Saturday, February 03, 2018


Before discussing the subject of this essay, I wish to mention that yesterday was fabulous, with temperatures in the mid-sixties (°F), perfect shirtsleeve weather, and just right for wandering around with pipe in mouth triggering people in the Financial District, whose smoking ancestors were so far back they can't even remember what honest tobacco should smell like.
They drink gluten-free water and eat organic vegetables.
Smoking is bad, and they wish to scream.
Oh, the trauma!

At one o'clock I met Mistri-bhain for lunch at a restaurant that serves meat to a remarkable number of desis. Mistri-bhain is not her real name, you will understand, but one does not rend someone else's privacy by being one hundred percent accurate. We shared tea, rice, plus Mongolian Beef (蒙古牛肉 'mung gu ngau yiuk') and Chicken with Stringbeans (四季豆雞丁 'sei gwai gai ding'), neither one of those dishes being authentic home cooking, but one does not go to restaurants for stuff one eats at home.

The first is a respectable spicy stirfry which they do very well.
The second is a universal favourite, spiced up.

They also cater to very white people; brown rice is available upon request.
It's a sound business practice, because you have to give the gym and yoga crowd something, and the steamed tofu with a thick plank of Chinese bacon on top won't do that. Whitey-whites fear both flavour and pork fat.

The food was excellent, the company superlative.
Donald Trump was also present, in a way.
We talked smack about him.

And his children, and his cabinet, and his supporters.
As well as the Republican Party.

Afterwards I went grocery shopping in Chinatown, following which, hot milk tea at a familiar bakery, where nearly everyone else is middle-aged or elderly, and shares the same home town. So I listened in without speaking (generic white dude, pay me no mind), till I had to clarify that the large jar contained sugar, whereupon the gentleman who asked enthusiastically started a conversation, and kept calling me 'Ah Sir' (阿Sir). Which is nice and respectful, but odd, as I am neither a policeman or a school teacher.
This begs the obvious question "點解阿Sir係阿Sir?"

In any case, I hope that doesn't catch on.
Lest people clam up around me.

On the way home, I kept pace with the subject of this essay, that being two people heading in the same direction while having a domestic moment. In very clean language, the young lady asked rhetorical questions and made bold statements, that more or less made completely clear that the fellow next to her was in the dog house as well as in several ways a loser.
He had an "I don't care" expression on his face.
A clueless self-happy smirk.

Ya know, Sunny Jim, you just might be sleeping by yourself again soon. It's probably not a good idea to piss-off your Chinese girlfriend so close to New Year, as making a clean break and squaring all accounts is obligatory at this time, and you might just have proven yourself a liability. Especially at any family events, if she would ever even invite you to those. Bringing along the kwailo boyfriend for the new year's eve dinner (年夜飯 'nin ye faan') is not, strictly speaking, traditional.

And if you can't at least keep the peace with your girlfriend when other people are nearby -- such as a snarky Dutchman with a pipe in his beak, as a particular example -- there is just no telling what you'll do or say, and that's not propitious. By opening mouth, bad luck for an entire year.
I can imagine you saying something stupid about the food.
Or even loudly objecting to one or two dishes.
Lo hon chai ((羅漢齋), for instance.
Hairy oyster ((蠔豉髮菜).

Yeah, you're just not predictable, and you have the wrong responses.
More than likely a real dick at times, and undiplomatic.
Plus thick. Really, seriously, thick.

I really think she should dump him. He's embarrassing to be seen with in public. An oaf, and he doesn't realize that being in the spotlight is by no means a good thing. It's not all about him. It shouldn't be.

I listened in for several blocks. He was still being "patient" when I got to my door. A man who is always "right", is probably wrong.

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