Friday, February 26, 2016

Sun Hing Sek Ka: chaos 3am dim sum

So, I'm in a good mood! My laptop says it's 12:17pm, so it's...4:17am. Right? Yes, right.

I'm up, and I'm staying up. 

I'm not going to be hard on myself about getting back on home time. But I slept a few hours and it's noon back home. 

I'm staying up. Also: I'm FULL.

There's a well-known dim sum place in Kennedy Town called Sun Hing Sek Ka although everyone seems to just call it "Sun Hing". It's famous because it opens at 3am (actually earlier) and closes at 4pm--its clientele is often described as being "taxi drivers and students" or some such formulation; I only saw students (from nearby HKU which, wow, needs to work on its website). Mostly Chinese; a decent smattering of white kids.

I've had the idea of coming here since I arrived, but the combo of (a) wanting to work in the morning, (b) wanting to work out in the morning, and (c) not wanting to be just totally freaking shattered with exhaustion in the afternoon, pulled me off doing it at 3am. With the work sched, I couldn't do an afternoon trip--and who wants to do "an afternoon trip" to the 3am dim sum place anyway?

I've also, as noted, had the idea of getting back onto Cali time this last weekend. I don't have to work, meaning I can sleep from 4pm - 10pm if that feels right.

Lastly, I was so tired last night that when I got home around 830pm, instead of going for a run and then going out to eat as I'd planned, or doing even one of those things, I slipped from my clothes and into my bed and slept for a few hours.

Sun Hing is a little hard to find: various listings put it at the wrong address, no address, or the right address. But with an approximate location and no guiding technology on my person I set out into the pleasantly-not-totally-empty but still-very-quiet 3am Kennedy Town streets. I went to the wrong address first, but it was not hard to find the bustling dim sum place with magazine writeups all over its storefront and students spilling out of the door.

What was so nice was that it was chaotic and "crazy" but not at all stressful; have cake, eat it (literally. you'll see). Its appearance is it: a fluorescently lit jam-packed plastic tabled mess of a 3am dim sum place. Exactly what you'd expect. 

There was oh my gawd NO where to sit, but actually there was; I kind of walked to the back and the front (a benefit of places like this is that no one gives any shits what you do; the servers literally move you with their hands if they need to be where you are so you don't even have to worry about getting in their way) and I found this awesome table right by the door. 

