Accompany by A Fool to do Farming
Chapter 11: 开张 (Open a business)
After a busy day, in the evening, Zhong Ziqi took out the bones he had bought to make soup, poured the bones into the clay pot he had bought, so that he could put it in the pot and serve it in the morning.
At night, the moon crept over the treetops while its silvery white glow enveloping the earth, looking hazy and ambiguous.
Zhong Ziqi lay in bed, sleepless, on the other side, Zhao Zheng’an had already been drooling as he hugged him. For the first time, Zhong Ziqi envied people who were simple-minded since they didn’t have to think about many things.He had to admit that he was nervous and afraid that he would fail tomorrow.
In fact, Zhong Ziqi had done some calculations, he had thought it over carefully, the prices on the docks were generally a little more expensive, but they were definitely fine and worth the price, in fact, people could still accept the price, in fact, a bowl of noodles from an ordinary noodle stall would cost three wen, let alone the docks where the craftsmanship was much better than ordinary noodle stalls.
Zhong Ziqi intends to price his two types of noodles at 5 wen a bowl. 5 wen for a bowl of noodles is not uncommon at the pier, some are even higher than that, as the pier is a prime location, where people come and go, most of them were from wealthy families or rich businessmen. The common people still could afford to eat it but the frugal ones don’t come here often.
If your cooking skill is good , then you will develop a regular customer, with that your daily income will be fixed, not to mention the fact that some people will continuously buy from you and bring their family to eat or even take the food home. Zhong Ziqi thought that with his skills, he could sell at least ten bowls of noodles a day, is not that difficult right? Ten bowls of noodles for fifty wen, after deducting the daily rent of eight wen, Zhao Sheng’s salary of ten wen, also miscellaneous basic costs, he would certainly made a profit of 20 wen, as you know twenty wen a day is not bad, he would be able to buy four catties of rice and noodles,also got more a few catties of meat.
The average family did not even have the ability to earn 20 wen a day. Of course,for those who had fields, could also work part-time, but for Zhong Ziqi, he was satisfied, he had no big ambitions, a little something was enough to keep him happy for a long time.
Tossing and turning, Zhong Ziqi did not know when he fell asleep, but when he woke up, he heard the rooster crowing in the village as the sky outside was already a shade of grey.
Zhong Ziqi gently removed the arm from his waist, got up, dressed and washed up. Lighting the oil lamp, he went to the kitchen to put the bone broth that had been in there all night into a clay pot, leaving some in the pot. Open the noodle bag and scoop out two bowls of noodles and roll them out. When the bone broth was hot, the noodles were put into the pot. Zhong Ziqi put some sour bamboo shoots into the pot and it was ready in a short while.
Zhong Ziqi brought the noodles to the table, set the dishes and went to the bedroom, looking at Zhao Zheng’an who was sleeping soundly,he hesitated for a while before he pushed his arm, calling out softly, “Zheng’an, Zheng’an, wake up!”
Zhao Zheng’an reluctantly opened his eyes a little to see who was disturbing his beautiful dream, what he saw was a fully clothed wife! Zhao Zheng’an’s eyes, which had been squinting, immediately widened.
Zhong Ziqi said, “Get up, we’re going to town after dinner.”
Only then did Zhao Zheng’an remember that his wife had said he was going to take him to town to sell something, so he sat up excitedly and asked, ” Wife, are we going to sell something?”
“Yes, so Zheng’an has to get up early or we’ll be late.”
At that, Zhao Zheng’an immediately fumbled, dressing, “I’ll be up soon.”
Zhong Ziqi said with a soft face, “Slow down, the buttons are all wrong.”
The two of them sat down at the dinner table, while they were eating, there was a knock on the door, a small one, as if it was knock tentatively.
Zhong Ziqi ran over to open the door, there was Zhao Sheng: “Brother Sheng, you’re here! Eh? Why is Xiao Ning here too?” Zhao Ning, who was behind Zhao Sheng, quietly showed his head,made a funny face at Zhong Ziqi, “I told my Amu that I want to come and help you, then my Amu agreed. He he”
Zhong Ziqi smiled as he let the two in, “That’s good! I can relax now, by the way, have you two eaten yet? Eat some here.”
Zhao Ning shook his head and inhaled in passing, “It smells so good, I could smell it when I was at the door.”
“Better early than never, I’ve just cooked some hot noodles in soup, just in time for you to try.” As the three of them entered the house, Zhao Zheng’an was still burying his head in his food. Zhong Ziqi went to the kitchen to get two pairs of bowls and chopsticks to serve the noodles and handed the meals to the two of them.
It was the first time the two of them had eaten this, they felt that the noodles were different from the bone broth noodles they had eaten in the town before. It was very fresh, especially with a hint of sour fragrance.Zhao Ning took a bamboo shoot out of the bowl and ate it in his mouth.
His eyes lit up. He didn’t expect the sour taste to come from it, and asked, “Why is this bamboo shoot sour? Has it been soaked in vinegar?” He knew that although they often ate bamboo shoots, there was no other way to eat it than stewing or fried it.
Zhong Ziqi smiled mysteriously, “I made this specially, not soaked in vinegar, how is it delicious? Do you think I’ll make money selling it?”
“I think Qi Ge’ers cooking is much better than the ones in town.” Zhao Sheng said as he ate.
“Yes, it will definitely make money, I believe in your cooking skill.” Zhao Ning slurred his words, he was completely overwhelmed, he felt deeply that he had made the right decision to come and help today.
