Tuesday, May 07, 2024


Sometimes it's a bit too cold and biting for proper enjoyment smoking that post-prandial pipe outside. Though I was wearing enough, it almost felt like the fabric had withered on my body, like autumn leaves. There was a frigid wind on the streets despite the bright clear sunlight, sharply defining lines and dark blobs, when I left the restaurant where I dined at teatime.
The elderly lady seated at the nearby table had struck up a conversation about Chinese restaurants, recommending one near my apartment which I may try out soon. I had been mildly interested when she sat down, because of her Hermès scarf. It's a classic look. Quite suited to a white haired matron, but seldom encountered on a younger crowd.

My parents and grandparents generation were more used to it.
The current crop of women have nose piercings.
Not even a Hermès style tattoo.

Lunch had been claypot rice topped with bitter melon and blackbean (涼瓜排骨煲仔飯) at a place that opened perhaps three years ago, but I've known the proprietress probably for nearly ten years. She's very kind, and a diverse crowd of regulars enjoy eating there. Excellent HK milk tea (港式奶茶).

I note, by the way, that a herbalist up the block is now out of business.
Rather a pity, that. They had been there for a few years.

The breeze was a little too cold to thoroughly enjoy my smoke. It stang my face. Wisely, most people must have been indoors. Chinatown lacks both a reasonable number of pipe smokers as well as enough doorways and awninged courtyards or unpoliced parks where they might shelter during unconducive weather. For all I know it may be overrun by gentlepersons with fine briars and decent taste in pipe tobaccos, but they're hiding. "Gosh darn it", they probably mutter to themselves, "this temperature is not suited to tromping around with a squat bulldog clenched between the lips, so very much unlike Kwuntong (觀塘), Lam Tin (藍田), or Yuen Long (元朗, specifically Hung Shui Kiu 洪水橋), at most times of the year!" And I'd have to agree; it's eighty degrees there right now, a slight chance of rain, only very mild wind.

For contrast, both San Francisco and Eindhoven are barely cracking sixty.
Indeed not at all like the furthest reaches of Kowloon.
We should do something about that.

It speaks volumes about San Francisco's lack of consideration for pipe smokers and the elderly that there is not a single smoking room in Chinatown! Time for an angry petition!

NOTE: Readers may contact me directly:
All correspondence will be kept in confidence.

No comments:

Search This Blog


For some reason which I cannot explain I thought about the Shanghainese girl this morning. I knew her years ago, we drifted apart, and lost ...