Monday, August 17, 2020


Smoking steams out the wrinkles. Assuming that, like many people, you sit around all day in front of your computer getting indignant, but like a blessed few you have to leave your apartment to smoke. And smoke a pipe. So you take walks around your neighborhood, or occasionally through the narrow alleyways of Chinatown like you used to do on your days off after a late lunch at one of your favourite chachanteng.

Today after doing a spot of laundry I headed over to C'town to conduct some business, and to purchase dim sum, of which I gifted half to my landlady and her husband. She's Chinese American, with the same ancestral dialect as my apartment mate, who was also born here with English as her first language. So for the same reasons I refrain from speaking Cantonese with her. She speaks English better than Toishanese, and metropolitan Cantonese is almost like gobbledygook for her.
Caucasians speaking gobbledygook are a dime a dozen.
And difficult to understand in any language.

Plus I speak English very well.
It's also my mother tongue.

At the dim sum place I used Cantonese, because they understand that much better than English, and some tasty things do not have a useful English name. It's just so much easier. At the place where I purchased lok to pai heung yan yat baau (駱駝牌香煙一包) also.

Then I dithered with a bowl of red Virginia in the quiet streets, enjoying the balmy weather and the absence of tourists, who in previous years made pests of themselves at this time.

Those activities adequately steamed the wrinkles out of my butt. Essential, and good for circulation. Tobacco is a worthwhile part of a healthy active life. As well as good for the mood.

During this time my apartment mate stays at home on most Mondays. So sporadically throughout the day I could hear the turkey vulture (one of our fellow residents, a stuffed animal) plaintively inquiring about food (corpse, yummy corpse), and since I am not quite the most social of old fossils it was necessary to head out. There is only so much one can say about delicious cadavers, and my apartment mate seems to know much more about such things than I possibly ever could.

10. 20. 30. 40.

The correct thing to do, when you've been sitting on your rump for two hours, is to load up a bowl, head out to the front steps, and before you light up and set off up the hill on your walk, clench your arse cheeks forty times. This gets the blood flowing again, and it is something your doctor would highly recommend. The hour or so after tea-time is excellent for that. And counting, which is something a Dutchman like myself does automatically anyway, keeps the mental faculties agile.

Cantonese women and turkey vultures don't like the smell of tobacco.
Which is a good thing. It encourages people to exercise.


While I was in Chinatown earlier I bought some chocolate mint Pocky Sticks for my apartment mate, plus Sydney Fylbert the turkey vulture, and the other stuffed creatures, to snack on.

It's what Hello Kitty tastes like.
This or dried squid.


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Anonymous said...

ATBOTH: When clenching your arsecheeks, do you pronounce the #s in English, Cantonese, or Dutch?
Aunty Kiki

The back of the hill said...

Dutch. Aaaaaaarrrschh!

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