Wednesday, February 14, 2018


It's Valentine's Day today. Which means that if you are like me, you are in a gently sneering mood, quite un-Christian, and resolved to let chili peppers, caffeine, and cigars stand in for a woman or man of your dreams.

I've made a start on two of those already.

Nothing says Valentine's Day like a cigar.

I'm sure that your significant other will agree. And you'll have to admit that it would be a bold statement, especially in a place like San Francisco where tobacco triggers so many little wheat germ heads.
Do it. Go on.

See, that's one of the reasons I like Chinatown. The local people aren't easily offended, and everybody has lovable relatives who smoke. And there are no glandered Protestants to whine about hot sauce being a sign of the devil, non-nutritional, an effete affectation, and indicative of Catholicism and a seedy Latin temperament. Or to start weeping when I light up a pipe, because it just smells so strong and hurts their pure little feelings.

Some Chinese do celebrate Valentine's Day.
Hip, modern, young people, mostly.
The plastic urbanites.


One truly great thing about Valentine's Day is that I don't need to worry about it being a thing in any of my favourite restaurants in Chinatown, because I favour cheap eaties for us common folk: hearty rice plates, chachanteng specials, dumplings, noodle soup, and pork chops. Late yesterday afternoon I had eggplant and fish over rice, with hot sauce.
Last Friday it was steamed dumplings and chili oil. A charsiu pastry on Wednesday, pork chops on Tuesday. Both of those places also have hot sauce. The week before that at some point mui choi kau yiuk (and hot sauce), plus baked Portuguese chicken rice (and hot sauce).
To me this is all glorious, and very romantic.
梅菜扣肉,焗葡國雞飯 。
And 热奶茶!

I dream of taking someone to these places.

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