Tuesday, January 03, 2023

YOUNG AND WHITE

Naturally I go to my eye-doctor's appointment early. Before they opened, in fact. Along with Miss Yao and Mr. Wong -- who seemed to be a couple, though registered under their original names ..... maybe she's his "girldfriend", although they're definitely in their seventies -- who waited in the foyer until the door was unlocked. My left eye is stable. Glaucoma seems to have been stopped before it got truly started. So I was out of there shortly after I was supposed to come in.

Lit up the "eye-doctor-visiting-pipe" outside my barbers, who wasn't supposed to be there till ten, but he too was extremely early. He wsn't expecting me, and certainly not while the cocks were still crowing so to speak. And I had a new head when I left, just after he was supposed to be opening up.

These are all good things.

Finished smoking my pipe afterwards.

[Eye-doctor-visiting-pipe: Because it's round and looks like an eye on a stalk.]


The line outside the bank surprised the heck out of me. What are all these people doing here so early?

Well, first banking day of the new year means old folks payments. All these retired folks needed to replenish their cash and make sure that the gubmint done made timely deposits. So just depositing my paycheck took a little longer than it usually does, as there were over a dozen people ahead of me in line. When they let me in (no more than five customers inside at any time) there were twice that many behind me.
Afterward I went and had some sampan porridge and a fried dough stick at the chachanteng to which I normally go late in the afternoon. Sampan porridge (艇仔粥 'ting jai juk') is congee with peanuts, slivered ginger, pork skin and some lean meat, fish chunks (鯇魚 'waan yü'; grass carp), shrimp (蝦 'haa'), and squid (魷 'yau'). Very delicious. The fried dough stick (油條 'yau tiu") for dipping and soaking is, of course, necessary. While eating I noticed that several other (8) people had had the same idea. Congee (粥 'juk') is perfect on a cold morning. So, apparently, are fried noodles (four people), stirfried beef chunks with scallions (three people), beefsteak chunks noodle soup (one person), and melted cheese covered porkchops with tomato sauce over rice (two people). Everyone else there was Cantonese, and besides being so white I glow in the dark, I was the youngest person there by far.

Beefsteak chunks noodle soup auntie was also enjoying the hot chili paste. I think she used over half a cup of it. And she's right; beefsteak chunks however they're cooked do require chili paste. Buon gusto, auntie.

The lunch crowd was starting to trickle in when I left and lit up.
It's rare that I spend so much time around so many old people. Consequently I feel young and vibrant and full of beans, though that may just be the food and caffeine.
And the fact that I got home well before twelve o'clock.

Time for my warm milk and a nap.




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