Accompany by A Fool to Do Farming
Chapter 43: 秋收过中秋
(After the Autumn Harvest, Celebrate the Mid-Autumn Festival)
[Tl notes on 中秋 : The Mid-autumn festival is the traditional moon-viewing festival on the 15th of the 8th lunar month of Chinese Calendar.]
Zhao Amu’s stall was located across the street from Zhong Ziqi’s stall.The delicious taste of the food was well received by all. Those who had money would pay extra money for a bowl of tofu pudding, while those who didn’t would eat the chinese breadsticks with white congee, which still smelled good.
The diners ate with relish, the vendors made a fortune, a basin full of money, to everyone’s delight and satisfaction.
Time flies so fast, in a flash, autumn has arrived.The temperature is no longer as hot as it was in the summer. As you walk out of the village, you can see the yellow color of the wheat, not the lush green of the past. It was finally time for the autumn harvest!
Zhong Ziqi’s family has the least amount of land in the village. While the rest of the villagers were too busy to even drink some water, in the morning, Zhong Ziqi had to open his business, in the afternoon he and Zhao Zheng’an went to the field to cut the wheat. It was the first time Zhong Ziqi had ever done such farming work. He almost couldn’t get out of bed, only after half a day of work, his back ached so much and his legs got weak, if it wasn’t for his strong request, Zhao Zheng’an wouldn’t have let him go out on the stall.
Zhao Zheng’an had told him several times that the land was small, so he could just do the work alone and finish it in two days. But Zhong Ziqi was being stubborn. His back and knees were limp and in pain because he hadn’t gotten used to it. Besides that, with one more person, they could finish the work sooner.
So, while the rest of the villagers were busy, they had finished harvesting.
All the grain was drying in their yard.
Because there was so little, they didn’t have to go to the factory yard to compete with others for space.
Zhao Amu’s family had a lot of land, so they didn’t have time to go out and set up a stall. Zhong Ziqi gave Zhao Ning and Zhao Sheng a holiday to let them go home and help their families collect the harvest of their land! Here, he had Zhao Zheng’an helped him with his work.
In fact, it was because of the autumn harvest that most of the workers in town went home to harvest the land. Business on the docks had dropped off considerably. Uncle Song next door said with a sigh that business was painstakingly ‘gloomy’ these days.
However, Zhong Ziqi’s business was as good as ever so even if there were leftovers, there weren’t many left. Zhao Zheng’an was a person with a strong communicative ability so whenever there was any leftover, he would send it to the vendors around the area as a gesture of goodwill.He was a good-looking man who could talk and do well.Within a few days, he was making friends with the older men and Amu around him. Zhong Ziqi, who was looking at him, was stunned for a moment. He felt that Zhao Zheng’an,this man’s communication skill was quite amazing. He did things smoothly and slickly,no one will be offended. Of course, if he did offend someone he might say he didn’t care on the surface, but behind your back, he will stab you furiously.
[来事儿 : it means to please others and attract others to like it. In the past,it used to describe a person who loves flattery and greets people when they meet people. But now it has gradually become a neutral term, which describes a person with strong communicative ability. ]
[八面玲瓏 bā miàn líng lóng : be smooth and slick (in establishing social relations)
Wang Cui Hua’s family had no time to bother Zhao Zheng’an and Zhong Ziqi. With their family consisting of two adults and a half-grown child, all of the work was enough to keep them busy. In the past, Zhao Zheng’an did most of the work. He did the most tiring things. Now that he is gone, the burden has fallen on Zhao Cheng. Don’t look at Zhao Cheng, who was usually very loose and lazy also didn’t like to talk, but he had an explosive temper. He belonged to those kinds of people who bully the weak and fear the strong. Usually, he was meek and civil in public, but a tyrant at home. After a hard day of work, when the food was not to his liking or the drink was not to his liking, he would fly into a terrible rage(metaphor for losing his temper and reproves loudly). Wang Cui Hua and Zhao Zheng’an were so scared that they didn’t dare to say a word.If anyone dared to say a word in reply,it was a guarantee, then, he would lash it out on someone.
[窩裡橫 wō li hèng : (coll.) meek and civil in public, but a tyrant at home]
This day, Zhong Ziqi came back from town and bought two catties of meat — to make dumplings, which is a troublesome job. As a big man, Zhong Ziqi no matter how many lives he has lived, he still – hates trouble!
But he loves dumplings. He is not fussy about the taste, as long as it tastes good.
Whether it is the meat filling dumplings or the vegetable one, If you add less seasoning, it won’t taste good. Zhong Ziqi has his own standard for mixing dumplings.He has experimented on making one for many times before he had come up with his own standards.After mixing the dumpling filling, Zhong Ziqi asked Zhao Zheng’an to join him in wrapping the dumplings.
