there were tourists there.

Consequently my only connection with the tasteful pale purple garment is that I keenly feel for the woman from whose window it fell. There were other items still hanging there, to air-dry while their owner is at work, but they were too far up to accurately identify. Although one of them may have been a pair of light blue panties.

It may have been her favourite bra. Such things are precious.
People of both genders are often very attached to one.
And, if it's comfortable and well-designed.....
A profound loss! Worth lamenting!


I can intensely imagine her heart-ache when she comes home and finds it missing. If I ever meet her, I should gladly buy her a replacement.
I feel that it would be a gallant thing to do.

An ice-breaker, in any case.


I wish I could say more about the bra, perhaps creatively speculating about the person who used to wear it, her home life and personality as suggested by the garment, but I only saw it briefly. One does not wish to be noticed staring at a woman's bra, you see, and although I looked back quickly several times to ascertain that it was still there, those were only fleeting glimpses, from progressively greater distances. So, other than hue, padding, shape and curvature, plus the discreet lace edging (white), there is not much I can report. Couldn't even speculate about the proportion of cotton versus synthetic fabric.


'Tis a sad, sad loss.



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

Monday, April 20, 2015

ETIQUETTE IN SAN FRANCISCO

After riding the San Francisco buses, eating in fine monstrously inexpensive eateries in Chinatown, strolling down busy thoroughfares, and doing other things one naturally does while living urbanly to the max, it strikes me that many new arrivals in this city -- such as internet yuppies, marketing types from godforsaken places between the Oakland Hills and the Alleghenies ("Flyoverstan"), and godhelpus, tourists -- do not understand the art of behaving gracefully in public and not offending other people.

Very well then. Here are some pointers.
Please memorize them, dipshits.
We might like you better.


Offer your seat to women and old folks.
Also parents with children.


That last item is because small persons surrounded by gigantic glandular freaks like your own Midwestern or Texan selves may get crushed on a bus, OR could experience panic attacks if all they can see is giant crotch.
Remember, kids bite.


Don't talk with your mouth full.

Splendid chompers. Especially if you're English.
I damn-near upchucked. Thank you.
I paid for that meal.


Open doors, and hold the door open for the person behind you.

What, you think you're the only person coming in or going out?
Not all doors are automatic.


Don't stare at people eating with chopsticks. That's any people, but especially whites. It isn't unusual, and only requires a little more dexterity in one hand than knife and fork in two.

A well-aimed chopstick flung with sufficient force can skewer your eye and drill a hole right through both sides of your head at eight-hundred miles per hour. And, if plastic, can easily be wiped afterward.


Find out how much Golden Gate Transit buses charge BEFORE you intend to board. 

They don't take credit cards, Muni passes, tourist discount cards, bottle caps, travellers cheques, pounds, dinars, or fifty dollar bills.
And we already know this isn't Europe.

Change will NOT be given.

It's a machine.


Eating a sandwich with a knife and fork is absolutely ridiculous.

No clarification needed.

[Jawel, beste 'Ollanders, in deze kontrijen beschouwt men een boterham als zijnde iets dat men met de handen eten kan. Net, dus, als 'n kroket deswelks men by Fema koopt, of een smakelijke haring. Doe alstublieft niet zo stom.]

Feel free to try eating it with chopsticks.

We like being entertained.


Do not block the sidewalk. Yes, those are tall buildings.

See, we discovered concrete, rebar, and modern architecture a while back. Why, we haven't used mud and wattle in years! It's surprising what you can do with structural engineering.


Unless it is served in a cup, and does not have noodles, soup is meant to be slurped.

That's just the way it is.


Hey! I'm walking here!

Remember that.


LASTLY: please do not conduct loud cellphone conversations in public, do not try to ignore the cripples and fossils whom you should offer a seat by studiously attending to your text-messages and facebook page, get out of the way, stop punctuating everything with the F word, cut the privileged attitude, do NOT cluster in front of the back door of this bus oblivious to everybody else's need to enter or exit, wipe that disapproving scowl off your pasty white face, and don't talk louder because you think we're stupid.

Oh for craps sake! Simply ditch that damned cellphone.
Here, let me show you how it's done.
There's an open window.
You're welcome.