I also then got a demo in how to use this restaurant that was practically contrived in its clarity:
  • to my right was the food station, where servers brought out stacks of steamed dim sum dishes (there was some kind of mechanism for ordering not these things, but I was not going to f#ck with that) and placed them down on a table that maybe was heated or something. And customers just kind of chaotically queued to grab them and take them back to their tables; as I watched, one young white woman overdid it and lost a little basket of shumai from the top of a tall stack
    • this food delivery mechanism had a satisfying simple setup for takeout, as well: styrofoam boxes next to the food, with plastic bags and chopsticks. Which made me think that maybe taxi drivers do come here, snatch food, and go.
  • paying: also simple! I watched the party before me do it, as I camped at the table, claiming it. The waitress comes over and tallies your baskets and gives you a bill. You pay the dude at the front. There are a couple of basketless goods that I'm not sure how she tabs, but I was not worried about being overcharged, or about ripping them off; the floor ops @ this place seemed to be well in hand. Also a thing that is nice in general about Hong Kong is that every single transaction I've conducted has been surprisingly transparent, given how clueless I am with the language; it just does not seem like a place where they rip off the white guy who has no idea what's going on, I think because there have been so many of us here for so long.
Here's what I ate, with overthought exegeses of how I felt about eating these things qua my usual dietary restrictions:
  • chicken feet: delicious. Felt fine; I've eaten fowl a few times here already (preserved duck, roast goose). I have absolutely no misconceptions about the terribleness of the farming that brings me this fowl. I feel bad about that. But I also feel--I don't think that this is a rationalization--that a life of complete abstemiousness is hard for me to maintain, whereas a life of near complete abstemiousness is actually pretty consistent and doable. E.g., it's not like every time I travel I break my rules about meat. It feels particular, here; I freaking love things like chicken feet, and places like this, and you really just can't do them if you're totally veg. Anyhoo.
  • chicken feet wrapped in bean curd with CRAP IS THAT PORK no, no it's turnip. DeLICious. I think I've basically told you how I felt about eating this, in its description.
  • Liu Sha Bao - salted sweet egg buns. These are a signature of Sun Hing and I was excited about trying them (see long thing about chicken, above, re: egg). Exceeded expectations. Perfect spongy delicious bao, small; salty sweet runny egg custard inside. I ate three of these; I could have eaten 15.
  • Ha Gow (steamed shrimp dumpling) - delicious. No particular feelings; I do usually avoid shrimp, and these were almost certainly shrimp sourced in a way I'd rather avoid. But, again: near abstemiousness. 
  • Pai Gwut - Okay so yeah: bad. Not the food; it was tasty. This is another signature dim sum dish: steamed pork ribs snipped into 1/2-inch pieces. I took it thinking it was chicken. I don't like eating pork; I'm well aware that when you're traveling in east Asia it has a way of popping up unannounced and I try to be very careful about that. The difference for me is in realities vs. first principals (I'm sure there's a formal way of expressing this distinction, but I'm not an Ethicist); meaning: the reason I only eat certain fowl/fish is because of what I perceive to be excessive cruelty to the animal itself in how it is reared, caught, or slaughtered; and/or excessive damage to the human or natural environment in the supply chain. But there's a separate ruleset for things that I would not, myself, kill, and that rule set is simple: do not eat those things, you f&cking hypocrite. I would not kill a pig, cow, rabbit, deer, etc. I know from practice that I'll kill fish, crustaceans; I have never in fact killed a chicken, but am confident I could and in fact like the idea (in theory) of a setup where I rear/slaughter the poultry I eat. But basically I don't want to eat mammals. I never want to. I feel bad about this pork dish, still, but by the time I knew what I'd taken I was back at my table and had popped a piece in my mouth; even at a place like Sun Hing y'can't really put it back @ that point. Lesson learned.
  • Mah Lai Goh - Steamed Cake, which the internet variously identifies as "Chinese" or "Malaysian". I almost passed this by because meh, bread. Glad I didn't! It's a sweet spongy delicious delicious cake/bread thing, perfectly suited for sopping up sauces. I took a hunk of this home, along with one of the chicken's feet wrapped in bean curd &c. and some
  • Deep Fried Milk Custard - Friend, reader: holy $h1t. This stuff...I mean it's exactly what it says. It's like a custardy slightly slippery bit of milk pudding lightly fried this came to my table is that it was one of a few things that weren't in little baskets (the Mah Lai Goh was another) and I wasn't sure I was going to take it just because I was full and then a waitress running past had some in her hands--you put it on plates with some tongs and then clip it up with big scissors--and wagged it in my face and said something in Cantonese and I nodded and she put it down on my table. I'm glad that she did.
  • Some kind of maybe shrimp thing wrapped in a long thin wonton thing - in the set-up with the milk custard, not in baskets. I'd grabbed one of these, coming back from the food station proper. Crunchy, tasty.
So I devoured these things until I was very full, and put overflow into a takeaway box. I have enough that I'd say it comprises a meal (certainly calorically; not super-strong on um nutritional baalance). All for 136HKD, which is about $17.50.

I like having a pot of steaming hot tea to sip from small cups as I eat. They of course do this in Chinese restaurants in New York, too. I really miss that; I don't go to Chinese food much in L.A., the best places are kind of a trek. I miss it.

As I finished up the waitress conveyed with great clarity things like "Are you done? Can I wipe this down?" "Here's your check" in Cantonese, shouting constantly with other waitstaff, over all of our heads. At one point a different waitress just put a platter of food she was preparing for someone else's takeout (or something) on my table, nudging my food--she said something that I'm almost sure was a quick friendly "sorry gotta do this" and I was like "hey whatever", eating my awesome food.

I got up and paid the silver-haired dude at the front; I reached behind the counter to grab the roll of toilet paper I'd seen him pop out for a young white guy who'd approached him earlier, barely able to stand on his feet. There are no napkins on the tables, nor visible anywhere else in the restaurant. I took some toilet paper to wipe my hands; I'd been worried about reaching behind the counter but again I think, long as I was not literally putting my hand in his cash drawer, my man here did not care what I did with myself.

I walked home; I actually saw the wobbly white guy who'd taught me where the napkins were making his way...somewhere. He looked less wobbly--got some food in him.

Sun Hing is wonderful. If you're ever in K-Town (HK edition): go.

Parting thought: 

I have 84HKD, cash, in my pocket. 

