SUCH A HAPPY FOOD!
All the antisocials in one big pile.
Ignoring each other.
Remarkably, there was no one else at that table. Halfway through my lunch (roast pork and tofu over rice, plus a cold beverage), a young gentleman from Shanghai joined me. Initially I thought he was a local born person of Cantonese extraction, and typically non-functional in Chinese, because he addressed the waitress in English. But to my surprise when it came time to order he spoke Mandarin, and asked whether that second character in a dish mentioned on the wall was indeed what he thought it was. It was.
Mainlanders sometimes have a hard time deciphering the long hand written versions of words that they only know in simplified script. So, after he had finished, I asked him where in China he was from.
My Mandarin is lousy, by the way. Fortunately after a few sentences we continued our discussion in English.
Here's where I know I come from a different time and place: after finishing my meal I was going to enjoy a pipeful of tobacco. He planned to visit a strip show and did I have any recommendations?
Forgive me, I am not familiar with the titty clubs of San Francisco. That form of entertainment does not appeal to me. Although if by chance there were a warm, comfortable, classy, and well-lighted place where one could view nice naked women eating noodles, I might be first in line.
I'll have whatever she's having.
And please bring her another serving too.
The women need not be trim, a certain curvy pudginess is also quite okay.
As you would expect on some of the performing artists if their main source of income were devouring pasta. But what is essential is that the kitchen is clean, well-run, and creative. No one can look cheerful when eating muck, or the exact same dish for the umpteenth day in a row.
One of my favourite noodle types is 沙河粉，that being a broad rice stick, very good with black bean sauce clams and mussels, or even just porky bits and chilipepper. Any number of things. It's very easy on the digestion, and soothing.
炒龍蝦河粉 ('chaau lung haa ho fan') lobster chow fun.
It's celebratory and indulgent.
The Shanghainese fellow was likable enough, and also a reasonably good conversationalist. But I would have preferred a naked lady intently devouring a plate of seafood noodles.
I tried not to let him know how extremely disappointed I was.
There are some things a gentleman does not mention.
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