“I don’t think I need to …” Zhao Zheng’an looked at Zhong Ziqi, he was in a difficult situation,he intended to back out. As a man,how could he know how to do such a delicate job as making dumplings?
“You learn too. It’s very easy. You accompany me to wrap it, so it could be done faster.” Zhong Ziqi said. One person is not as motivated as two people working together. As long as the filling of the dumplings doesn’t come out, it’s fine.If it does — then let him eat it! Zhong Ziqi thought happily inwardly.
Zhao Zheng’an was helpless yet he still sat down obediently to follow Zhong Ziqi’s instructions, picking up the dumpling skin and putting in the right amount of filling.
“Then, make the filling evenly, put it all in the middle, pinch it together, making sure there are no gaps, otherwise it will come out when you cook it.”
“Oh.” Zhao Zheng’an said he understood,but then,with a push with his hand — it was broken.
Zhong Ziqi “……”
“You use too much force in it. Put just a little force on it again!”
Zhao Zheng’an calmly picked up a dumpling skin and put in the filling. This time he did not dare to use too much force, folded the skin in half and pinched it from the left to the right, making sure there were no gaps, then he was satisfied and put it on the table. Compared to the small and delicate folded dumplings that Zhong Ziqi had made, his dumplings were so ugly that the dumplings could only lie on the table and could not even stand up.
Zhao Zheng’an was suffered from shock.
“Pfft,” Zhong Ziqi laughed unmercifully as he held his belly with both hands, ” Hahaha.”
Zhao Zheng’an looked at him, depressed, thus he threw the dumpling wrapper onto the table: “No more!”
“Don’t … Don’t! …I will not laugh at you anymore…Really!” Zhong Ziqi patted his own face, trying hard to hold back his smile.
Looking at the blushing face and watery eyes of the person, “If you laugh again… laugh again then I’m going to kiss you.” Zhao Zheng’an suddenly changed his style and said with the same wicked smile.
Zhong Ziqi couldn’t hold back his smile but the curvature of the corner of his mouth simply could not be bent down anymore.
Zhao Zheng’an smiled deviously, in a flash as quickly as he could but also not in a hurry, with the gesture of ‘covering one’s ears whilst stealing a bell’, he kissed him. The sweet taste was as good as he imagined it would be.
[掩耳盜鈴: lit. to cover one’s ears whilst stealing a bell / to deceive oneself / to bury one’s head in the sand (idiom)/ Definition: Stealing a bell covers your ears for fear of others hearing it / I like to deceive myself, and I have to try to cover up things that I can’t cover up]
He couldn’t resist prying open his lips and teeth,stretching forward his tongue inside, reaching for the slippery and soft little tongue that kept dodging and dodging, as if it were tangling and dancing together.
When Zhong Ziqi reacted, he felt a wave of oxygen deprivation coming over his head. He tried to struggle but his body was weak and his head felt so dizzy.
When did Zhao Zheng’an stop? He didn’t know. All he knew was that when he came back to his senses, Zhao Zheng’an was looking at him tenderly, his thumb on his lips, sliding up and down continuously.
Zhong Ziqi bit down on reflex. Then his body stiffened, he hurriedly spat out the naughty finger in his mouth. Zhong Ziqi covered his mouth with a very red face and looked at him accusingly: “You … you…what are you doing? We should be wrapping the dumplings! ”
He didn’t even give him time to prepare. But how did he get so good at it? Wasn’t he not in any relationship before?
Zhao Zheng’an smashed his mouth, seem like ‘leaving a rich aftertaste’: “Wrap dumplings, continue to wrap.”
[huí wèi wú qióng 回味无穷; leaving a rich aftertaste / (fig.) memorable / lingering in memory]
“”You …you … you!” Zhong Ziqi pointed at him in anger.
“I…I … what’s wrong with me?” Zhao Zheng’an also said with a puzzled look.
“…Nothing.” Zhong Ziqi wanted to say how come you’re like nothing after kissing me? But then he thought that was kind of a stupid question, so it was better not to ask.
Zhao Zheng’an secretly hooked the corners of his mouth.
Zhao Zheng’an’s dumplings did not improve at all, and were as ugly as ever, but Zhong Ziqi only laughed at him in his heart. He did not dare to show it on the surface, in order not to invite further unexpected trouble(無妄之災) .
[無妄之災 wú wàng zhī zāi : an accident / an undeserved catastrophe / unexpected calamities]
The two of them wrapped the dumplings together.After a short time of talking and laughing, the dumplings were all wrapped up.Zhao Zheng’an consciously went to boil the hot water while Zhong Ziqi stir fried the garlic cloves.When the water boils, Zhong Ziqi slowly add the oddly shaped dumplings to the pot and stirs them around.
