Accompany by a Fool to Do Farming
Chapter 12: 赚钱 (to earn money)
Translator : LittleYen
The bun stall owner gulped quietly, he had got up early in the morning and hadn’t eaten breakfast. Moreover, the buns in the steamer were not ready yet. Zhong Ziqi’s noodles were so delicious that it made his stomach growl. He turned away from them awkwardly to keep his eyes on the steamer, hoping it would be ready soon, but the smell was getting better and nearer.
He turned around, a bit puzzled but immediately he saw a steaming bowl of noodles.The owner of the noodles was looking at him with a smile: “Uncle Song, try my noodles too and see if they are good.”
Uncle Song, embarrassed, touched his nose. “It’s not easy for a ger like you to set up a stall, how can I take advantage of you? You should eat it yourself.”
“It’s just a bowl of noodles, it’s not worth much, therefore I’ll have to rely on Uncle Song to take care of my stall in the future.” He had already said this, so Uncle Song didn’t pretend more than that. He took the bowl, thanked him,and ate it in big mouthful bites.The taste was as good as he expected. It’s hard to imagine that a half-grown ger could have made this.
When Zhong Ziqi returned to the stall, he looked around and saw some people had noticed the fragrant stall. He didn’t care what they were hesitating about, cleared his throat to imitate the shouting of the surrounding vendors. “Noodles in a big bone soup, it smells great! If it’s not delicious, you don’t have to pay! Don’t miss it, if you pass by!”
“Pfft, cough cough!” Zhao Ning spat out a mouthful of noodles, coughed gently, looking at Zhong Ziqi with unbelievable eyes. Even Zhao Sheng also looked at him in amazement, but only Zhao Zheng’an didn’t notice what was wrong, he heard his wife’s yell and stopped his chopsticks in amusement, also following his words and shouting loudly, “Big bone noodles in soup, fragrant! Don’t pay if it’s not good, don’t miss it if you pass by.” After shouting this, his long and narrow eyes looked at Zhong Ziqi.
Zhong Ziqi habitually praised, “Zheng’an shouted well, shout some more!” Zhao Zheng’an, having been instructed by his wife , opened his voice, shouted again and again.
When Zhao Ning and Zhao Sheng saw that people were already looking over here and heading this way, they suddenly had an epiphany in their heads.
When it’s time to let go of your face, it’s time to let go of it, and who knows who’s who unless you yell a few more times!
“Boss, give me a bowl of noodles.” A man in his thirties, dressed in short clothes, sat on Zhong Ziqi’s stall and said this,at the same time, his eyes looking at the three people eating the noodles, the aroma was really long-lasting.
“Okay, you wait a moment.”
Zhong Ziqi winked at the three of them: look, isn’t this business coming?
Zhao Ning got up,came over to help with the fire, whispering, “Ziqi, you’re awesome!”
Zhong Ziqi smiled, he was also excited, this was his first business, and he was finally open for business.It would be a shame if it stayed ‘cold’ like this.
(Tl notes: it mean it would be a shame if he got 0 customer)
Zhong Ziqi stirred the noodles in his hands, when he felt they were almost ready, he put the noodles into a large bowl, then he brought it to the man’s table: “Here are your noodles!”
The man tasted the noodles, which were much better than those from other noodles stalls, it had the fragrance of bamboo shoots. The bamboo shoots were a little bit sour, so he could not help but ask skeptically, “Boss, the bamboo shoots are not spoiled, right? Why is it sour?”
Zhong Ziqi laughed and said.
“You said, if it’s bad, how could I still bring it here for you to eat? This is my unique way of making them.I’m sorry it’s inconvenient for me to tell you the way to make it. But don’t worry,as you can see my friends are eating so it’s not poisonous.”
The big man was just expressing his surprise. He worked on the docks himself, carrying and unloading cargo, doing odd jobs.He works as a handyman,always here so he knew where the good food was.For example, there are two famous noodle stalls on the pier,they do a lot of business in the morning. He often eats there too.Today, he was planning to go there to have a meal too but suddenly he heard a loud, clear voice, which stood out from the crowd of older men and Amu.He followed the sound and came over.What he saw was a ger about the same age as his children cooking, and three other children of the same age at the stall of one of whom was shouting. He sat down and asked for a bowl of noodles, but he didn’t expect it to be any better than the other two stalls. The big man didn’t hesitate, readily took out five coins, handed it to Zhong Ziqi, and started to eat again.
