Friday, May 20, 2022

IN WHICH THE YOUNG ARE BAFFLING

There were four tables with only Chinese diners. One table with only white diners (well, one diner; me). And one table with a Chinese woman and a white guy. Which was the only table with cell-phones in use. That table confused me.

'Dude, you're eating dinner with a young woman, can't you at least act like it? She dressed for the occasion, whereas you look like a schlub. And you didn't shave in at least two days.
I mean, if you had shaved, and dressed neatly (poor is okay, provided it's presentable and clean), it would look like she meant something to you. As an example, I have shaved and showered and these clothes are more than fairly decent. I've dressed like I want to be treated; you look dissipated. Did you even bathe yourself today?
'

'And you, miss, why are you seeing this putz?'

'And put your phones down!'

Honestly, that waiter was an absolute prince. Even spoke in English to both of them, so as not to embarrass the dumb dingo. Given that people tip like misers in Chinese restaurants anyhow, he need not have bothered. Probably felt a measure of co-Chineseness with the young woman, all men (and women) are brothers (siblings) and all that, and he may have qualities which being a genius she can discern though no one else can.

An older Chinatown person would have assumed the worst.

She's being blackmailed! Yes, that must be it!

The last time I had a meal with a Chinese person (my apartment mate), I could tell that the restaurant owner was observing us with fascinated curiosity, and scarcely put at ease by my speaking Cantonese. 'How delicious! An elderly rapscallion and a sweet young thing! Ooh!' There wasn't anything like that going on, but my apartment mate looks ten or twenty years younger than she actually is and very much like an innocent good girl, whereas I look like a knowing old sot. Especially by comparison, in harsh lighting.
But at least I can act like I'm a gentleman.
And I'll dress properly.


Obviously my stern questions above were not uttered out loud. It's none of my business, and if she sees something in him that the rest of us don't, more power to her.
Both of them are very lucky.


And that roast goose was absolutely fabulous. Haven't had it yonks, so it really seemed even more delicious. Plus the plateau of glistening tender baby bok choi on which it lay was a great foil for the savoury oily flesh. Great food, delightful surroundings.
Jade-like greens, goose fat, plus plenty of hot sauce.
And a cold glass of milk tea also.
Hoo boy!


As an afterthought, here's the seal script version of 夓 which I mentioned in yesterday's post. Did this after I came home. Consulted two dictionaries and an etymological reference.
Seal script is derived in the main from the Zhou bronze script, and was used till roughly two centuries before the start of the common era. It is ancestral to the modern script, by which I mean the brush-written characters in daily use for the past two thousand years.
More pictographic, yes. That does not mean instantly intelligible.
It's a specialized field nowadays.


This version of 夓 is based on versions in both the bamboo slip script (簡牘) in use from 1200 BCE till after 400 BCE, and the lesser seal script (小篆). It was great fun to do.



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