Tuesday, February 15, 2022

THE WEIGHTY ISSUES

There's a new chachanteng! That is to say, it will be opening soon in the old neighborhood. One or two weeks, no idea what the menu will have, but I hope they'll do baked Portuguese Chicken rice, among other things. Their name is already on the signboard, and winks at me whenever I pass by. Oh boy! Milk tea! Hong Kong French toast! Lamb and tofu skin!
Baked things with cheese, and a cup of mandarin ducks!

That last item is a drink popular in overseas communities and HK, but odd in the Anglo world, and I suspect Europeans would sneer mightily at it; coffee and strong milk tea mixed.
Often over ice. But hot can do also.
鴛鴦 ('yin-yeung').

Basically, an entirely new menu to explore.
My strongest literacy is in food terms.



Their location is strategic. Close to residences of the elderly, and conveniently near grocery stores, barber shops, and insta-tellers. Also conveniently close to all the areas where I like to pause with a pipe, though I strongly doubt that the comfort of solitary middle-aged Dutch American pipe smokers was part of their planning.

You know, much of this city does NOT take the comfort of solitary middle-aged Dutch American pipe smokers into account. That's a serious problem. Somebody should do something.
Write a strongly worded letter to the editor.

I have never once seen a signboard stating: solitary middle-aged Dutch American pipe smokers welcome!

In Chinese, it would be a rather long sign (歡迎別樹一旗的中年荷蘭裔美國煙斗者) and fairly necessitate a certain literacy on the part of the reader. Specifically, understanding that 別樹一旗 ('bit sue yat kei'; "separate tree a flag") idiomatically means to be eccentric in some ways, have one's own attitude about things, do things outside the norm, or even to be a loner.
The other good phrasing would be 歡迎孤家寡的中年荷蘭裔美國煙斗者, in which solitariness shows up as 孤家寡的 ('gu gaa gwaa dik') with a connotation of lacking a family or a helpmeet, but not all solitary middle-aged Dutch American pipesmokers are looking for relationships or consider their status an exceptional detriment, and in any case they might not wish to be reminded of that state of affairs in a hot food or milk tea context.

I expect the closest they'll come is 歡迎光臨 ('fun ying gwong lam'), a traditional phrase welcoming customers in general, and suggesting that their presence adds brilliance.

In the case of certain pipe smokers (Clark Gable, Albert Einstein, Georges Simenon, Bertrand Russell) that would certainly be appropriate. Others, not so much.

This morning's pipe, pictured above, is a Peterson System Standard.
A friend gave it to me half a decade ago.
Yes, I have friends.



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