Monday, April 13, 2020

FILLED WITH DARKNESS

All of the chachanteng in Chinatown are closed for the nonce, of course, and it is unlikely that once this is over they will re-open. Same goes for the bakeries in that neighborhood. It may take several years before such places can thrive again. More than the snacky things, I am concerned with the people who work there. They are some of my favourite people, and I worry about them. In the grand scheme of things, this is not important. But on a micro level, their impoverishment and hardship are a disaster, and I doubt the neighborhood will easily recover.
I miss those people.

So, lunch today was home-made "pastry noodles" (粿條) with charsiu pork. Pastry noodles, kwee tiau in Hokkien and Teochew pronunciation, are thick rice stick noodles with a high glutinous rice or corn starch content. About half in inch broad. When they are pan-fried, the surface ends up with almost a lacy scorch-toast patterning, and if one were Hokkien one would prefer this with oysters and shrimp as the added protein. Being a Dutchman, and fresh seafood items on short notice difficult nowadays, the left over charsiu pork from last week, plus scallions, ginger, soy sauce, chilipaste, and a squeeze of lime seemed easier. Washed down with strong milk-tea.

Followed by the inevitable pipe full, and a walk.



I would have preferred to enjoy the pipe WITH the milk-tea. But the Chinese element in this household was home and at her computer. She is 'fastidious' in some regards, despite living in the same apartment as a grungy Dutch American smoker. Meaning that now that her employers have finally put their collective foot down, all staff will work from home goldarnit.
I won't be able to smoke inside at all.
For several months.

My taking three or four walks every day benefits her sanity.
And gives me time to day dream.

Earlier I had smoked a bowl of Rattray's Professional Mixture. An excellent product, but not entirely satisfying, given that flakes and Virginia-Perique blends suit me better. Still, enjoyable. Probably will have offended any number of people.

The pipe in the illustration is a rather pedestrain item which I've had for a decade and a half. It turned out to be a surprisingly good smoke, despite being almost a cliché piece.

Drilled so that a pipe cleaner does actually easily reach the bowl.

Hardcastle. Sand blast, black. Bent bulldog.
Original saddle stem.




TOBACCO INDEX


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