I have 3 full meals in my fridge. I just ate a ton. I have also a lot of sequestered snacks. It's Saturday morning; I leave Monday morning and Sunday night I'll be at a place with more free snacks. I could easily spend no more money on food, on this trip. Which I'm tempted to do, just cuz it's so clean: drawing down the reserves, avoiding fees on additional cash withdrawal (nevermind credit card transactions. f*ck that.). 

But...that doesn't feel like the smart play, on this trip. Who knows when, if, how I'll be back in Hong Kong. And I really like Hong Kong. I like setting out, finding a place and eatin' some stuff, here 

So I don't get the satisfaction of "drawing down the reserves" on this one. I think it's bank fees and wandering and a city of plenty.

Just gotta watch out for pai gwut.

Monday, February 22, 2016

My Favorite Restaurant & J.: Honest Man

This one won't be long. is long. Sorry.

I left the office the first night of the job; two nights ago, now.

I wandered Kennedy Town, where I'm staying. It's an "up-and-coming" neighborhood in Hong Kong. I was looking for a particular restaurant that had twanged my spidey sense, when I internetted about restaurants in my neighborhood.

I like K-town, as it seems to be called sometimes. In fact, after two nights here now (three, but two really) I like it a lot. The name--"K-town"-- is funny to me because of course back in Los Angeles "K-Town" means the place where you get bibimbap and barbecue. THIS "K-Town" does not mean that.

It's got lots of restaurants on corners with English and French names and handsome interiors and tall streetfront windows, which are the kind of restaurant I generally do not want to be in; it has scraggly storefront eateries with Chinese characters scrawled over faded plastic laminate pictures of food, which are exactly the kind of place I always want to be eating.

I found my place. It's not quite "faded laminate"-league; it's a little nicer. Still an eatery. An "eatery" near the top of the spectrum.

So this post was originally titled "My Favorite Restaurant that Literally I Will Never Know Its Name". And then, as I was writing, I was like, "Dude, f#ck you. What's is wrong with you? Get the name; it ought to be named, rather than lost in the fog of your Orientalizing touristic ignorance."

I'm pretty sure it's called Seung Hei. Here's its card, in case that helps.

It is next to a sign that says "Bread" and something in Cantonese ("Bread"?). It's on North Street, in Kennedy Town north of Belcher's (sic) Street. Two doors down from a dim-sum place that also looks good, one street west of another dim-sum place that looks good, which is around the corner from a...I-don't-know-what place (lots of stuff in the windows) that also looks good. You get the idea.

Seung Hei met my expectations by featuring no English signage whatsoever. I went in.

I'm always surprised when I'm a novelty to anyone anywhere, ever. It seems weird that I should be, "in this day and age". For example, at the table right next to me, was a family: mom, Chinese; dad, English (Caucasian); son: handsome, spoke with English accent, spoke to waitress in Cantonese. Son lives in Hong Kong. Nobody made a big deal about them.

But maybe that was the language, or the fact that having a Chinese mom is kind of a passport, because I was deemed noteworthy AF. I went back to Seung Hei last night--the night after this story I'm telling you, right now--and the staff recognized me, called me "Professor" and were (at least by the standards of harried Chinese eatery waitstaff) friendly and embracing. The dude poured my tea for me, which I think was nice rather than infantilizing--I did not at any rate see any waiter pour tea for anyone else at any point.

So, the first night: two nights ago. The waitstaff brought me the menu and darted eyes at me as I read and reread its pages and pages; they did have an English "Menue" that appeared after a waitress said something to me in Cantonese that was either "Do you need the English menu?" or "Do you speak Cantonese?" Either way my response resulted in the English Menue, which has dozens of things I want to eat on it. There is no way I will be able to eat all the things I want to eat on this trip, even at this one restaurant.

Hong Kong: you are grand.

The menu was also marked with greatness throughout, my favorite greatness being the many ways it spelled "preserved" ("predervesd", "preversded": like they put the letters in a bucket and fished them out each time without looking).

So the staff pleasantly hovered; they kind of insisted that I be served by one of two women, specifically, and no others. One of these two was retrieved whenever I tried to talk to anyone. Even though I could see no evidence that these women, who were totally nice, spoke any more English than anyone else. Unless the rest of the staff somehow unspeaks English, which I think is unlikely.

At some point I had to pee.

