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.
Please form a caseophilic line to the right. Thank you.

Monday, May 14, 2018


Several days ago I committed the sin of cultural appropriation, and I hope that Jeremy Lam won't crucify me for it. Of course, he might lack the wherewithal for that. What with being so damned banana it hurts.
Jeremy Lam, readers might recollect, is the sterling intellectual who wrote "my culture is NOT your goddamn prom dress" when confronted with the image of someone wearing a cheungsaam better than he could.

It was a lovely day in Chinatown. I ate shrimp bonnets, little basket buns, and pot stickers for lunch. They were delicious. After smoking a pipe, I had some Hong Kong milk tea and a slice of excellent Italian cake.

[Shrimp bonnets: 蝦餃 ('haa gaau'). Little basket buns: 小籠包 ('siu lung baau'). Pot stickers: 鍋貼 ('wo tip'), Hong Kong milk tea: 港式奶茶 ('gong sik naai chaa'). Italian cake: 意大利蛋糕 ('yi taai lei daan gou'); Tiramisu.]

Only the first-named item is truly Cantonese. The second is Shanghainese, the third comes from so far in Mandarin territory that the sun doesn't shine, the beverage is colonialistic, and the dessert is, as the name suggests, not even Chinese at all. Though much beloved, despite being barbaric.
Furthering the sin, I pronounced everything in Cantonese.
Because it would've been pointless not to.
Hsiao long bao? Gwo tyeh?
How ridiculous.

No, I wasn't wearing a cheungsaam at the time.

Four out of five things for which the Cantonese terms are given above are NOT of Cantonese origin. Surely that's "cultural appropriation". All the pronunciations ARE for Cantonese. That, too, is appropriationistic.
The origin of the cheungsaam has been discussed elsewhere.
Calling it a 'qipao' is linguistic fascism.

I realize that I might offend the Jeremy Lams of the internet by writing this.
If any of them ever read it, they could be triggered.
My piles bleed for them.



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