Wednesday, December 16, 2020


The birthday dinner for my apartment mate went off without a hitch. Picked up some Chinese food, and a birthday cake from a bakery on Stockton Street (AA; 永興餅家). Except that some where during these years I have become 'sook-sook' (叔叔,what the people in Delhi would call "uncle-ji").

This surprises me. It's NOT something I expected.
It's probably the effect of the cane.

During these pandemic times I've taken to carrying one of my stout walking sticks around with me when wandering the city, because as a means of ensuring social distancing, it's very useful. And if that fails, wailing a ridiculous statement in a quavering voice while shaking it like a sword works too.

"Stand back, I have a codfish!"

I don't actually have a codfish -- though there are several dried piscine items in my larder, good eating -- but the statement is disturbing enough for the culinarily impaired average American that instinctively they would retreat. So far I have not had to use the statement, so that's still a hypothetical issue. But I could, I am ready to deploy the codfish.

My apartment mate's birthday was yesterday, and there is no need to tell you how old she is. She's eight and half years younger than me (and you probably don't know my age if I can help it), but, being of Chinese ancestry, she looks like she's in her late teens or early twenties, because East Asian folks have smooth skin and fewer wrinkles far later in life than Caucasians.
I had flattered myself that I still looked exceptionally young.
Apparently not so. I am sook sook.

Perhaps, in order to look young, I need to carry around a codfish instead of a cane.


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