Wednesday, March 18, 2020


Figuring out how the apocalypse is going to play-out, food-wise. And it looks like my roommate and myself will be okay for a while, especially with grocery stores remaining open for the foreseeable future, which isn't all that foreseeable, and in fact may be less than it seems.

There's enough in the way of Chinese noodles to last six weeks.
A cheese supply that will take nearly as long.
Hot sauce for two months.

And a piece of "wind meat". That being what is sold as 風肉 ('fung yiuk') in Chinatown, cured pork which is used in small quantities in tasty casseroles or casual stews, along with other key ingredients like dried tofu, or mushrooms, sometimes Toishan dried vegetable. Plus ricewine, garlic, ginger, and chilies.
Wind-dried meat. It's very traditional. As well as delicious.
We've also got the other ingredients mentioned.

Plus tonnes of coffee and tea.
Icecream and cookies.

And a bottle of Lea & Perrins. No one runs out of Lea & Perrins unless they misplace the bottle, because nobody has ever finished an entire bottle.

I purchased the Worcestershire sauce (L&P) when I was down in Chinatown Tuesday afternoon, following trip to the bank and visit to the Chinese Hospital Pharmacy in connection with pill refills which won't actually be necessary for nearly three weeks but I'm being pro-active and making sure ahead of time, which is most unlike myself.

While talking with one pharmacist, another hollered over in Cantonese that I should quit smoking! Because, of course, I had a pipe in my hand like it was a pacifier or something. I've developed a reputation there as a likable old coot with some bad habits which I stubbornly refuse to cease. Which is also how the folks at the bakery where I had a cup of Hong Kong Milk Tea treat me.

In actual fact, I am not really old. But a Chinese person of my age would still look like a teenager or a gay young bachelor, whereas I am a perky looking white guy with far too much silver in my beard and mustache.

Not quite an old coot by any reasonable standards.
By theirs, damned well fossilized.

Lit up the first pipe on my way to the pharmacy after the bank. Finished it while grocery shopping. Nearly everyone I saw was wearing a mask, probably to reassure everyone else. Even the other shoppers. There were hardly any non-Chinese about, because events have nixed the tourist season. My barber has closed for the duration, some restaurants had signs stating that they do take-out only, please call one of the delivery services. Several of the places where I customarily buy a lottery ticket were shuttered.

Most of the activity was on Stockton where all the food shops are. Down on Grant the only people about were the typical San Francisco psychopaths and disfunctionals, encountered on the way to the health plan offices to pay my fee for May. Which means that I'm covered two months in advance, which is a comfortable feeling.

When wandering around smoking my pipe, not only in C'town but also in the Financial District and my own neighborhood, I saw mostly Chinese people. At the bank, on the bus and at the pharmacy, the vegetable sellers, two women at the wind meat shop, folks at the bakery (except for a few tourists), other shoppers on Stockton Street (and I'm happy to report that my favourite grocery store appears to be open for the time being), some old geezers smoking ciggies at the curb ......
There was one white woman at one of the intersections lugging a bale of toilet paper, probably ninety six rolls, which would take my apartment mate and me months to use. But she probably poos a lot. I'm not judging her.
She has bowels. Needy bowels.

[Nearly every block away from Chinese people has someone talking to themselves. Last night, on the intersection near my apartment, an individual was having a fight with an imaginary person, and losing.]

The only thing I've really stockpiled, and it took years to build the stash, is pipe tobacco. I've got enough to keep puffing away till way beyond the next presidency. No, I haven't told the ladies at the pharmacy that; they don't need to know that I'm a stubborn old coot with some firmly set bad habits.
Please just focus on my likability. Such as it is.
And thank you for talking to me.

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