Accompany by a Fool to Do Farming
Chapter 45: 门面 (storefront)
Not long after the Mid-Autumn Festival, Zhong Ziqi’s food stall underwent another change.Zhao Zheng’an dislikes the fact that Zhong Ziqi had to work too hard in the sun and wind every day, so he look for him a storefront in town.
[ 風吹日曬 fēng chuī rì shài
(idiom) to be exposed to the elements such as wind and the heat of the sun.]
门面 for storefront see the pic :
The storefront is not very big. There is a certain amount of rent per day, Zhong Ziqi approached Zhao Amo and Huang Amo to discuss it so that the three families can rent this storefront together. They can put whatever goodies they have at home into the shop. Each of them can have some space too.
The shop is very close to the pier, so there is no need to worry about losing customers. Besides, there are also a few tables in front of the shop, so every customer can eat there.
Zhao Amo and Huang Amo each went home to think about it. They felt that it was a good idea to follow Qi Ge’er’s work. Two families agreed to Zhong Ziqi’s proposal.
On the day when they paid the rent, Zhao Amo and Huang Amo went along with them. Then, each paid their own share of the money and rented the shop for a month.Although, it was painful to lose quite a lot of money that they had earned so far. But they felt better when they thought that they would earn more in the future. To achieve a certain purpose one must pay the price, no pains,no gains.
[捨不得孩子套不住狼 shě bù dé hái zǐ tào bú zhù láng
idiom. to achieve a certain purpose one must pay the price]
As Uncle Huang was a carpenter, Zhong Ziqi asked him to make a Wooden plaque (that used to hang above a door) and paint it with a bright-colored layer of paint. Then, he wrote the words”相当好吃” (Quite delicious),these 4 words.
[Examples of wooden plaque]
Zhao Zheng’an praised him for his good handwriting. He had been working in the city for many years so he could read a lot of words, but if he was asked to write, his writing was like a dog’s paw.
As they were always wandering around there, in and out of the shop, everyone soon knew that the best stall on the pier had moved. But luckily, he hadn’t moved far away, still near the pier.
When everything was ready, the “Quite tasty”/”相当好吃” , restaurant opened without a hitch. In front of the door, two firecrackers cracked and popped so loudly that both adults and children covered their ears and stayed away.It was only after the firecrackers had been set off that the crowd came over to give Zhong Ziqi their best wishes. Whether it was Huang Amo or Zhao Amo, the people on the pier were all very familiar with them.Each and every one of them congratulated them happily,began to order their favorite food,and ate a big mouthful of food.
Zhong Ziqi was inside the shop, busy frying the chinese breadsticks for sale while Zhao Zheng’an stood at the door to greet customers: “In the future, whoever spends fifteen wen. They have a chance to draw a prize, this prize has a variety of mysterious rewards.”
Hearing that, the customer’s curiosity was immediately piqued: “What’s the reward? Tell us about it.”
Zhao Zheng’an put his hands on the man’s shoulders, “A mystery prize, of course, you’ll only know if you buy it, if I tell you in advance then there will be no surprise.”
“Boss, get me ten wen of chinese breadsticks! And a bowl of beancurd jelly? That’s enough for fifteen wen, right?” A customer asked in a loud voice.
Zhao Ning brought the food over to him, collected the money and said to wait a moment. He walked away for a while.
The crowd stretched their necks waiting to see what kind of surprise would be in store for them. A short while later, only to see Zhao Ning take a bamboo tube full of bamboo sticks and put it on the man’s table, “Guest,you can draw one! ”
The man, looking left and right, wanted to see something, but after a while, he gave up: “Can I shake it?” The man was also afraid of a trick.
“Yes you can.” Zhao Ning handed the bamboo tube to him.
The man took it and shook it a few times like a dice.
“Zhao Lao Liu, can you hurry up? Has your gambling addiction returned?” Someone who was familiar with the man was anxious to expose him.
The man scratched his head in embarrassment, put down the bamboo tube before he looked around.Finally, he picked a bamboo stick in the middle. He couldn’t wait to get it out and see what it was.There were indeed some small letters on the bottom of the bamboo stick.He couldn’t read or write, so he looked at Zhao Ning and asked him what it meant.
