Thursday, March 17, 2022


Just around tea time I left the apartment for lunch. It was bitterly cold, because of the wind, and I wondered at what insane idea possessed me to head out into the blistering gale. Given that I don't like people, don't like the bus system, don't like risking the proximity of folks without masks, and could do all my errands today within a three block radius.

Low blood sugar tends to make a man grumpy.

I should've eaten something before going out to eat.

Wasn't very imaginative in my choice of restaurant or what to eat: barbecued pork and spring rolls rice vermicelli (燒豬肉春捲米粉 'siu chyu yiuk chun kuen mai fan') with a cup of dripped Vietnamese coffee no ice. Strictly comfort food, at a familiar place. During lunch I realized that I missed seeing children, especially nice ones, well-behaved and not loud. There were three kiddies there of barely school age, very small, with their books. Watching the littlest girl eat her lunch was very entertaining. When her mother had briefly returned to the kitchen she grabbed the soy sauce and carefully poured a little on her food. Whereas mom and auntie had spoken in Cantonese, the kids used English. Not surprising, when they were also using cutlery rather than chopsticks.
Not even the other white people (three individuals) were using chopsticks.
I was, because you can't eat cold noodles with a fork.

燒豬肉春捲米粉 starts with a layer of cucumber, shredded lettuce, basil leaf and mint. On top of that cold cooked thin rice stick noodle. A serving of chargrilled pork, and two imperial rolls cut into chunks, a handful of crumbled roast peanut. Plus a small bowl of tamarind water with fish sauce and chili flakes. It's soul food.
And it looks beautiful.

I always add a sploodge of Sriracha.

The littlest girl's eyes lit up when some friends came in with their mommy. I guess during this pandemic children also miss seeing children. It is a queer time to be a child.
Their responsibilities are greater than before.

Little Chinese kiddies are more mature than white kids their age.

The other thing that struck me is that white people seem to have lost the ability to divvy up a bill. Both the table of three and the take-out couples who came in together (and who gave every indication of intending to eat together) inconsiderately asked for separate checks. To my mind, the mathematically impaired have no business at all eating in company; it simply confuses things. I'm used to sneering at the spelling errors of this modern generation, I guess I can now start sneering at their inability to add and subtract also.

Anyhow, I'm glad I left the apartment; after lighting up outside I ran into the police officer who cited me for assault and battery several years ago. He's a regular at the bookstore, and asked after the bookseller. He's looking a little older now. We all are.
Good to see people you know.

[Assault and battery? I was brutally beating on a fellow twice my weight and half my age who attacked me at a rowdy demo and counter-demo. This shows you not to fracass with runty Dutch Americans; we're vicious when provoked.]

Lunch, pipe, and people, were good this afternoon.
Despite the perfectly horrid weather.
And maskless oafs.

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