Tuesday, January 23, 2024

THE SONGS OF CHU FROM ALL SIDES

To be honest, I did not know there was such a thing as Thai style fish fragance eggplant fried rice noodle (泰式魚香茄子炒炆米 'taai sik yü heung ke ji chaau man mai'). Which, judging by the environment in which it was found, and the person preparing it, is actually purely Hong Kong. Just like Singapore noodles (星洲炒米 'sing jau chaau mai'), which is a lovely mix of stir-fry rice vermicelli with curry powder, spring onion, charsiu pork, and scrambled egg.
There is no actual connection with Singapore.

Besides, thin rice noodles are distinctly a Hong Kong preference.
Singaporeans would probably prefer kwee tiau (粿條).
粿條 ('gwo tiu') are broader and flat.

They'd also subtract the curry powder (which is English anyway), up the chili content considerably, and probably add little oysters or mussels.
And maybe ketjap manis (sweet soy sauce).
At one point, while finishing my cups of tea, there was Mandarin being spoken to the left and right of me. Which, in a Hong Kong style chachanteng is not expected. English perhaps yes, because this is San Francisco. Toishan dialect certainly, as many of the local people are Toishanese. And Cantonese is a natural background sound in such an environment.
Plus German, Italian, and Spanish during summer months.

兩邊楚歌

Feeling very much like Xiang Yu (項羽 'hong yiu'), I hurriedly paid and left, lighting my pipe outside. You can probably tell that that is a Dunhill Shell Briar in the picture above. It lends me an air of moral superiority, exactly like one of those bright young scholars wearing dark cheung pou and woolen scarves, as pictured in so many period movies set in Peking and Shanghai. Often they too smoked good briar pipes, eschewing the brass portable water pipes of the landlord class and the ivory cigarette holders of treaty port merchants.

Had a nice quiet smoke down on Commercial Street. Few people about.
We rarely have tourists during the cold season.
It's our time.


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