Wednesday, December 07, 2022


While on my way to lunch (C-fan: 蒜蓉焗龍脷魚飯 'suen yung lung lei yü faan'; baked fillet of sole with garlic butter over rice, with soup and a cup of milk tea) I was sidetracked by a gentleman smoking a pipe in Becket Street (白話轉街). So now there's two of us. Pipesmokers in the real world are rare enough that it's like seeing Moses.
I thought I was the only one in Chinatown.

He was smoking a Neerup bent apple with a variegated stem, and I believe he mentioned John Marr by Cornell & Diehl as the tobacco. Which is a complex Virgina - Perique - black Cavendish concoction with a vanilla top note and boozy undertones.

After several minutes of pleasant conversation (Virginia Perique blends, Rattrays, Latakia, etcetera) I excused myself. It was nearly two thirty, the Restaurant closes at that time, and one must have one's fish. Having looked forward to it since waking.

After lunch I lit up a bowl filled with Tilbury, which is an Esoterica product once unreliably described as having a tin note of unwashed flatulent peasant in a mediaeval dungeon.

Complimented the fish nicely.
While waiting for the bus home after shopping with another pipe, a passing younger fellow complimented me on my handsome pipe. That's rare enough these days that I will take what I can get. If, however, a younger woman had done so -- "good heavens, you foxxy old coot, that sand blast pipe compliments your jaw line and emanates an aroma which calls to mind the golden age and the glory days of mechanical draughting for America's stupendous era of advancement and innovation" -- my cup would have run over, I might have fainted, and I'd have to check in to the nearest loony bin because I'd think I had lost it.
I've checked. There are tonnes of psychotherapists AND starkraving bonkers patients in this quadrant of the city, but remarkably no residential mental health clinics. You'd think so close to the business district they'd be a dime a dozen, but perhaps the business community doesn't want the crazies too close.

Young ladies nowadays eschew pipes, and don't even know what mechanical draughting is. A sad day indeed. And America is no longer a byword for advancements or innovation.

Note: after tea and a biscuit, a well-meaning woman spoke to me about the ills of tobacco. It was, according to her, not good. If instead she had offered "pipe tobacco, sir. Nothing else in the world smells like that. I love the smell of pipe tobacco in the early evening. You know, one time we had an all-nighter with milk tea and cookies! When it was all over, I walked around, and didn't find one of 'em, not one stinkin' yuppie. The smell, you know that "yeasty" smell? The whole neighborhood. Smelled like ... victory", I would have melted into her arms.

It's cold out nowadays, windy, and fairly miserable.
I would rather not smoke outside.

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