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.
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Tuesday, July 31, 2018


The first smoke of the day was after porkchops on Pacific. As I lit my pipe, the flock of pigeons descended upon a discarded sweet bun, frightening the living bejazus out of a little girl walking past with her granddad. She gave a panicky yelp. Or squawk. The sparrows trying to horn in on the feast were more confident. They've experienced this before.

Beckett, Jackson Street, Ross Alley, Spofford, Hang Ah Alley.

The nasty deposits on Beckett have been covered with sand, there are a multitude of tourists on Jackson, as well as in Ross outside the fortune cookie factory, Spofford looks clean and new, and on Hang Ah alley a druggie was singing to himself while injecting stuff into his arm.

Those mushroom sauce porkchops over rice were really quite lovely. There was a slight wait before I got seated, as they do a booming lunch business, but like the folks at the bank, they address me in Chinese, having gotten used to my accent.
And they automatically bring me the bottle of chili sauce.
Which the folks at the bank have not done yet.
I'll be surprised if they start.

The show on the teevee screen hung above the back table was the tail-end of a cooking show -- steamed pi pa lute soy bean curd (蒸琵琶豆腐), in which the shape of the musical instrument is cleverly achieved by using porcelain spoons as the containers for the mixture -- which segued into a talk and variety show with three hip dingoes, a floor covered with fake grass, and an audience of manic youngsters sprinkled with a few bored looking old people. And how to make broccoli soup.
Served cold. It is good for you.
Probably makes you go.

The Cantonese have accepted broccoli. As I get older I reject it. Chinese broccoli is far, far better, being more closely related to leafy mustard,
rather than the woody green cousin of cauliflower or whatever.

The porkchops and rice come with a handful of plain steamed brocs, of which I always eat some of because it's healthy and promotes something something something, but it's still a boring inconsequential vegetable.

After finishing my pipe I did some shopping before wandering down to Tea Bear Cafe for a sit and a beverage, and eventually loaded up another pipe. While contemplating the miracle that is Perique, several eccentrics passed by in various directions. The gentleman with a straw doll-hat on his head and very tight faded army green, Patches (also known as 'Raggedy Andy'), whom you should never talk to, because he's a very angry person and you will regret it, and a bearded fellow wearing snakeskin cowboy boots and a charming tutu a few sizes too small, which wasn't perfectly clean.

That last mentioned individual dances and sings.
When he thinks no one is watching.

I realized that the reason why I get treated so well in the neighborhood is because I look quite kempt, don't act weird, and have age. If you keep yourself clean and reasonably trimmed, you belong.
At least you are unobjectionable.

Regarding the sparrows I mentioned earlier, I had to look up what that bird is called in English. Sparrows, bushtits, and blackbirds (mussen, mezen, en merels) are some of my favourite small birds. Finches, robins, and towhees (vinken, roodborstjes en towieën) not so much. The scrub-jay (de blauwe haher), of course, is spectacular and memorable, and acts rather like its charming larger cousin, the crow (de kraai).

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