Tuesday, January 10, 2023

A CALM AND QUIET PLACE

What this town needs, desperately needs, is a private club where mature and calm Dutch American gentlemen can sit in front of a window, with a Nabokov or Simenon book in their hands, a cup of hot Hong Kong Milk Tea on the table next to them, and a Peterson pipe filled with either an aged red Virginia compound OR a medium-full Balkan mixture.
Because on rainy days like this, who wants to go outside?
Certainly I did not want to do so.

It could work; there must be at least four or five other people like me here.
And surely there are at least a dozen borderline cases.
Who just need the right environment.

Ideally it would be somewhere near Chinatown, so that each of us could walk there after lunch. Which today was at a familiar Chachanteng, where I had the usual, before heading out into the winter air to light up. It's probably because you can't smoke indoors that so many newspapers are on the cusp of death. Years ago you could dawdle for a good hour with your pipe lit devouring the Chronicle or the Examiner -- or the 星島日報 ('sing dou yat pou'), 國際日報 ('gwok jai yat pou'), and the 金山時報 ('gam saan si pou') -- which at that time were still mostly filled by local reporters with news of interest to local people -- and perhaps having another cup of milk tea.

All five newspapers I mentioned are not worth reading anymore.
Getting out of the apartment was needful. My apartment mate called in sick today -- horrible hacking sounds early in the morning -- and the little red panda who joined the household on her birthday last month had big gulps of my coffee before I even noticed. She's turned into quite the addict of the "brown elixir". While I was in the bathroom she sat outside chanting 'ablute, ablute, ablute' because she was so hepped. She thinks that it's the sound that tropical Antarcticans make.
The teddy bear has spoken to me firmly about allowing Irmengard near caffeine. When she's had too much the others look at her funny, and sometimes make her lie down with a wet cloth on her forehead. Any coffee is too much.

Because I'm a Dutchman -- one of possibly five such in the city -- my reaction to the brown elixir is not such. Too much simply makes me want to read unavailable publications in a nice quiet enviroment while it rains outside.


It was a good lunch, and a good smoke afterwards.
Outside in the cold and damp.
Also windy.



NOTE:
the club should also have heating, and some coverlets or throw rugs for the lower extremities. The windows are less important. I'll settle for a dismal view of an industrial wasteland, or an alleyway with green, blue, and dark grey trash receptacles.

No alcoholic beverages or functioning teevee sets.
No one needs that kind of nonsense.
And no cigar smokers!



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