How Richard Armitage isn’t preparing for the Chinese New Year

Continued from here.


The subsequent evening, in Toronto, Canada, after work on Hannibal ends for the day.

8:00 p.m. — Richard Armitage turns down invitation from coworkers to go out for a drink, citing a need to do some intense research.

8:15 p.m. — Arrives at home; decides to make tea; realizes he has given all of his tea bought in China as gifts, and now all he has is PG Tips and a few spoonfuls of Darjeeling.

8:20 p.m. — Logs on, decides to order some Chinese teas to drink to put himself in the right space. Realizes he can’t remember what he bought in the duty-free shop and has no idea about Chinese tea or what the difference between 武夷大紅袍 and 祁门红茶 is and can’t pronounce either anyway. Sighs.

8:30 p.m. — Decides for Chinese takeaway.

8:45 p.m. — Can’t figure out which Chinese takeaway to order from. It’s rough being a newcomer in an unknown city. Takes a frozen dinner out of his freezer. Tuna tetrazzini — always a winner! Reminds him of his go to meals when he was young and newly on his own.

9:00 p.m. — Feeling somewhat unsettled by his attempts to get closer to Chinese culture. Returns to computer. Starts researching in earnest.

9:15 p.m. — First result: it’s important to go home and see your family on the New Year.

9:17 p.m. — Calls mum.

9:17:15 p.m. — Remembers it’s quarter past two in the morning in Leicester.

9:18 p.m. — Winces when mum comes on the phone. He’s worried her. Again.

9:19 p.m. — Reassures mum.

9:21 p.m. — Rubs ear. Mum vocally unreceptive to idea of February 19th visit and Reunion Dinner.

9:22 p.m. — Offers to make gravy for Reunion Dinner. Mum unmoved.

9:25 p.m. — Rings off, still rubbing ear. Parents leaving shortly for a brief trip to Mallorca to enjoy the sun. Rationalizes that he wouldn’t have felt comfortable sharing pictures anyway.

9:30 p.m. — Takes a deep breath and decides to read further. This Chinese New Year stuff is not easy for a Westerner.

9:31 p.m. — Realizes it’s important to take off work.

9:32 p.m. — Looks at calendar, realizes that he can’t take off work. Obligations for Hannibal. Turns back to computer.

9:35 p.m. — Learns he needs to clean his living space. Looks around. Apartment is dirty. Already. But will this make a good selfie? Doubtful.

9:37 p.m. — Makes a note to call a cleaning service.

9:38 p.m. — Learns he is not allowed to have a haircut until after the New Year. Whew. Good that he got his ears lowered for playing Dolarhyde. Reading further, wonders if he should a gift of rice to anyone. Does Peter Jackson like rice? What kind of rice?

9:39 p.m. — Looks in cupboard; realizes he doesn’t have much and everything he has is Basmati. Scraps rice idea. Since when has his life become so — well — Indian?

9:45 p.m. — Goes outside for a brief walk and to blow off some steam. Sees Indian takeaway on corner. Scarfs a few pappadums.

10:00 p.m. — Decides to get serious. How hard can this be?

10:05 p.m. — Reads about custom of eating dumplings! Feels relieved. Knows that he is good at eating dumplings.

10:10 p.m. — Learns that there are two kinds of dumplings to eat — jiaozi in the North and jau gok in the South. Ponders. Beijing, where he has just been, is definitely in the North. Will Beijing fans expect him to eat jiaozi? Will Guangzhou fans expect him to eat jau gok? And what about Shanghai? It’s right in the middle. How many dumplings will he have to eat?

10:15 p.m. — Calls 24 hour gym to schedule additional high-impact workouts for week of February 19th.

10:20 p.m. — Realizes that if he can’t figure out which Chinese takeaway service to use, he won’t be able to eat any dumplings. Decides to text all his coworkers and ask about what Chinese is best in Toronto.

10:25 p.m. — First response: Rol San on Spadina in Chinatown. Fantastic dim sum. Great dumplings.

10:26 p.m. — Sighs in relief. Finally, some clarity. Looks up address on Internet.

10:29 p.m. — Second response: whatever you do, don’t go to Toronto Chinatown, it’s over. Tourist trap. Nowadays, it’s Scarborough, Markham and Richmond Hill are the places to look. Especially Yuan Yuan in Richmond Hill. Excellent jiaozi.

10:30 p.m. — Resists impulse to throw phone against wall.

10:35 p.m. — Continues reading. Firecrackers. Hard to photograph. Red envelopes with money in them — okay, but who should he give them to? Dragon dance! But he’d need a lot of help.

10:40 p.m. — Scratches head. Continues reading.

11: 00 p.m. — New clothes! That’s it! New clothes!

11:05 p.m. — Sends text to Ilaria Urbinati. He’s finally got it under control. He hopes.

