Monday, December 09, 2019


The first old wife biscuit in several weeks. Because the baker is back from his vacation. Sure, such confections are commonly available at many other places in Chinatown, to which I also go for milk tea and a treat, but that place there is where I wanted to have an old wife biscuit.
I enjoy it most there.

Things are back to normal again. A rainy afternoon, a warm and hospitable environment, and loud conversations in Toishan-accented Cantonese.

Four gentlemen at a table arguing about one million dollars.

Teapot Uncle at the window, coughing badly.

Hack, hack, hack! Yargh, hack, blork, ka-ka-ka splat!

Stringy white dude in the corner.
Enjoying his tea and biscuit.
And the various noises.


It was a day off, so I did some shopping, and repaired to a favourite place at teatime. The waitress welcomed me. She had not seen me in several weeks, as she too had been on vacation.

Hack, hack, hackity hack. Arrocka! Haark!

Speculation about one million dollars. Yat paak man! Plus rude comments about a hypothetical mother. And gesticulation.

Haaark! Hack hack. Kakha kakha kakha!

There is no actual one million dollars in play, it's all speculative, guesswork, and belongs if it exists to someone else. One million, man!

Horrock, horrock, horrock!

The showcases are filled with pastries again. They may have used a drop too much green food colouring in the pandan Swiss roll. Called a 班蘭瑞士卷 ('paan laan seui si kuen'), which is clear gibberish, as there are no words in Chinese for pandanus ("fragrant screwpine") or Switzerland, other than some make-do transcriptions approximating the sounds. So: squad or class, orchid - lily - magnolia, auspicious, gentleman, roll-up. Um. Well, at least there are more content-rich lexical items there than in much of English, though it seems a bit cumbersome.
The pandan Swiss roll cake.

It looked like it was filled with spinach.


It sounds like Teapot Uncle might need to see a doctor, so that someone can tell him to let the cold run its course, get plenty of liquids, take some aspirin occasionally, and don't smoke.

Harruckackikikik heck hack hork!

Except he doesn't smoke anyhow, and he is taking plenty of liquids.


There is a reason why I call him "Teapot Uncle".

Hickaraakaraak a hack! A hack! A hack!

So I'm not too worried about him.

Hack hack hack hack hack hack hack hack hack!

Afterwards, when I left the bakery with the startling explosive sounds in the background, I waited out the worst of the rain under the marquee of the long closed Great Star Theatre, where I saw many of the Golden Harvest movies years ago. Chow Yunfat as the righteous gangster in A Better Tomorrow (英雄本色 'ying hong pun sik') then a few years after that Chow Yunfat as a sensitive man in something the title of which I cannot remember.

Matured Virginia in a briar pipe considerable older than myself.
Homewards by bus later, brief stop at Walgreens.
Cold sick street person on Polk Street.
Three police officers.
One ambulance.

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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

He's not coughing, he's talking Russian!

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