i woke up.
i woke up.
soft grey light
to dark oblivion.
it's saturday and it's a lazy morn. this bugs archie and izzy who whine at me from the hall. thankfully i thought to shut the bedroom door after i fed them. i like to plan ahead.
last night we had a mahjong party at yumi's. it was friday because it's friday before saturday. i'm tired on fridays. on fridays i get off at 2:30 and am generally known to take off my shoes, put down my purse, feed the furs, pee (i'm known to pee on occasion, yes), and climb into bed. this friday was no different than the others that have been known to be. i lay, propped up by pillows, eyes rolled half way back in skull, and idly thought about what i would bring to the party but came up with nothing. it crossed my mind not to go. but the thought was rejected on the basis that i wanted to go. eventually it became clear that nothing could be decided in such a state. so i got up and left.
my own personal rule when contributing food stuffs to mahjong parties, is this: if not fully chinesey, then at least a food stuff with some asian flair, excepting south asian because that's a different kind of party in it's own right. so naturally i headed to pricemart, somehow knowing with their 'half a store is asian' philosophy that pricemart would be able to curate my mahjong food stuffs easily. first i found the mango, lychee and strawberry puddings which we did not eat. then i found the dim sum counter. i bought 12 steamed bbq pork buns and felt good about it.
mak let me in. mak was once in my primary but shows little sign of remembering it now. i would have been the same.
mei lin, sabrina, monica and ken were playing mahjong. sabrina, the little whippersnapper was winning. yumi was baking cookies. leilani hadn't arrived. that was the state of things.
not long after, we were all gathered around the same square table with 300 wrappers and dumpling guts. i made an awkward dumpling and seemed to get worse as i went along, but no matter. leilani came in the middle of the dumpling party and made a very neat dumpling of which i was jealous. yumi's husband ken noticed one of my creations that i hucked onto the pan near him. i noticed his eyes flick over it, "but--" "don't look at it!" i ordered. "...er...you only pleat one side!" he explained as gently as he could. "i know. pretend you didn't see it."
even with 300 wrappers we still had lots of guts left over. mei lin was boiling them. from what i could make out, you boil them until they float up and are puffy and you keep adding some cold water to the boiling water. i'm not sure why, but it's just what you do. we had a feast of dumplings with soya sauce and vinegar, sprinkled with cilantro, yummy sticky rice, and bbq steam buns. there was a veggie platter too, but i bypassed it, in a move that i can only conclude was wise. there was edamame beans too. meil lin's husband arrived after most of us were done but leilani, ken, yumi and i hung around the table talking for a long time during and after he ate. mei lin's husband told us about his military service in taiwan. every one has to do 2 or 3 years sevice. he was in the navy on the front lines. he was on a small island very close to china. you could see china. he said at night the chinese soldiers would come to their island, and kill soldiers and take their right ear back with them. then they would go to their camp and take their left ears. they ate rice so old that when you dropped it on the table you could hear it clink. when he came home on leave he would eat bowls and bowls of fresh rice happily. if you didn't have an education you had to do 3 years and had no choices, everything was by draw. he went to a school that went straight into the navy. he had to have stitches once, and the dr. just did it right away without freezing. soldiers had no rights. ken who is a military dr. said our soldiers have a very different experience. it was all very interesting. also we talked about stem cell research and vaccines.
eventually we decided to play mahjong. i think i was the only one who had only ever played once. it was me, mei lin, leilani and ken. yumi watched and helped leilani. meilin's husband was my coach. he knows mahjong so well and is so quick, i didn't always know what was going on, but eventually i was catching on. i spent a lot of energy on the language side of things. i can do most of the numbers pretty easily and some of the sets, but i don't know the east west north south very well. just saying. anyways with the help of mei's hubby who can tell what the tile is just by feeling it with his thumb, i was winning. then he went to help leilani and i was on my own for the last couple of rounds. it was almost 12 when we quit. then yumi gave us scarves she had made, and we talked in the door way for a while about anime movies and leilani and i each got a large zip lock baggy full of uncooked dumplings. mei told us how to fry them. oil, then a couple cm of water, lid on, until water is gone, then sprinke on some water with a tiny bit of flour in it. it's nice to have something exciting to eat in one's freezer.