Wednesday, February 26, 2020


For the first time ever I didn't have to wait at my barber but was immediately under the shears. A miracle, and he admitted that because business had been lousy, he was bored out of his mind. Timkai mow saang-yi? M-chi ah. Why no business? Don't know. In fact, both of us knew. His shop is in the middle of Chinatown, and everybody is bearing the brunt.
All I can imagine is that the Chinese are as given to fear and panic as the Italians and French. Which is absurd. You'd think an ethnic group known for mathematical abilities would understand statistical probability better.


We talked about the "girl friend" situation. He presently doesn't have one, and that too is contributing to his depressive state. Did I have a girlfriend? Ngoh mow neui pangyau. Sap nin ji chin ngoh-tei lei fan sau. Nope, we broke up ten years ago. He asked if he should help me 'kau neui', perhaps introduce me to someone, to which my response was mow yong, ngoh kam lou! Too damned old. Further, to his and his hairwasher's surprise and consternation, not married either.
I could've added that with a beard and as a smoker I was quite unappealing to anybody except ladies who like pirates, and I doubt that he knows any of those. Though as a barber, he probably sees all kinds.

"Ah-Ming, if any of your esteemed male customers resemble pirates, please be so good as to keep me in mind. Most especially if they're white, middle-aged, and likely to upset my mom!"

Well, um, tell me more about this girl, Ming. She sound "interesting".

Lunch after the haircut was at another nearly empty business. Delicious.
Afterwards I loaded up a straight Parker Billiard older than I am, and enjoyed a quiet stroll down to Jackson and St. Louis Alley, where I sat awhile near the back door to Leung's White Crane Martial Arts Association (美國梁舘白鶴龍獅會) smoking and watching some young men practicing lion dancing. Which, given how my legs feel nowadays, looked painful.
Yan lou, keuk m-doo gaa. 人老,腳唔嘟㗎。

[人老,腳唔嘟㗎: Sorry, in Mandarin that phrase makes no sense, and Google translate makes a complete hash out of it. 唔嘟 ('m-dou') means that something doesn't work, is not up to snuff. Like legs (腳 'geuk', 'gyeuk'). 㗎 ('gaa') is a Cantonese exclamatory particle added for emphasis.]

Cup of milk tea, old wife biscuit, and the news hour on teevee at a bakery. Having briefly wandered into nearby North Beach, I must note that there are an average of three seriously disturbed individuals in each block there, more than the average for the city, and significantly more than in Chinatown.
One of the reasons I prefer to stay in C'town on my days off.
I deal with loonies too much already.

Second smoke: also in a Parker pipe older than myself. A sandblast that belonged to my father. Very enjoyable. The taste of the past in a way.


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