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.

Wednesday, July 04, 2018


Instead of porkchops or Portuguese chicken, it was pickled vegetables and pork shreds over rice. My favourite chop houses were closed for the holiday, and Chinatown was filled with heffalumpish types from elsewhere in America, beefy and cornfed. With an urge to photograph.
Or ask ridiculous questions about everything.
Please stop asking questions.
Just don't.

It is all edible. Even for you.

And it does not take a herd.

As a middle-aged grumpy Dutchman who speaks Cantonese, I do not wish herds flocking slowly hither and yon when I go down to Chinatown. Local people, Cantonese-speaking, are preferred. Folks who are at home, rather than slumming in a "colourful" ghetto filled with remarkable sights to point at and of which to make a cellphone-selfie record. There are no freaks here.
Exclamations and googly eyes are not required.

*        *        *        *        *

I should have let on that I speak Cantonese earlier. Instead of startling the five charming old folks nearby. They had come in after I finished my meal and was still working on my milk tea, and because the only space was at the long centre table, they had sat down next to me to enjoy hot beverages and egg tarts. No, they weren't talking about white people, but discussing the bus service. The wait was so long! Holiday schedules! And while the distance was only half a dozen blocks, some of it was uphill.
Ah, old bones. It is indeed a bit of a trek.
I too had taken the bus instead.
Stiff legs, you know.

In answer to the questions of the delightful auntie to my left, I responded that I had lived in the city for several years, before that in Berkeley, and before then in Holland. No, not ever likely to move back; almost none of the people I knew are still in the same place, and I've put down roots here.

There was no need to mention that I'm originally American.
When I was an infant, we went overseas.
And the world changed.

I left before the conversation got too complicated.
Sometimes I am not social enough.
I regret that.

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