The hot noodles went inside the stomach, everyone was sweating.Zhao Sheng tied the large clay pot for the soup to the wheelbarrow, packed the cucumbers and persimmons, some jars of spices, a large bundle of firewood, then the four of them marched off towards the town.
The wheelbarrow was heavy so Zhao Sheng and Zhao Zheng’an took turns pushing it on the way. The hour-long journey took a lot longer, but luckily they had left early in the morning. By the time they reached the pier, it was only slightly light, but some industrious people had already started setting up their stalls.
The four of them walked around a corner to Uncle Huang’s house.
“Knock, knock” Zhong Ziqi knocked on the door.
Not long afterwards, they heard Huang Amu’s voice ring out, “It’s Qi Ge’er, isn’t it?”
“Huang AMu, it’s me.”
Huang Amu opened the door with his clothes on, “Not bad, you’re early, let me tell you, if you’re late you’ll be easily missed.”
“Hn, I know Huang Amu.” Zhong Ziqi responded.
“Who are these people?” Huang Amu asked when he saw the two extra people.
“These are two good friends of mine who came over to help out, his name is Zhao Sheng, and this is his little brother Zhao Ning.” After saying this Zhong Ziqi introduced the two, “This is Huang Amu.”
Zhao Sheng and Zhao Ning politely called Huang Amu.
Everyone loves obedient children, let alone Huang Amu, who looks at these half-grown children with a smile on his face but a little sadness in his heart, wondering how his son is doing.
Zhao Sheng and Zhao Zheng’an, with their hands and feet, pushed the wooden cart to the pier and occupied a somewhat isolated spot with few stalls around.The other vendors who were already busy looked at these suddenly appearing stall with blank expressions,when they saw that it was four youngsters, their eyes were even more contemptuous, not caring about this competition, which would surely disappear on its own in no time.
Zhong Ziqi did not care about this, most of the stuff was brought over but there were still a few wooden tables left, he asked Zhao Ning to stay here to watch, he,Zhao Sheng and Zhao Zheng’an went back to get the stuff, mainly because this side is not far from Huang Amu’s house, only two or three minutes away, so he was in ease to leave him here alone.
Zhong Ziqi went over mainly because he still had to talk to Huang Amu about fetching water, but to his surprise, as soon as he asked, Huang Amu agreed: “You can fetch as much as you want! I’ll leave the door open, so you can come.”
Zhong Ziqi naturally thanked him again.
Back at the pier, the task of fetching water was naturally left to both Zhao Sheng and Zhao Zheng’an. He and Zhao Ning got busy, bringing over a total of five tables, one of which was reserved for making noodles and putting things on, while the other four were placed in a square, with seating for sixteen people in all.
It dawned quickly in the summer.
In no time at all, the docks were full of people. Apart from the traders, Zhong Ziqi’s sharp eyes noticed that other customers were already coming and going.
Zhong Ziqi hurriedly asked Zhao Ning to start the fire to heat up the bone broth while he started to make the noodles. Zhao Ning was not a good cook, so he could not help with the cooking, but he could help with the fire and the seasoning.
“This little ger, are you new here?”
The stall beside Zhong Ziqi’s stall had been empty.He thought there was no one there, but actually the stall owner was late.
“Yes, it’s my first time opening today, so I’d like to ask this uncle to take care of us.” Zhong Ziqi said with a smile.
The stall owner was a man in his thirties or forties, on his stall there was a piece of grey rag with the words “Big stuffed bun” written on it in a crooked manner. Zhong Ziqi snorted with laughter,
“Uncle, these words were written quite pretty.” These were definitely not true.
But the uncle obviously didn’t hear it and said proudly, “My son wrote them, he is only eight years old. I sent him to school to study. Even the teacher praised him for being smart. “
“Not to mention, just by looking at these words, you can tell that your child is a smart one, this doesn’t look like a child’s writing at all.”
As soon as he heard Zhong Ziqi’s words, he felt like he had found his soulmate, chattering on and on.
As Zhong Ziqi did his work, he chatted with him. From time to time, Zhao Ning also interjected with a smile. From the conversation,they learnt that this uncle, surnamed Song, lived in Song’s village, which was quite far away from Zhao’s. He was the only one who spoke to Zhong Ziqi, moreover there was nothing discriminatory in his words.
Once they became familiar with each other, this uncle simply leaned his stall towards him to talk to him when there was nothing to do. Zhong Ziqi was happy too. To his left was a pastry seller, but far away from them, it was a young Amu who owned it, but he ignored him and moved his stall further away for fear of spoiling the smell.
After Zhao Sheng and Zhao Zheng’an fetched two buckets of water, they sat down on a stool to rest. Many of the stalls around them were steaming with aroma, some tables even had several customers sitting in front of them.
By now the sun was peeking out so the whole pier was no longer silent as in the morning. It was beginning to come alive. There are several restaurants on this side of the pier but the foreign merchants who live in the restaurants rarely eat there, as they know that the food on the pier is even better and cheaper than in the restaurants.
But Zhong Ziqi’s stall was in a remote location, also still new to the area, so no one noticed for a while. Zhong Ziqi calmly lifted the lid off the pot, dropped the noodles into the pot, and threw in some bamboo shoots. Gesturing to Zhao Ning, who was burning the fire, to go and rest while he served the cooked noodles in four bowls and brought three of them to the table, “Have some more! you’ve eaten little this morning.” Zhong Ziqi had made less this morning because he had neglected to include Zhao Ning and Zhao Sheng’s portions, so of course, no one had eaten enough breakfast. The three of them were already hungry after a busy morning.
Translator ?: I’m back after several days of rest (not in good mood) . I’m excited about how their business would be in the next chapter.
Keep me awake?