I debated taking my bag, decided that that way lay cowardly provincialism: here was this nice global family right next to me! What the hell was my problem?! I left my bag at the table, right by the door. This is not a story about my bag getting stolen in Hong Kong.

I walked towards the back and asked one of the waitresses (one of the ones I was allowed to talk to) where the bathroom was, which seemed like an easy one. She punted the question to a small man in a checkered blue button-down shirt and a blue sweater vest and wisps of facial hair at an adjacent table.

"Toilet!" He brightened as if the word were 'birthday'. "You want toilet?"

Yes, I did.

And J. stood up (full foot shorter than I am), clasped me tight by the arm and shoulder and, humming and chirping in my ear about talking to him after, guided me towards the back of the restaurant where frankly I'd figured the bathroom had to be even before asking the waitress, I'd just stopped to ask her out of some vague sense of not wanting to be an enormous white person crashing around.

So J. guided me back, also making sure I knew not to go in the women's room, marked clearly by the universal gendered skirted "woman" glyph--he was covering all bases, J.--and saying over and again how we'd talk later.

I peed. I emerged.

And we talked, me and J. He followed me back to my table, which was big enough for 4 (last night, when I went to this same place a second time, they put me at literally a table for 8. And they were doing pretty brisk business! I think they actually just give no sh1ts about some stuff, in a way that I like). Anyway I invited J. to sit and he just...started: lengthy questioning of what I do, why I'm here, how I like it, where I'm from, how old he is, his daughter, Hong Kong, did I like the food, what's the course that I'm "teaching", et cetera.

I'll try to draw back from the blow-by-blow here and go high-level. Over this interaction and then a subsequent, longer interaction--after J. went back to his table, paid his bill, put on his jacket and bag, and "stopped by" my table on his way out: sitting & standing and half-taking his jacket off for another 30-40 minutes ...I marked a set of responses in myself, all on top of one another, coming in and out in sequential waves:
  • delight at this nice thing; meeting a garrulous person in a foreign land
  • mild caution because it was clear he sort of wanted something: to ask me all about MA programs in America, where his daughter (a Sophomore studying engineering at the Polytechnic in Hong Kong) should go, if she should go in England or America, etc.
  • chiding myself for this caution, even as J. kept talking well past the point where I was sending friendly-but-done-talking signals (I was exhausted, and the conversation somewhat looped; see below). I chided myself because norms are different in different places. So, yes: in New York City, where I'm from, basically it'd be kind of a warning marker if a person did what J. did: accosted a stranger, planted with them in conversation, asked something of them (something tiny, something happily given), then accosted them again for a long time when they were, I think, clearly tired. I'm using "accost" loosely here; J. brightened my day and augmented my time on this earth. Still: in NYC, crazy-person stuff. But that's...that's like what culture is. Those differences. There are places where people just talk to people more, or differently, than the places and context I'm from and know. So, just: shut up, sl1mbuttons. Let J. do his thing. And be grateful. I am. Although yeah, by the end I was kinda bushed, too.
Here are topics J. and I looped on:
  • maybe I'll write him sometime
  • maybe he'll write me sometime
  • he doesn't have email. his daughter will teach him
  • when he gets email, and learns how to use it, maybe he'll write me
  • maybe he'll write me to ask about his daughter ("Yes of course, I don't know much but please feel free")
  • maybe his daughter will do that, too (even more "Yes, of course"; this seemed to be what should happen, all things considered)
  • he's an honest man 
  • I'm an honest man 
  • so we're friends there is nothing to worry about
  • do I have a wife?
  • okay (geez), do I have a girlfriend at least???
  • has be been rude
  • he's glad; that's because he's an honest man, I'm an honest man, etc.
  • maybe next time I come to Hong Kong I will come with my girlfriend who-I'll-have also who will by then be my wife and we will have drinks with him and his wife
  • I should not get married too late because then I will be like him, 60, with a 21-year old daughter (it wasn't 100% clear to me why this was a bad thing)
  • the recent riots in Hong Kong are not about what I read in the papers; that's true, but it's kind of the cover, the "lie": they are really about the fact that young people here are frustrated with the cost of living and lack of good job opportunities
  • he's an honest man
  • I'm an honest man
  • so maybe he'll write me sometime and...
We exchanged information. J. does not have email (see above); however, he has a home and a phone. This is an edited image of the analog nature of that information exchange.

