This town keeps hurting me, I say, at every corner I disappear around—voices hissing in the dark, missing the sound of dogs howling into the midnight. It hurts more because when you scream into the silence, it consumes it whole. Sometimes I wonder if I sliced my palm sideways while mincing garlic, if I would let it bleed past me without screaming. If the quiet became just that comfortable.
Even my words come all wrong these days, let alone my emotions. Back then, even if my emotions got stuck at the back of my throat, like lint and socks at the bottom of the drum, I always had words. I always had my words. . .
At night you can hear the shutting of verandah doors from three buildings away. Our voices travel through the walls, so we roam on the one-way culverts outside calling our families, lovers, friends – people separated by more than walls, all becoming more like half-people. I do not miss the din of home. When I wash the plates compulsively I feel the lone red bangle my mother wears on my knuckles, her chapped hands, full of browned wounds, smoothened by Vaseline. What I miss is the way the din denied my pain, yet/and accepted my screams. It is more genteel here, quieter. No howling of the dogs like wolves on a lone cliff, no banging of the lighter on the kitchen countertop one last time. Near midnight, always midnight, a van enters the gates one last time, like a hearse lowering itself to the beat of its own dirge.
I haven't found baos as good as the ones @gongfubao in Montreal. Not only do they prepare all their baos from scratch, they also master the techniques, ingredients and condiments used in Chinese cuisine. Big props for the correct spelling of the Chinese ingredients on their menu!
Here we have: • Fried chicken bao with peppersalt mayo, gai choy relish, sweet basil • Breakfast pork sausage siu mai, baked beans and a flavour bomb spicy-numbing chili oil • Sriracha TVP (Textured Vegetable Protein) bao with Japanese eggplant and cilantro • Red braised tofu bao, gai choy and soynut • Braised beef bao, pickled daikon and crispies • Vegan sweet potato dumplings with Beyond crumble • Baozi 'grilled cheese' with lap cheung (Chinese red sausages) • Golden mantou with coconut dulce (caramelized coconut milk)