Thursday, September 21, 2023


There is a new sign at the front desk at my eye-doctor's office begging people to not abuse the staff there. Subtext: if you're going blind or not wearing your mask properly, it ain't our fault. Well, probably mostly the latter. Elderly Chinese people expect a certain amount of leeway because they've reached such an advanced age, and some grouchy old geezers do not understand that the mask isn't meant for mere chin support. Sir, just because you're slackjawed you don't need to keep a sling holding up your nearly non-existent chin or those folded wattles. Please keep the mask over every organ with which you breathe.
Yes, that includes your nose.

[Note: some old fossils are not as deserving of 'respect' as they think they are]

I may be imagining the dialogue here. For all I know somebody dropped their glass eye and panicked. Or couldn't see the clearly marked bathroom key and a disaster happened.
Every time I've been there the other clients were elderly. So who knows?

The good news is the eye pressure has lessened slightly (Latanoprost), and there is stability. So it's probable that when I finally kick the bucket I'll be able to look everyone full in the face at that time. Slightly more with the right eye. Not even a trace of glaucoma there.
Cataract surgery maybe in half a dozen years. Or maybe not.

Every time I see a medical person, I tend to reward myself. This morning that meant a pack of State Express ciggies from a store four blocks away, followed by breakfast at the chachanteng near the eye office.
Sliced pork liver congee, a yautiu, and milk tea. Enjoyed this while watching the local news on the telly. Too many motorbikes in the city centre of Kwangchow, a lovely alley ruined by garbage cans that smell horrific (problem "solved" by putting tall plastic barriers around the spot, with "lucky" slogans on them to distract folks and improve their mood), now we will interview the father of the child that was swept away in the flood, drowned and lost forever so sad, and the variety of mooncakes this season is staggering, as well as their prices good gracious what is this world coming to?

And coming up, we'll talk with a witness to a violent incident.
Name changed and face misted out. For reasons.

Programme sponsor: a herbal medicine company. Dan Shen (丹參 'daan sam') tea.
Dan Shen is something I used before my insurance kicked in.
It proved to be a life saver.

The teevee was meant to be background noise, but I had a good view of the screen and enjoyed the news immensely. I may have been the only person paying attention.

Pipe smoke afterwards while wandering about. One of the fish merchants on Stockton Street had 石狗公魚 ('sek gau kung yü'; sebasticas marmoratus, dusky stingfish or false kelpfish) for sale, which is a remarkably goofy looking thing. Ugly. It is delicious braise-steamed with ginger and scallion plus sherry or rice wine, or in a broth with tofu chunks. Whichever way, sliced fresh chilies may be added if you wish. And whole garlic cloves.

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Important disclaimer or whatever: Because I am Dutch American, neurotic, and somewhere on the spectrum (Aspergers syndrome is quite common a...