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.

Friday, June 15, 2018


The other day I walked past the location where Yong Kee (容記糕粉) used to be, and remembered their haam daan sou (鹹蛋酥), which was delicious. Yong Kee shut its doors in 2012. But you can still get haam daan sou at other places, as well as variations of the great big Toishan chicken bun.

[鹹蛋酥 ('haam daan sou'): small globular pastries with a crumbly sweet crust pastry shell, that contain a salted egg yolk in a bed of sweet lotus seed paste.]

Haam daan sou are seriously old-school. And go very well with Hong Kong milk tea ((港式奶茶 'gong sik naai chaa'), which wasn't available anywhere in Chinatown till the modern era. Milk tea did not appeal to the Toishanese immigrants two or three generations ago. Now their grandkids swill the Taiwanese version, which is tapioca balls in a weak sugary brew.
So it's not a consideration for them either.

Both of these things make me realize that I have become a crusty old fart.
Which wasn't my intent.


So, as a celebration of my middle-aged intestinal gas, today's lunch will be a selection of dumpling-type items. Several hours later I will enjoy milk tea and a pastry. There will be one or two bowls of tobacco in between those events, aged Virginia leaf in ancient briars.

One block away from the dumpling place, through an alleyway beloved by tourists (NOT the ratty alley mentioned elsewhere) is the herbal medicine store which sells the brand of ganoderma capsules (靈芝膠囊 'ling ji gaau nong') I prefer, where one of the owners has expressed himself favourably over the sheer old-schoolness of smoking a pipe in the modern era.

The re-paving of the alleyway beyond that may have progressed a bit. The project has taken well over a year and a half now, and it's finally starting to look decent. It's not of earthshaking importance, though, and does not affect the white population of this city, or the techno yuppies to whom city hall caters, so it's been very slow and slapdash. After-thoughtish.
The new mayor will not change that.

The great thing about Chinatown is the span of ages represented by people there, from tiny tyke to ancient fossil. Extreme youth to hoariest old age, and everything in between. You will not see that in the financial district or many other parts of the city -- we've become a place where you don't want to raise your kids -- and when you do, whether doddering antique or lively youth, they seem to have very modern attitude problems.

I don't really like people.
Except after lunch.


It's a sunny day, the wind is not too bad, and the alleyways beckon.
I shall ignore the "don't smoke here" signs everywhere.
Twenty five feet away would be indoors!
In a mahjong parlour.

No vegans, health nuts, or triggered bourgies there.

By the way: I used to play mahjong.
I'm just mentioning that.

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