Zhong Ziqi padded the coins, he was happy: “Enjoy your meal, call us if you need anything.”
Zhao Ning and Zhao Sheng were also particularly happy that the stall had its first income. Zhao Sheng simply also broke the jar (with all cost) and shouted together with Zhao Zheng’an.One by one, people came over to eat the noodles. In particular, that big man was a regular customer at the pier so many people knew him. When they saw him at this inconspicuous small stall, they couldn’t help but come over to try the noodles. Of course, after they had eaten, they would ask for a second bowl. There were also some people who didn’t believe (that the noodles were delicious) when they saw that it was manned by a few children. Zhong Ziqi had no time for this, as he was busy at the moment, with five or six people sitting at the stall, serving the noodles, asking Zhao Ning to deliver the order and collecting the money.
In this way, Zhong Ziqi had already sold more than ten bowls of noodles early in the morning.This is a lot of money even for some of the old stalls so Zhong Ziqi is content that it has exceeded his budget.
The bun stall next to him is also busy, a lot of buyers too, so Uncle Song is even happier than he is.
In the summer, the weather is hot and only cool for a while in the morning, but by eight or nine o’clock in the morning, the temperature rises so Zhong Ziqi’s noodle stall can no longer attract a single person.
Many of the people around him looked at him with the look of ‘rejoicing in his misfortune’. It’s hard to sell cooked food in summer,although things like buns can be eaten when they’re cold but if it comes to the noodles,when it was cold,it will solidify into a heap.Even the two old noodle stalls on the pier had to change their menu when it was hot.
[幸灾乐祸 : to take joy in calamity and delight in disaster (idiom); fig. to rejoice in other people’s misfortune ]
Zhong Ziqi felt that the hot noodle soup was no longer worthwhile, so he asked Zhao Ning to help him tidy up the stall while directing Zhao Zheng’an and Zhao Sheng to fetch water.
“Qi Ge’er ah! Are you going back?” Uncle Song asked.In his opinion, it was good enough to gain 50 wen so early in the morning, just like his bun station, which only sold a hundred or eighty wen a day when business was good.
“It’s still early, so I intend to change it into the same kind of food to sell.” Zhong Ziqi said gently, while taking out a cloth bag, put the rice vermicelli out from it to soak it in cool water for a while.
Uncle Song was silent, he was quite surprised, he didn’t expect a young ger to know more than he did about business, this ger was even better.When he first came here, he didn’t know anything about this, and now even if he did, he couldn’t do anything about it, he was a man who really clueless about this.
Zhong Ziqi brushed the pot clean, filled it with fresh water,and set a big fire to boil it. By this time Zhao Sheng and Zhao Zheng’an had already fetched the water back, thus Zhong Ziqi was busy directing them to put the water in a cool place thus casually cover it.
“Xiao Ning, you learn from me,later if there are many people,you would help me make it too.” Zhong Ziqi said with a sideways glance, he still had quite a lot of confidence in making cold noodles.
Zhao Ning was stunned and said, “I…I’ll…Just forget it!” He was a bit short of breath when he said that.
He’s here to do the work, what else he couldn’t learn? It’s not like it’s complicated. Also, Zhong Ziqi isn’t doing it behind his back.
He was embarrassed to be learning someone else’s trade so openly and honestly.It was also thanks to the fact that they were good friends, if he was the one with a crooked mind, he could just set up another business after the recipe was learned.
“Hey, what’s wrong with that? You guys have helped me so much, what else can I not trust you with? If I can make this business work, I’ll have to rely on you guys a lot.” Besides, Zhong Ziqi had something to say that he hadn’t said. If the business was really good, he wanted Zhao Ning to follow him then he would teach him his craft so that he could open one too.He is a man who knows how to repay his kindness, the Zhao family has helped him so much, of course he wants to return the favour.Besides, he didn’t care about these small crafts.He has many recipes that don’t exist in this world, if he’s had enough of this one, he could just completely change it into another one.
