Wednesday, March 21, 2018


This is one of my favourite places to eat, so I will not mention the name because some people would search for it on Yelp and read shitty reviews, likely by tourists and slope-browed ignoramusses, slagging the restaurant and criticizing them for not doing sweet and sour pork properly. Like it's always supposed to be done. As they know very well, from eating at some hole-in-the-wall in West Anoos, Kansas. And then they might think me crackers. Or hou mou tei-si.
Because I like it.

While I ate, I observed the other diners there.

Two countryside salt-of-the-earth types slowly ate their feast, with the bottle of red wine they had brought. It was too far to see the label clearly, probably a Californian pinot noir or merlot, but they enjoyed their drinks and their conversation. They were there when I came, still nibbling when I left.
Occasionally I heard sounds that only Toisanese make.
They were contemplative, not loud.
Calm fun.


A table of elderly people drifted in, the first one there having ordered for all of them, then angrily phoning the others when their food was turning cold.
I had wondered why she had so many dishes on her table, but after the last one arrived it all made sense. There was a little tension there, and their conversation was "subdued".
"Here I am, providing all of this food, and you mannerless old mofos took over HALF AN HOUR to park the goldarn car!" Implied, of course, but not stated. The ladies probably did some shopping while walking over, the man took ten minutes longer to get there, so he may have dropped them off. Before or after the cell-phone viciously exploded.
Probably not the best of social meals.

An old couple at the table that the white yuppie chicks had vacated. They seemed happier than the table of elderly types, far more alert than the white yuppie chicks, and spoke city Cantonese.
No booze, lots of tea.

[飲食順序好重要:湯水先,再來蔬菜和肉,同飯。The order of the meal is very important; first soup, then the vegetables and meat dishes, plus rice.]

And lastly, a man, a woman, and their pudgy little girl. Fried crab. A whole steamed fish. Garlic stir-fried stalky vegetables (mm, smells delicious!). And then yet another plate. By that time I was marveling at the nice things they were eating, and envious of the child happily tucking in. They did not look like they were celebrating anything, nor were they dressed for an occasion. Just a regular family dinner. But a very nice one.

"Oh don't bother cooking, let us just go out and have crab and steamed fish over at that place. And garlicky stirfry veggies."

How wonderful to be that little person, with such parents.

My own meal was a simple something over rice.
Basically a lunch-plate special.
Though good.


Chinatown at twilight on a rainy day is the perfect place to smoke a pipe after dinner. Here and there under awnings another person pauses with a cigarette, over at Luk Fook they're re-calibrating the roll-down shutters, and a few people hasten home with food purchased or head towards restaurants in groups. Along Washington the eateries are brightly lit.
Because, food, you know. Food.
Especially when it rains.

Please note: pronouns aren't necessary when contextually the whom and what are perfectly clear. Hmm?

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