After ten minutes or so, the dumplings are ready to be fished out.
All the dumplings were intact except for a few that had taken on water, so Zhao Zheng’an was spared the disaster of a leaky dumpling.
Zhao Zheng’an didn’t mind the scalding hot dumpling so he put one in his mouth in a hurry. The dumpling was filled with mincemeat and smelled delicious. Zhao Zheng’an gave a thumbs up to Zhong Ziqi. Zhong Ziqi proudly accepted his compliment.
The autumn harvest was the time to see if people were diligent or lazy.Those work faster were quick. Those who were slow,they still had plenty left after the others had finished.
Zhao Amu’s family belonged to the former group. After finishing the harvest,he and Zhao Ning went to the town to set up their stall,leaving Zhao Bao Gen and Zhao Sheng at home to dry the harvest. Each day is a significant amount of income so If you miss a day, you lose a lot of money.
Moreover, people in the town say that his ‘bean curd jelly’ has become one of the top five foods in their town. The number one, naturally, is Zhong Ziqi’s chinese breadsticks. Although the business of cold noodles declines in autumn, people who have been eating it all summer still put them in the top five. The other two are spicy lobster and crystal cakes, which Zhong Ziqi has eaten. It indeed tasted good.
Crystal Cakes Pic:
The Mid-Autumn Festival is just a few days after the autumn harvest. Zhong Ziqi was not always capable in all aspects. He didn’t know how to make mooncakes. He carefully selected various flavours of mooncakes in the town.
Altogether, it was wrapped into five portions. One for the Huang Amu family, one for the Zhao Amu family, one for the Zhong family, one for the Wang Cui Hua family, and the last one was naturally for the village chief’s family. The five families who received the mooncakes were naturally happy to have a share of the mooncakes, as well as getting closer to each other.
On the day of the Mid-Autumn Festival, Zhong Ziqi cooked a table full of dishes and set out a small jar of wine. It was the peach wine he had made, which he had opened and filtered only yesterday. Zhao Zheng’an had tried it, he found it to be quite tasty, with a slight sweetness of peach on the palate.The alcohol content was not particularly high, so even a ger and the children can drink it.
“Let’s eat.” Zhong Ziqi finished his work and asked Zhao Zheng’an to sit down and eat.
He poured two bowls of wine, handing one to Zhao Zheng’an and holding the other for himself.
“Happy Mid-Autumn Festival.” Zhong Ziqi said seriously as he raised the bowl. This was the first Mid-Autumn Festival he had spent here. He must treat it with care, although he was in a different world, he was still living a happy life.
[Tl notes: how do the chinese usually celebrate this mid-autumn festival? It differs depending on the customs and place, but usually the most common and basic are family reunion, eating moon cakes, and admiring the moon.]
“Happy Mid-Autumn Festival.” Zhao Zheng’an finished and toasted his wine with him. Each of them drank in one go.
Zhong Ziqi finished his drink, smacked his lips and felt the wine was good. Therefore, he poured a full bowl for both of them, ate two bites of food, and toast again.
What happened after that, Zhong Ziqi could not remember. He only remembered that he was happy so he drank a bowl of wine. He had some sadness in his heart then he drank another bowl of wine. After that, he had no memory at all.
Zhong Ziqi sat on the bed, rubbing his temples in frustration. He couldn’t be drunk, could he?
Zhao Zheng’an had woken up at some point too. He looked at him with amusement: “How can you be so drunk when the alcohol is so low? That’s amazing!”
Zhong Ziqi ‘beat his chest and stamp his feet’. In spite of everything, he missed the opportunity to admire the moon. It seems that this body had a low alcohol tolerance, in his previous life he was still a good drinker, at least one full of bottle, he certainly would not fall.
[捶胸頓足/ chuí xiōng dùn zú :to beat one’s chest and stamp one’s feet (idiom)/used to describe very sad/depressed]
“I…last night, did I do anything excessive?” Zhong Ziqi had a serious face. He was still very conscious of his image.
“Well …… nothing too over.”
Zhong Ziqi just sighed in relief, Zhao Zhengan continued, “You just hugged me and cried bitterly, wiping snot and tears all over me.”
Zhong Ziqi had this black line expression. Was that really him? He didn’t remember anything: “Is there more?”
Ha ha ha ??? let’s guess what Zhong Zi Qi actually did while he was drunk? I guess he probably really didn’t do anything, just fell asleep like that or probably he became aggressive and kissed Zhao Zheng’an passionately. What do you guys think?