At the back of the hill

Warning: May contain traces of soy, wheat, lecithin and tree nuts. That you are here
strongly suggests that you are either omnivorous, or a glutton.
And that you might like cheese-doodles.
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Wednesday, May 11, 2016


There are times when you necessarily would rather have a different person at the table. And sometimes, no one at all. This was evident from the two women diners nearest me yesterday at the chachanteng. The first one had a very enjoyable meal all by herself: a big bowl of wonton in broth, and a plate of Chinese broccoli with a drizzle of oyster sauce. She looked perfectly happy and at peace during and after, and may have had an altogether splendid time.

The second one was accompanied by her two sons. Who, as little boys are wont to be, were a fractious handful, and had they been unsupervised would have poked each other with sharp sticks or found a way to break things.
This morning I realized that that precisely is a key difference between male children and female children. The tiny man-brats engage in one-upmanship and vying for rank or downright supremacy in the pecking order, often by pushing and shouting, or demanding attention; little girls are more likely to attempt a form of co-operative social interaction.

This is probably an over-simplification.

Still, they were annoying.

['Che! Jyu jeui ah, nei!']

When their mother went to the bathroom, I leaned over and hissed "m-sai gam taai seng ge, sai-seng di, ho m-ho" (唔使咁大聲嘅,細聲啲,好唔好); 'it is not necessary to be so loud, how about toning it down a bit'.

It pleases me no end that the smaller and more obnoxious one didn't say a single word from then until I left, the small google-eyed monster.

I really do not like loud shouting.

One other thing that stood out of all the people there was the difference between women's snackipoos and what the men were having.
The men were eating pastries or mostly meat dishes.
The women were having much more fibre.

What I ordered was great greasy gobs of goodness: baked Portuguese chicken rice (焗葡國雞飯 'guk pou gwok gai faan'). Chicken bits and potato chunks on top of egg-fried rice en casserole, a mild coconut curry sauce poured over, and both grated coconut and shredded cheese strewn on top. Then into the oven till the cheese melts and the surface bubbles. Not exactly the epitome of healthy eating, but so, so good.

What I should also have had, but it would have been far too much for one person at that point, was a plate of stirfried Chinese broccoli or mustard stalks with a drizzle of oyster sauce on the side.

But I was not dining with a woman, you see.
So it was just not a possibility.

We could have shared the two dishes.
And been perfectly happy.

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  • At 9:48 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    "Chicken bits and potato chunks on top of egg-fried rice en casserole, a mild coconut curry sauce poured over, and both grated coconut and shredded cheese strewn Son top. "



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