Sunday, February 09, 2014


For some reason I had a mental blip about the date of the Chinese New Year Parade this year; I thought it was going to be on February 22. Turns out it's next week, on Saturday the fifteenth. Okay, I was wrong.
Looks like it's going to be a busy weekend for the restaurants.
Which, for the single pipe-smoking badger, is a problem.

The bus I take to get to Chinatown after getting back to the city at around seven P.M. is the Number 1 California, which whizzes down Clay Street, and lets me off right at Stockton, from whence it is only a few steps to the Capitol Restaurant (京都餐館), where some mighty tasty dishes can be found, or only a little bit further to several other pleasant eateries at the intersection of Waverly and Washington.

Some of them employ people I like chatting with, others also have either excellent Hong Kong Milk Tea (港式奶茶 ) or Vietnamese Coffee (咖啡奶), or even fried fish balls, heavenly with hot sauce.

All of them will be packed.

The quantity of sweet and sour pork that will be served is enormous. Suburban people LOVE sweet and sour pork. And they'll be all over, cramming into every restaurant, wailing that they need their fix.
Their horrid whelps will be riotous otherwise!
See, they're already revolting!

Plus transit will be somewhat interdicted; the bus crosses the parade route.

At present I do not know what I shall do. I enjoy dining in bustling places where there are other people to observe or interact with, but not when I have to fight tooth and nail to keep my seat or my sanity.
The sanity is already doubtful. I must have that seat.
Keep your brat away from me, I bite.
My chopsticks, bitch.
Ick poo.

I suspect I'll think of something, or that a solution will become manifest.
But I may have to resign myself to not having any bittermelon, jeet gwa, or gailan at all this coming Saturday.
Maybe just eggplant fish.
Or wonton soup.

NOTE: Readers may contact me directly:

All correspondence will be kept in confidence.


e-kvetcher said...

Found this for you...

And this

The back of the hill said...

Thank you very much for those links! Although very familiar with the dichotomy of written versus spoken, and the arguments on both sides, I never the less read the comment strings avidly and attentively.

From my experience, written Chinese usually incorporates more Mandarin and Classical usuages, especially the more formal or intellectual it is intended to be; and the spoken versions ("topolects", "regiolects") tend to use phrases and words which deviate from the artificial norm.

Even Mandarin had 'dialects' and internal variation.

The reasonably literate person will be able to read a greater range of text-styles than just that which is used in 'official speech' (guanwa, the old term for Mandarin, now often used to describe the standard text version of the language).
But given the nature of all versions of Chinese (much homonymosity), the spoken language will always be different; even Peking people talk different than they would write. Those differences are greater than they would be in English.

The confusion regarding Chinese comes from the terms 文 (written language, literature) and 語 (spoken language, speech). That division had existed for over three thousand years. The written language serves organizational and trans-regional purposes, the spoken language, well, that's just the way you speak. The old literary standard language has been replaced with a new one, which has grammar closer to today's speech. But it's still a somewhat artificial constract.

The back of the hill said...

Of course, all of that aside, both versions of the young student's recital of the poem are pretty damned funny.

It's obvious that he realizes that; the sheer exaggeration of his original version cannot be other than tongue in cheek, given that it's based largely on routines in comedic movies.

Which many mainlanders might not realize; they're largely insulated from HK culture. And, if they're Mandarin-speakers, possibly humour-impaired.

e-kvetcher said...

wild stuff...

The back of the hill said...

Yeah. Throw Hokkien (Fujian language) into the mix, and you have Babel.
At which point a standardized written version of the language becomes incredibly useful.

Anonymous said...

This is just pitiful. You can do better than this. Rather than hoping the short young lady with elegant hands and the pleated skirt (I'm assuming she's real and not mythological) will read your blog and try to arrange a change meeting with you on the bus or in one of your favorite haunts, or in front of the abandoned church, I have a novel idea. Call her. Ask her out politely. Take risks. Take chances. You can do this. Really. The only impression you are leaving people with here is that you are deeply desperate. Its not good marketing. There is more to you than that. Call her. If you don't know her number, and can't get it next time you see her, ask in person.

This has been a public service announcement.

The back of the hill said...

Alas, at this point she's still purely hypothetical.

Yeah, deeply desperate. But not "desperate".
Not willing to settle for half-measures, but realistic enough to not worry to much about what will probably not be.

If at some point I happen upon the young lady with elegant hads and a height issue, it will take several months at least before ANY mention whatsoever is made of her here.

It will be discrete. No internet searchable nomenclature, nothing googleable, nothing specific.

Just a new cognomen cropping up in a few vague instances.

Until then, intellectual weirdness.

And green underpants. Very important! The average elderly pervert LOVES green underpants!


It's festive. And "Irish".


The back of the hill said...

Life is too short for Starbucks.

Anonymous said...

Life is too short.

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