Tuesday, October 01, 2019


One side effect of the medication I'm on is more vivid dreams. Sometimes nightmares. Which I remember when I wake up. Last night I was negotiating with a Chinese merchant for a load of cigars during a typhoon. Which is something I would indeed do -- gotta protect the precious cigars, and his godown probably ain't capable of surviving the storm -- but it would be too many cigars for me to smoke, and I don't really like most cigar smokers, seeing as I'm a pipe guy.

Yesterday at work I did smoke a cigar -- Joya de Nicragua Antaño, which is at a good price point, and altogether well-constructed and exceptionally enjoyable for so inexpensive a stick -- and a few of the rather likable cigar smokers came in. Among others: the retired geologist, with whom I've shared the most useless scientific word ever (fecalith), the elderly exercise freak (rewards himself after a work-out with a smoke), the brash New Yorker who often asks the Trump supporters rhetorically "how f*&king stoopid are you?", a retired pharmacist, and three Dutch speakers. So all in all it was an enjoyable day. And I felt significantly better than for most of September. Although I'll credit normal recovery processes, and coffee.
Instead of the cigar.

The Chinese merchant of the nightmare also likes an occasional cigar, but as mentioned, his godown is too rickety to survive anything approaching Hato or Mangkhut. Given that Hong Kong has embraced the many legal limitations on smoking which are a sign of modernity, and pipe tobacco is hard to find there, those cigars represent a significant therapeutic indulgence, and an investment in sanity.

If you're familiar with San Francisco street-occupants, you immediately grant that investing in sanity pays off. A jolly good idea, in any case.

California is less teistered by extreme weather than Hong Kong.

['toi fung']

The 1906 typhoon killed between ten and fifteen thousand people, and left significantly more than that homeless. The typhoon in September 1937 caused a tidal wave that killed several thousand in Tai Po and Shatin. Mary (1960) and Wanda (1962), Ellen (1983) and York (1999), were ferocious.

Hato hit in 2017, Mangkhut in 2018. Monstrous storms. This year there haven't been any typhoons of that ilk, it has been fairly mild. Still wouldn't want to visit the territory in July through October, though.

['chi so dik seui fei cheut loi, ah']
"The water's flying out of the loo!"

If I were stuck in Hong Kong during a typhoon, the company of half a dozen likable people, no sports on teevee at all, and a few boxes of Nicaraguans, would be quite alright. An emergency generator, a supply of hot sauce or sambal, and coffee. And very important: a functioning toilet. Ride it out boys, we'll deal with the chaos afterwards, as soon as the nearby chachanteng reopens.

Oh, and matches.

Better yet, either a Xikar lighter, or a Lotus, and a can of butane.

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