Wednesday, April 08, 2015


There are some places in Chinatown where one sometimes grasps that one is there by the sufferance of the staff, perhaps politely tolerated, but not one hundred percent as welcome as a home-towner would be.
Most white people never even notice. The waitstaff is attentive, albeit panfaced, and the food tastes good, and came to the table fast.
Mandarin speakers are often equally oblivious.
Cantonese speakers will notice.
But won't mention it.

Cantonese speaking customers only make a scene if there was indeed a perceived blatantly egregious offense, AND they're feeling peevish or feisty that day. One does not change into one's most fearsome form lightly.

There's no going back after that.

I kept that in mind while I ate, though it did affect how I tasted the food. You see, I shall want to go back there again. But not when it's so busy, and I'll check to make sure I get the patient waitress rather than uncle stone-faced waiterman.

Maybe he was having a bad day. His cat could've died, or his car stalled metaphorically on the great freeway of life. All things are possible. And white folks who speak Cantonese do not need to be treated nearly as gingerly as TWO WHOLE TABLES OF STUPID TOURISTS.
Canto-speaking kwailo are almost home-town.
You can let your hair down a little.
Assuming that you have any.
Gratuitous dig, that.

Still, he wasn't the most charming person to cross my path today, and in the future I think I should avoid him. No more late lunches at that place. Early dinners instead, when the waitress is working.
Why thank you, auntie, I would indeed like a spot more tea.
The food was truly delicious!


The most charming person to cross my path was actually two people. Two adorable little girls. One was just the sweetest and liveliest little thing, bounding with energy until her dad gently asked her to help him carry a tiny bag of oranges. Immediately she calmed down, and with intent dignity safeguarded the fruits as they turned the corner and headed down Jackson Street. She was obviously very happy to be with her dad, who may have been the biggest, strongest, and most gallant squire a four-year-old young lady could have wished for at that moment.
I do not think I've seen a face made more lovely by such company in a long time.

The second little girl was at the corner of Walter U. Lum Place, holding her father's hand as they crossed the street. They walked at a speed that was agreeable to both parties and showed mutual consideration by their interaction. Shortly behind, her mother and older brother followed.
All four people went into the candy store. A short while later I saw them come out, and head back to the parking garage elevators from whence they had so recently come. It is hard to imagine that the only purpose for their journey had been the candy store, but from all appearances that was indeed the case.
How very sweet that a family should undertake a trip just for 'happy'.
The little boy and his tiny sister must be exceptional.

White people are rather invisible in Chinatown, despite there being such a huge number of them. Consequently I can wander around undisturbed enjoying a post-lunch pipe, and people will usually not bother me.
Occasionally someone who knows me will stop and say 'hi'.
But I'm not recognizable from a distance.
Even with a pipe in my mouth.

No, I shan't mention which restaurant it was, there is no need.
They've been around a while because the food is good.
I doubt that tourists would know that.
Sweet-and-sour pork.
'Nuff said.

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