Zhao Ning was very happy to hear this from Zhong Ziqi, which meant that Ziqi really did consider him a friend. Since Ziqi got married, the two of them didn’t seem to be as warm as they used to be. Everytime it is always his one-way enthusiasm which makes him think that there was a gap between them.
The water in the pot quickly boiled, Zhong Ziqi put the rice vermicelli into the pot to cook it slightly, then picked it up quickly before putting it into the bowl that had been prepared with cold water.
“You can’t cook the rice vermicelli for too long, it will break if you pinch it. So soak it in cool water after cooking, the texture will be flexible.” Zhong Ziqi gave Zhao Ning a careful explanation of what to be careful of in this.
Zhao Ning nodded his head, indicating that he understood.
Next, Zhong Ziqi seasoned the noodles, raised his hand to took a large bowl, added a small spoonful of sugar, vinegar, the right amount of soy sauce, sesame oil, and finally a little salt, scooped out a large bowl of cold water, poured it into the bowl and stirred it. Then he removes the water from the cold noodles, after that the noodles are added to the soup bowl, the washed and shredded red tomato ? is added,plus the cucumber is shredded and also added to the soup.
“The seasoning can be adjusted according to personal taste, for example, some people like to eat sweet, some like to eat sour, you can add more appropriately. Well, the cold noodles are ready, you guys try it!”
Zhao Ning joyfully took the bowl and ran to the table to be the first to taste it. It was indeed cold and refreshing, sweet and sour, with the crispness of cucumber. He took a big bite before reluctantly giving it to the two of them who were looking at him.
Zhong Ziqi didn’t make a bowl for each of the three this time, as the rice vermicelli were still relatively expensive, so he made one bowl for them to try first,also to advertise to the customers.
“Cold noodles, cold as ice ‘cold noodles’! Eat a bowl, ‘Heart cooling,Spirit flying!'(透心凉, 心飞扬).” Zhao Zheng’an and Zhao Sheng shouted again at the top of their voices, following the words Zhong Ziqi had taught him.
[透心凉, 心飞扬 the literal meaning of it mean it is very cold, cold to the heart as if the mood being released aka the mood becoming good. This remark is also being used in ‘Sprite’ advertisement slogan in China]
It’s a very hot time of year,so it’s getting hotter and hotter by the minute. Not to mention the pedestrians, even the small vendors were uncomfortably hot. Zhong Ziqi’s cold noodles caught everyone’s attention,the others were surprised to see that the two types of food this ger was selling at the beginning of his business were both very strange.
The first one was fine, only heard that the bamboo shoots were sour, but this cold noodle dish, which looked as if it was undercooked, was said to be cool and tasty.
Some people couldn’t stand the heat so they sat down at Zhong Ziqi’s stall: “Boss, give me a bowl! I want to taste it, if it’s like what you said.”
“Okay,wait a moment! ” Zhong Ziqi made a bowl and served it up, still charging five wen.
The man took his first bite, and his eyes immediately lit up.
“Hey,this brother, how’s it going? Was it good?” The one watching asked.
“It’s just as good as the fresh water from my well, and it’s sweet and sour. Boss, give me another bowl!”
In this era, there was no such thing as a trust, so when they heard that someone had called it good, those who were craving for it couldn’t resist and ordered a bowl. Zhong Ziqi and Zhao Ning each had a pot to cook in, while Zhao Sheng was responsible for collecting the money and Zhao Zheng’an stood in front of the stall shouting when he saw that he had nothing else to do.
Zhong Ziqi’s stall was small with only four tables, so some people had no space to sit, so they either squatted and ate or went to Uncle Song’s stall next door.Uncle Song wasn’t unhappy about it, on the contrary, he was happy because some people would buy some buns when they left after eating the cold noodles.
Translator ?: Poor Zhao Zheng’an! He got nothing to do so he could only shout to help. Hopefully after he recover, he could help more ヾ(＾-＾)ノ
There are many types of cold noodles, but I imagined it could be like this (but without the egg) :
Support me here: