Yesterday a bade farewell to my cousins. We were in Xi’an, and from there they boarded a plane for Chongqing, and I boarded a plane back to Beijing. I had to get back here because some former teammates were arriving from the States for a 10 day visit. My plane landed in Beijng at the same time as theirs, so I was able to meet up with them at the airport.
This morning they came over to my place, and we had a great time sitting around and reminiscing about "the good (and some not so good) ol’ days." Round about lunch-time we decided to go out and get some baozi (steamed meat dumplings). Just outside the gate of my housing complex is a little hole-in-the-wall that sells Hangzhou-style xiaolong baozi. These little baozi are cooked in bamboo steamers–10 to a steamer. The three of us were hungry, so decided to order 2 steamers. Mind you, each steamer of 10 baozi costs the equivalent of 25 cents!
On the sidewalk outside this little eatery was a table, at which sat two young men eating (or, as the Chinese say drinking) bowls of noodle soup. While we were standing there waiting for our baozi, one of the guys called the woman proprietor out and pointed complainingly to something in the soup. The lady bent over and looked into the bowl, grabbed the guy’s spoon and scooped something out, and threw it on the ground. Problem solved, she walked back inside, leaving this poor chap sitting there staring at his bowl, and his friend howling. And of course we cracked up. It reminded us of that old joke, "waiter waiter, there’s a fly in my soup!" "Be quiet, or everyone else will want one as well."
As far as we could tell, there were no flies in our baozi!