As is probably obvious, my amazing sister photoshopped this image so it's NOT ACTUALLY J.'s (or anyone's) actual information
When he left, he kept the pen which I'd given him so he could write his information down on these odd little slips of paper that materialized I don't know how. He made several gestures towards putting the pen down on the table, as if remembering that it was mine, then left with it.

He came back two minutes later. No pen returned. Would we take a picture, together? Did I mind?

Of course not.

We took the picture. A few; the staff took it (one of the ladies allowed to talk to me). I put my arm on his shoulder, lightly.

If his daughter ever teaches him email, and he emails me, I'll ask him to send it. 

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Mindfulness, Lugard Road, Running, Lo Pan

I started writing this around 8am. I had the first day of this gig. It's 7:40pm -- finishing it up.

I managed to do this one time in London: this 'mindful' 'being present' writing down of things on these work trips. That trip, the London one, turned out...not hard like a thing that is actually hard, but hard in the context of my cosseted life. I worked till near-midnight the last couple nights, got sick, etc., blah.

Had a few golden days: home. Now: Hong Kong.

The flight over was b***z. A plane like they had in my childhood: tiny seats, cramped with a dude my size next to me (good-natured, thanks goodness); still sick; my vegetarian meal airline-forgotten. Woe. So I arrived in HK feeling all hard done by -- again, not really, and even in my allegedly hard-done-by-ness I knew that: not really. But also still feeling hard done by. Also, still sick! So I get a pass there. It stinks, being sick.

Then this morning, my first here in HK, I woke up at the usual time which was of course not that hard, and  I went running in Lung Fu Shan Country Park, which contains Lugard Road, which--friends, wow. Holy sh*t.

I try to have rules in my runs, especially when they are unfamiliar and so I don't know how to make the right kind of workout out of them--when they're exploratory, in new places. Simple rules:
Always take the craggly trail and rip it. 
Always take the smoother trail and go fast. 
Stop at every silly fitness station and do its little things. 

I had no idea what to expect, heading out onto lamplit Ching Lin Terrace before dawn. I chose to stay there because it was near a park that looked pretty good, and my AirBnB host (no idea what to CAPS or not, there)--who seems trustworthy--agreed: it's a good park.

I had my headlamp on: before dawn.

It became immediately clear that the rule of this run would be: Go Up. Because it was all m0therf*ckin1g about up, this place. From Ching Lin terrace, I passed a lovely and ornate bedecked building (more later), and I took some stairs and from then on: up. Up to Pok Fu Lam Road, a busy thoroughfare with a bus station where one of the buses I can apparently take to work picks up. Dash across that, wondering if Hong Kong is the kind of place where you get in trouble for dashing thus. There weren't fences or anything. Find the park entrance. Stairs: up.

Up through a darkened velvety rocky trail, wet with nighttime and the kind of lank air of this place; then around what I later learned was a reservoir, or was referred to as such. The trail: tight, gorgeous; slow because truly dark, overhung with thick trees and vines, and crowded with stone on my left--granite and natural, both, erupting from the steep hillside. And I kind of thought I'd take what, looking at the map back at my flat, had looked like kind of a ring road. Then, I saw this turn-off. To "Hatton Road", and a thing about a "peak": up.

This isn't a run log. I won't take you through all the steps. The steps went from ordered, to disordered, to absent, to ordered; serendipity grace and good fortune: up, juking, up, and then making my last and best choice at a fork: take the loop that is Lugard Road. Did not even know it would be more up. And then, friends:
I did not take this picture. Andy took this picture. His blog is here.
Let me be superclear (no internet thievery here @ slimbuttons inc.): I didn't take this awesome pic. It was taken by internet-dude Andy, here. Way to go, Andy. Thank you for capturing a glimpse of what it feels like to come upon this. Go Up.

It was misty this morning, so not quite as clear as this pic but...the run was awesome before this. Really: awesome: misted; sung by unfamiliar birds cawing and rustling in the wet-biome foliage that is so nice and so present in this part of this world; going up up up--a terrific run, before Lugard Road bent around and the foliage opened and: take a look, again. Just: there on your run, unexpected. With the wind coming in not too cold and older Chinese men and women out for their walks, some white folks as well--this is Hong Kong, lots of folks--and you say 'Good Morning' and they say 'Good Morning' and some of them sound like they barely know the words and some of them sound like they're from, whatever, Cleveland, and some respond in what you have to assume is Chinese running up and then...that. Take a look, again. At your side for a long time, scrolling like a video game backdrop.