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

Sunday, April 19, 2015

THE GONGSI SAAM-MAN-JI

For some reason, women worry about me eating. I cannot figure this out. Maybe they believe adult men should look fat.
Or paunchy. And I do not fit the bill.
Being a rather scrawny old boy.
I will admit that I'm much more casual about food than when I was in a relationship. Food, you must understand, is something fun to do when you are with someone. If not, you simply snack as needed (or many hours later), while drinking a hot beverage and watching people.

Recently I had a club sandwich. Which distressed BOTH of the women where I ate. They would never have guessed that I was the customer who ordered such a thing. It was eccentric, and confused them.
But, in all honesty, a club sandwich is fun. Toasted white bread. Fried egg. Avocado. Crisp lettuce. Tomato. Cheese. Bacon. Carefully constructed, then cut into four triangles held together by toothpicks, and arranged to form a box-like containment, wherein a handful of fries.

A delicious and nutritious work of art.
Verily, a masterpiece.


公司三文治
GONG SI SAAM MAN JI

Contrasting textures, savoury and warm. A view of Washington Street, as well as down the alleyway with the banner advertising Waisihongsan Yansam (威斯康辛人蔘). It is fascinating to watch people pass by, often looking baffled or lugging stuff, as well as parents accompanied by their children traversing the alley. The baffled people are usually tourists. They tend to avoid the alleyway, even though as alleyways go it is a very NICE alleyway. There is an herbal doctor, a printing company, a long-established herbs and dry-goods store, seller of cd's and tapes, old-fashioned jade shop, gundam and action figure shop, and only three mahjong parlours. At the far end it is cornered by a medical herbs shop. An active and commercially still vibrant part of the neighborhood, though slightly grungy.
But not particularly tourist-inviting, more our kind of place.
I often wander through smoking my pipe.


It was the second time I've had a gongsi saammanji there within a month. The first time the person taking my order didn't bat an eye-lid, but she did ask me to confirm that that in fact was what I really wanted. There were two other people working there the second time around, who are more used to me requesting either a porkflossed bun or something sweeter than that, OR going into the dining area and having an actual hot cooked meal.
But sometimes you simply want something lunchy.
It's a tea restaurant. That isn't unusual.
And food is boring at mid-day.
Teatime is perfect.

[Tea restaurant: 茶餐廳 'cha chaan teng'. A place where Hong kong style Western foods, plus snackies and quick meals are served. There are a few of them in Chinatown, and they're all favourite places of mine for very different reasons; not only because of their particular foods, but they're also unique people-watching environments. They're called 'tea restaurants' because they all serve a notorious quick burst of 'wake-me-up', that being hot and strong black tea made creamy with evap or condensed milk.
Naai-cha (奶茶) is a very good beverage. Your synapses will thank you. Porkflossed bun: 肉鬆飽 'yiuk sung bao'; a sweet bread roll with a rich layer of crispy pork fuzz baked on top. Similar to the scallion and pork floss roll (葱香肉鬆卷 'heung chung yiuk sung kuen'), which is also mighty good.]



The club sandwich is in most people's estimation strictly a lunch item. But lunch is vastly overrated; no main meal of the day should follow breakfast so closely. That's very American and quite unhealthy.
Even if one does not eat breakfast.
Which I never do.


The ladies who work there can understand a snackipoo after four or five in the afternoon -- many people either delay dinner for a few hours, or revive their spirits with something before going home -- but a club sandwich just does not strike them as a suitable evening repast.
It's cannot possibly be filling enough!
And where's the rice?!?

You know, grown men can take care of themselves.
A little practice makes perfect.

Oddly, I feel like having a gongsi saammanji right now.
How sad, the tea restaurants are presently closed.
It might have to be a fried egg again.
With a little hot sausage.
And noodles.



Probably best to have one or two almond biscuits with crumbly cheddar, followed by a scoop of cardamom ice-cream.
I've already got some milk tea.
A calcium-rich repast.
Healthy.




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

Labels: ,

BEYOND CENTRAL, NORTH OF POK FU LAM

One might want porkchop soup noodles, fried porky dumplings.
Perhaps even a side of red-cooked eggplant.
Breakfast of champions!

Especially with hot hot tea.

[Respectively: 豬扒麵 ('chyu paa min'), 生煎包 ('saang jin baau'), 紅燒茄子 ('hong-siu ke ji'). The tea, of course, is gong sik naai cha. But you knew that.]

Alas, one must be disappointed.


NORTH AND SOUTH, WHATEVER...

Perhaps the most telling customer comment is "食物普通service差", which means that the food is by no means stellar and the service is both haphazard and apathetic. One might expect more from a restaurant on Holland Street.  Holland Street, verdomme! As a Dutch speaker, I think it would be utterly lovely if indeed it were better.

I like cheap Shanghai eaties.

小籠包?

Mmm.


What's amazing is that there is (was) another place on Holland Street for such things: the "Shanghai good-good short-rib noodle" (上海好好排骨麵 'seung hoi hou hou pai gwat min'). Unfortunately, it's closed. Holland Street just isn't a winning location. And I cannot figure out why. Surely the locals haven't wigged on to the fact that people like me are notoriously cheap and bitchy?
And if they have, why on earth should that make a difference?
Most of us have better manners than mainlanders!
We speak the nicest language: Dutch.

[Nicer than Shanghainese in any case, except perhaps to a Shanghailander. Sure, horking up rough Germanic hairballs may sound nasty, but that hissy sodawater syphon speech from the Whangpoo fair turns the kidneys.]


Holland Street stretches from the Sai Waan Kai Fong Fuk Lei Wui to the Praya. Just one block. The bus stops there. That, in a nutshell, is the most exciting thing. There are NO windmills or tulips there. Apartment towers, twenty-plus floors of tight dwelling spaces, but still better than the old-fashioned lodgements in the decrepit seven or eight storey apartment buildings along Sands Street, where it crosses Belcher.
Worse buildings. Peeling paint. Rusty louvers.
Those typical semi-barred windows.
But such better food.


Remember that. Kennedy Town, Belcher Street.
A bit seedy, old, and falling apart.
It's a nice place.



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

Labels: ,

Saturday, April 18, 2015

TRUE PATRIOTS AND JADE HELM

For the past few days I have been entertained by crackpot conspiracists venting about Jade Helm. According to the prevailing batshitters, military exercise Jade Helm is the secret and dastardly plot by this administration to impose martial law, exterminate between ten and twenty five percent of the United States population, imprison large numbers, and clear the way for either United Nations control OR a dictatorship by the Bilderburgers / Rockefellers / Koch Brothers.

Just look up 'Jade Helm' if you want to read balderdash.

[By balderdash is meant stuff that other loonies have written. Not MY stuff. Good heavens no. I am a sane loony, they aren't. Surely you grasp that?]

Elements of the theories that they are running with have been recycled from previous spew-streams. Fema camps, secret communists, anti-Christian plots, a fear of foreigners and the urban educated classes, outer-space alien thought control, and the lizard people.

What is remarkable is how little actual information is needed to over-excite the minds of liquored-up inbreds.


Jade Helm is an eight-week (starting in mid-July) joint military and inter-agency unconventional warfare exercise to be conducted in areas of Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, California, Nevada, Utah and Colorado. Participating units come from the Department of Defense and U.S. government, and include the U.S. Army Special Forces Command, U.S. Navy Seals, the U.S. Air Force Special Operations Command, the U.S. Marine Corps Special Operations Command, U.S. Marine Corps Expeditionary Units, the 82nd Airborne Division, et autres.


The looniest fringe believes that it is specifically directed against Texas, for the express purpose of destroying the most resolute and Christian freedom loving flag and gun waving state in the Union.
And locking up all true Americans.


IT'S AN OBAMA PLOT!

The articles on survivalist and "patriot" websites speak darkly of troop movements, plans for resistance, and plots to stockpile arms and ammo for the great clash at the endtimes. Why were so many American military officers "retired" during the past ten years? Why is everyone involved strenuously denying that evil is afoot? Why is the federal government NOT addressing every single overly detailed longwinded question rife with bad grammar and misspellings fired off by indignant and confrontational internet warriors?

This lack of clarity is very very suspicious!
The Feds have been co-opted!
Look, black helicopters!
Secret forces!

Martial law!!!

Anybody who disputes this "patriot" nonsense is labelled a government operative, disinformation agent of PsyOps, and likely a liberal.


Which, of course you understand, I am. All of that.

I have your names and know where you live.

My true-form is Alien Lizard.

I am ravenous.



Step AWAY from the Bourbon bottle!




==========================================================================
NOTE: Readers may contact me directly:
LETTER BOX.
All correspondence will be kept in confidence.
==========================================================================
 
Newer›  ‹Older