Wednesday, June 28, 2023

THE QUIET BEFORE A STORM

First time in three weeks that we had our regular pub-crawl (one whiskey, one hot tea). Also, last time till two weeks hence, because we aren't crazy enough to head into North Beach on July Fourth, that's when the place will be crawling with yutzes, rednecks, and marketing department bros. As well as dearly beloved tourists from Mississippi or Arkansas.

Which means that the singing at the karaoke joint will be awful.

And every dive will be crowded.

Bellying up to the bar is fine in theory, but rubbing elbows with sweaty drunks is, in practice, the stuff of nightmares. Not everyone is redeemable or has 'worth'. Which, you understand, is why I rarely go to restaurants in Chinatown that appeal to visitors. Let's see, the choices are shrimp fried rice, sweet 'n sour pork, kung pao chicken, or beef chow mein.
Cola, 7-Up, Orange soda, or Boba tea.

Lunch was salt fish and chopped chicken fried rice (鹹魚雞粒炒飯 'haam yü gai naap chaau faan') with tonnes of chili paste dolloped onto the plate. And a cup of strong milk tea. In a place where everyone spoke Cantonese, and tourists for some reason fear to tread.
So it was delightful.

Can't claim that the fried rice was a high fallutin' exquisite rarety. It's just decent chow, good solid food, and an easy choice. Which very well might frighten the bejazus out of some people I know and make them think they were on Mars and getting anal-probed.


And they don't serve beer, so Northern Europeans don't go there.
This is a fried space alien. It is great with grits and red-eye gravy. As well as buckets of overly sweet ice tea and boiled peanuts. Welcome strangers! Please do your colourful native dances before we feed you! Sorry, no country music, John Denver, or Abba. If you sing "Hotel California" again, we will beat you.


Sadly, there are no places in Chinatown - North Beach - Nob Hill where hootenannies and square dancing are encouraged. Excepting a few gay bars. Where it's the theme.

This blogger surely does appreciate banjos and accordions, which are justly beloved in the great American Heartland, and dominate the airwaves leading up to the holiday.
It's "finger-picking" good.



As usual, I have no plans for July Fourth, will not be going anywhere, and shan't watch the fireworks (giant glowing pastel-hued poofballs in the fog, because this is San Francisco). No one ever invites me to barbecues, perhaps I'm not "Independentz-Tag fähig". Or maybe it's because I know all the words to Yankee Doodle and The Camptown Races.
Which is psychologically traumatizing.

I might grill up an all-beef frank or two in the skillet that evening.
While singing "traditional airs" softly to myself.
No red-white-blue bunting.

Anyhow, had a lovely smoke in the Comoy Sunrise pipe (110 B) before meeting up with the bookseller and going to listen to boyish voices screaming off-tune something ghastly. Everyone in Marketing is Kahn Souphanousinphone. Sales too. Everyone.
You all need to be kept away from Microphones. They are high tech precision instruments that can commit crimes in the wrong hands. And you guys are evil. Totally.



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