So, you've gone up. So then you go...yeah.

The thing about down: it is less good than up. Particularly on stairs. On stairs up is rad: you throw yourself forward, great burn in your quads, heart going nuts. And nothing bad can happen! Stairs,'s the opposite. First off, remember these were uneven, scraggly stone stairs set into a hillside in a picturesque way. Gorgeous. Lethal. Steep AF, and there's no rail so you trip and wow, wow. So you kind of pick your way down, mincing: not as fun. And you still almost trip a couple of times! Cuz you're a klutz and of course you are kind of trying to mince, if you must, at least as fast as you can. But you catch yourself before you really tip, you don't really dive forward headlong into it until--

I have eaten it, on runs. Readers of this blog will know.

So, heading down the penultimate stairs, a white winding stairwell from Pok Fu Lam Road towards--I'd just happened to note--"Lo Pan" Temple, my big toe caught on my other big toe (or some sh1t; my Vibrams are too big, I got them on sale 3 years ago; they're a mess) and I went flying forward and caught myself on the rail that was finally, suddenly, present on this set of stairs.Had there not been a rail, had this catch happened forty seconds earlier, as I came down from the park...I'd've just gone sailing out into open air.

And somehow this linked in my mind, and I thought about the sign I'd just seen; and I stopped at that building I'd hwisshed past in the pre-dawn dark; it was post-dawn now, steely grey and brightening. Lovely building; and I checked and: yup, Lo Pan Temple. The one I'd seen on the sign. It's very pretty.

I'm not sure what one does for the "patron saint of Chinese builders and contractors", in thanks. I'll find something to do--even just some acknowledgment. Thank you, Lo Pan--for catching my fall, or for catching my foot to give me a near fall that sent lightning crackling over my skin. And thank you Hong Kong for this run, and anyone out there with the goodwill to read one single word of this, ever.

Saturday, February 6, 2016

London, February 2016 -- A Few Things

It is February, right?

For the last 4, 5 years I've come to London once or twice a year for work. It's the sort of thing that you tell yourself is provisional, and that every year you say will probably be the last time. And who knows: this year might be the last, there's never any guarantee that I'll be asked to do this job again.

But that provisionality is something I'd like to fight against; that feeling of "waiting for", "this is just...". To which end, I wanted to write down a few things that happened, today, upon my arrival in London for the job this year.

My plane had the roughest landing I've ever experienced; herking and bucking in major winds around Heathrow. We pulled off of one landing attempt, and the next was a bruiser--the loudest landing I've ever experienced, as well. Everyone clapping at the end, but also seasick, dazed. The air crew strapped into their seats, smiling nervously. One passenger wound up with a bloody nose, whether from being struck in the turbulence or just from the turbulence I don't know.

On the Piccadilly Line in from the airport I thought, as I always do, how strange lovely and ordinary it is that this transit line, every time I come to London, takes me past LAMDA, where I went to drama school. Like right past it: the school building is flush to the tracks, looks out over it. So...there's the tiny courtyard in which some students smoked and others of us just loitered on breaks; there's the windows in the stairwell looking out over the trains; there's the felt memory of my flat, connected to the school building by experience and like an actual (HliAT!) 3-minute walk as999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999

That was me falling asleep on the keyboard. s2G. Decided to keep it.

Transfer to the Victoria Line, then Northern. On (I think) the Victoria Line: a young man and woman are seated at my knees, in front of where I'm standing. I decide that they're one of those couples that look like brother and sister; I decide that they're working class. It emerges over the course of the ride that they are brother and sister (almost certainly); that their parents are that older couple seated right across the train from them; that they're clearly pretty posh, hearing them speak more; that they're all going somewhere fancy, all 4 dressed in crisp evening formality: mom, dad, sister, brother. At one point this:

Sister    those people who, they type 'u' instead of 'you
Brother what?
Sister    they, type 'u' like the letter 'u' instead of the whole world it's like--how much time do they save? What are they doing with all the extra time?
Brother   (smile, acknowledgment)
Father   Apologizing. (scuffle as his daughter doesn't hear him, etc) They should be apologizing. 
Sister   Wh =ppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppp

Interesting. I guess I'm tired. Then sister said, "Why would they have to apologize?", much more saltily than necessary imho, and the dad said, "For being rude, for tjst;

Okay. Goodnight. Sheesh.