Wednesday, April 17, 2024


There is an air of distraction to the streets in C'town nowadays. People seem lost in thought, absent minded, somewhat out of it. And more people I've noticed are on the cusp of losing it. Possibly it's financial, there are more out of business businesses, and the much dimished economic vitality is palpable. Some of the old standbyes are now hollow shells. This is not the semi-prosperous community it once was. New businesses cater to a more Northern clientele, or strictly to non-Chinese consumers.

I bet you could make a fortune selling chow mein, chop suey, and designer ramen.
Plus dumplings, of course. Northerners and kwailo looooove dumplings.

My usual Wednesday chachanteng was not nearly as full as nomal. And midway through my meal a middle aged man started weeping. His parents remained silent. It was may have been something they didn't know how to deal with. Adult children shouldn't be fragile.

The teevee repair shop is long gone, there are several defunct businesses on that block. Two streets over, a long established herbal medicine emporium next to where Yong Kee (容記糕粉) used to be is now totally gutted; quite likely the elderly proprietor decided to retire.
It will probably be reborn as a bubble tea place for young mainlanders.
There are half a dozen closed businesses further down.
One of them used to be a nice restaurant.
No, I have no clue how I ended up with the pipe pictured above. Perhaps my friend Neil gave it to me, and I may have been abstracted at the time. It was probably sometime last year. It wasn't one of the pipes I smoked today. The first one was a Dunhill shellbriar, the second a Charatan Zulu. Both are over half a century old. Good smokes. I haven't painted either of them yet. Like the pipe in the picture, they represent a different time and place.

I suspect Dr. John was an off-brand of an English pipe company.

So many of the people in C'town are small and old.
Or the very young.

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