11:08 p.m. — Receives text from Ilaria Urbinati. Red is not really in his color wheel. Feels doubtful. Chews cuticles.

11:09 p.m. — Tells himself to stop chewing on his cuticles.

11:10 p.m. — Gets text from Brooklyn Museum of Art curator, apologizing for late hour and thanking him for not eating the Blake painting.

11:15 p.m. — Sudden feeling of relief. Oh, yeah, I am playing the Red Dragon. That has to be good, right? Red for New Year and dragon for those dragon dances? They will love that! They will, won’t they?

11:30 p.m. — Brushes teeth. Mouth sensitive due to hours long wearing of Dolarhyde’s dentures. Falls into uneasy slumber. Dreams of fans fighting over his dumpling choices.


A sequel of sorts to this. Of course, this piece was just a spoof, in part in honor of UK Expat, who likes “neurotic Armitage.” As humor sometimes does not cross cultural boundaries, I apologize in advance if I have offended anyone. I have no idea what Richard Armitage may or may not be planning for next week. To everyone who celebrates it, may all your wishes be fulfilled! And here’s an old graphic of mine. Good things come in red packages!


~ by Servetus on February 10, 2015.

32 Responses to “How Richard Armitage isn’t preparing for the Chinese New Year”

  1. […] I know that sometimes humor doesn’t cross boundaries. Any offense caused to Chinese fans is entirely unintended. [to Part Two] […]


  2. Gong Xi Fa Cai
    Gong Hey Fat Choy
    I love the moon cakes!


  3. Oh, I should have read this BEFORE I get dressed to work. Coffee spots allover 🙂 When will I ever learn? Maybe next you can leave a warning in your headlines? “Causes spots, make sure, you have enough ironed stuff in your wardrobe” Thank you 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  4. So funny. I love your parodies.


  5. 😀 😀 😀


  6. I am so glad I wasn’t drinking coffee as I read this. Thanks for the laugh.


  7. LoL so funny, thanks! 😉


  8. hihihi 😀 but no mooncakes and no black garlic dumplings please , eeek!
    leans in and whispers into slightly pink little cute ear: oranges and tangerines Rich, they bring luck or so the Chinese say 😉
    (brill S! such fun to see him squirm, but only a tiny bit, at the end i always want to hug him :-p)


  9. (speaking of dragons i know what they would like 😉 him in a silk kimono, preferably red, with a big dragon drawing/stitching on its back) ..sorry for the side track, but i can’t stop my mind from imaging 😉


  10. giggle Oh my, the poor lad! giggle


  11. “10:30 p.m. — Resists impulse to throw phone against wall.”
    I’ve just had way to much fun with this 🙂


  12. LOL … this post is so diverting. I really like this “Neurotic Armitage” homage to your friend.

    Just the mere fact that you thought of including a parody of RA and Chinese New Year, I think, would be appreciated by his Chinese fans.

    ps. Xiao Long Bao is the yummiest dumpling one can’t wait to sink his teeth into!


    • Those are the ones they were talking about in the NYT a few years ago, no — they sounded delicious but hard to eat without messing yourself up.


  13. Thanks, everyone, for the kind comments!


  14. Wishing you Gung Hay Fat Choy, with much laughter and many delicious dumplings


  15. Brilliant!!! I am late, but I loved this… Totally out if the loop though, over what prompted this


    • nothing in particular. I was just thinking that now that he has contact with all of these Chinese fans all of sudden, the lunar new year will also potentially become a day of expectation.

      Liked by 1 person

  16. LOL this is hilarious! One note for dear Richard: have a look in Chinese supermarket and decide.
    And I like him in red, it gives him extra warmth 😉


    • I’ve always liked this photo, too, although I think they digitally altered his skin tone slightly to make him look “warmer.” Happy New Year to you, Findirien. May all of your wishes be fulfilled!


  17. Hahahaha! I was guilt-tripped / dragged into London’s Chinatown district today by a Singaporean friend who wanted to celebrate but didn’t want to go alone. It was kind of my worst nightmare come true with all the over-crowding at the kitschy Chinatown markets.

    I only have great memories of Chinese food in Toronto (I attended a wedding banquet there years ago) and have to believe that hands down, Armitage was in one of the better cities in the world to order Chinese take-out. 🙂


    • I had one of the best Chinese meals ever on Spadina in 2005 — but the Internet says the scene has moved out of central Toronto 🙂 Glad you liked it.


  18. […] Retrospective: how Richard Armitage researched his dumplings. […]


  19. There I go again thinking Richard and I are twin souls. We share the same birthday and I have a love for Chinese dumplings, Indian curry, Basmati rice, tea ( I love ginger crystal sachets from Jamaica), the City of Toronto (been there two times) scratching my head, etc. Thank God I do not bite my cuticles! Lol. Very funny! Oh well……….


  20. […] Hopefully, Armitage has figured out his dumpling dilemma! […]


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