half moon bay

All posts tagged half moon bay

It's been a long week for us, and it continues in fashion. Xstine's dad is in town, and we are obliged to keep him and her newly MBA-minted lil sister occupied with the diverse exotic that is the Cali americana. It was quite a challenge to balance their distaste for American prices with their desire for American products, but such contradictory stances are common in the Asian tourist.

In fact, after a night of supping them with fresh caught Half Moon Bay crab, we went late into the nite trying to explain to Xstine's sister the intricacies of Western sarcasm, which for us is a both a style of humor, and also a social tool to introduce potentially socially inappropriate subjects by being literal and rhetorical at the same time. If that sounds confusing, then you must not be American. See? Admittedly that bit of sarcasm comes across poorly on the internet, but it is almost culturally absent from Asia. Her sister's stories of improprieties towards her by us residents often underlined cultural misunderstanding more than actual insult.

I found it funny that while we still could not convince her that the ABC she was dating wasn't necessarily wrong to respond to her comments about Taiwanese girls trying to hook a citizenship through ABCs here with a sarcastic "well what are your intentions then," she hammered in a day's end irony by stating she didn't like the guy anyways, and dated him just to learn English. The Chinese tend to speak very directly about their feelings, or not at all. Rarely do they use jokes as a way to accomodate dissidents. We experienced that once with a Romanian friend as well, whom we didn't know it was inappropriate to rib poke with more risque ribaldry. Perhaps as an ABC myself, I see nothing wrong with what he said, nor find it rude not to want to divulge details about how much I earn, what my parents do, etc. on a girl I may stereotype as golddigful. Unlike FOBs, I won't introduce what my parents do before introducing myself.

How whimsical is other peoples' etiquette!

We'll be busy with Dungeons & Dragons Online and my new remastered Aeon Flux DVD set until the typhoon passes.

This weekend we went to Xstine's boss' house for a crab feast. They are incredibly hospitable people, and I'm ecstatic Xstine has made good friends at work. So, what kind of maudlin revelry did we engage? Why… shellfishgasm!

Let me tell you people a secret.

Take the freeway 1 north from the beautiful town of Half Moon Bay, get off on Capistrano Rd. and, ya can't miss it, there is a harbor filled with boats from which you can buy cheap, fresh, juicy crabs straight out of the traps. I swear I saw a turkey neck starboard side. So, $3.50/lb and a camo fishing bucket later, we were hauling ass to the party, stopping only for sweet meyer lemons and golden yukons.

Now bear with me. A fresh crab, one that was scavenging a hearty meal of detritus just an hour earlier, needs ample cleaning. You have to scrub it and squeeze black filth out of its long hypodermic anus. When they get boiled, they do eject some seaweed vomit everywhere. Once you're past that, the reward is worth it. I'm going to attempt to wax eloquent about it, but there is no way you will get it until you put that silky sea-salted crab flesh, quivering in clarified cholesterol, into your mouth, and the fibers burst and give you a throat length broth of coast. The chinese believe the yin of crab must be balanced by the yang of ginseng, so imagine if you will this delicious crustacean dipped in a rice vinegar and ginger sauce. I walked sideways the rest of the night.

The town, to recap, is called Princeton-by-the-sea. I love that name. Its streets are named after famous colleges, but are the homes of humble and worldly fishermen. I think what this town says is that only when the life of Princeton curiously leads you to appreciate the life of Princeton-by-the-sea do you become a fully educated person.