Tuesday, July 21, 2020


Took the bus across the hill to Chinatown early today. Visited my bank (which used to be "Bank of Canton of California", 加州廣東銀行), headed over to hospital (東華醫院) for my yearly lung cancer screening as per the doctor's instructions, and went shopping. Vegetables (菜), dimsum (點心), coffee (咖啡精), and condiments (調料醬).

[CT Scan. Machine like a large electronic donut. Lie down, arms like so. Breathe in, hold, breathe out. Three times. No brain activity by patient required. Okay, can do!]

Unlike many white Americans, Cantonese Americans almost universally wear a mask nowadays. Perhaps because they fully understand that it's a health precaution. I doubt that many of them think it's a serious imposition or reduces their freedom. They know there's an awful lot of shit you can pull masked, more even than before. Fewer limitations. Or maybe they're less inbred and stupid, unlike the Caucasian defectives elsewhere.

So it's a safer environment in Chinatown.

It is quite possible that my favourable opinion has a lot to do with being able to speak Cantonese, and therefore getting along with people and effectively communicating.

I also bought some lokto yinchai (駱駝煙仔while down there, go di tuen ge (嗰啲短嘅). Mou leui cheui (冇濾嘴). And, keeping in mind that just moments before I planned to light one up the last time I was on Waverly, the pilgrim had approached, desperate for yin, I abstained entirely till I was back home. It's not that I begrudge him the pleasure, but I do not want him to think me an unfailing source. For two or three years, every Tuesday evening he would cadge a cigarillo off me, or two or three.
I hate being a reliable touch.

Cigarillos were an occasional indulgence, now it's the rare ciggie.
Especially after medical appointments.


The pilgrim speaks fairly fluent Cantonese, Toishanese, and English, in addition to his native Hokkien and Mandarin. He's smart, likable, and completely unemployable. And not being a good old boy he can't even run for office. He does odd jobs, when he works.


Anyhow, it's early afternoon, I'm home now. I've had lunch, and am enjoying a cup of coffee and a pipeful (red Virginia, a little blonde, touch of Perique). My apartment mate (the only Cantonese person living here) is at the office, her door is closed and the windows are open.
So I can smoke without any fear of someone yelling at me about damned kwailos (臭死鬼佬) and their horrid reeks. The smell will have dissipated by the time she returns.

That's something I'd rather have done to me at the hospital.
By the sparkling firecrackers in the pharmacy.
Or the frowny little nurse downstairs.


"Ah sorry, no understand."


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