Zhao Ning had been trained by Zhong Ziqi, so he took it and looked at it: “Congratulations, sir, this stick says a reward of one wen.” Zhao Ning said as he showed the bamboo stick to those who were watching. Those who could read nodded their heads, it was indeed a reward of one wen.
“So we are giving the guest a refund of one wen. Sir, take this!” Zhao Ning took one wen of money and handed it to the man.
The man laughed ‘He he he’ and tucked it in his arms, thinking it was quite interesting.
The onlookers found it interesting as well so they followed suit and ordered 15 wen of food.Some people drew one wen, some even drew two wen, some drew an egg, some drew two chinese breadsticks and so on, all were different. But as more people drew, one kind of bamboo stick was also drawn which was “Thank you for your patronage.”
The person who drew it asked stupidly what the prize was.
Zhao Ning explained to the man. The man was immediately dismayed, why was his hand so ‘disappointed’?
The people around him laughed at him, but gradually many of them drew “Thank you for your patronage.”too, their hands were so unlucky compared to those who had prizes.
Some of the more experienced gamblers immediately thought to themselves that it was not a good day to play, and that they would not be lucky. When the gambler has a good hand, he would be happy to decide to go to the casino to gamble twice. The crowd had different minds, but no more than that were attracted by Zhong Ziqi’s unique business methods,therefore the customer flow and profit for that whole day almost doubled more than usual.
Straight away, Jin Sheng of Jin Hua Restaurant was stunned by the crowded shop, which was almost more crowded than their restaurant. Only to see that some people were happy and cheerful, radiant with delight, while others were sad and downcast.
Jin Sheng was particularly curious and squeezed into the shop where he saw that the layout of the house was divided into three, with Zhong Ziqi’s chinese breadsticks in the middle, Huang Amo’s porridge, pickles and bits of food on the left, also Zhao Amo’s beancurd jelly on the right.
Jin Sheng knew that they were all relatively close, so it wasn’t unusual for him to see them here together, but what made it rare was the raffle campaign that attracted one group of customers after another.
“Master Jin, we are honored by your presence, excuse me for not going out to welcome you.” Zhao Zheng’an’s sharp eyes spotted Jin Sheng who was standing in the crowd also looking into the room.
[大駕光臨 : dà jià guāng lín
we are honored by your presence
有失遠迎 yǒu shī yuǎn yíng :(polite) excuse me for not going out to meet you]
Jin Sheng smiled and walked over to him, “Your business is as hot as ever, I’m envious here.”
Zhao Zheng’an made a gesture of invitation (gesture for him to come in) , “No, no, nowhere! It’s a small business, it’s nothing to compare with your big restaurant.”
“You and your Fu Lang are too modest. Your food has become a speciality in our town. The other day I had a customer from out of town asking about you.”
Zhao Zheng’an smiled.
“I see you’ve done a good job with this raffle, who came up with the idea?”
Zhao Zheng’an stretched his hands, “That certainly wouldn’t be me.”
“It’s Qi Ge’er again, isn’t it? He has the most ideas.” Jin Sheng didn’t have to guess who it was. The other side’s strange and eccentric ideas always made him sigh.
Zhao Zheng’an was standing with Jin Sheng in some inconspicuous corner of the shop, watching people come and go, laughing and smiling.
Zhong Ziqi took a moment out of his busy schedule to look for Zhao Zheng’an. The first time he noticed him standing in the corner with Jin Sheng by his side, he was surprised for a moment, then smiled and nodded.
“You kid, you are lucky! There are only good families who could pick up such a good ger. Yet now he’s your Fu Lang.” Jin Sheng said.
“I also think I’m quite lucky, I must have cultivated my good fortune in previous generations.” Zhao Zheng’an said proudly, his heart also secretly alert, his eyes scanning the surroundings like radar. If he saw anyone take one more look at Zhong Ziqi, his eyes would shoot at him like a knife. His wife was so attractive, good-looking and capable that he wanted to keep him at home and not come out. Unfortunately, his wife’s wishes were beyond his control so he could only act like a guardian, watch over him and chase away any flies that came his way.
“You talk to your Fu Lang, I’m quite optimistic about this raffle campaign and intend to implement it in the restaurant, ask him if he has any suggestions.” Jin Sheng said.
“Yes, I’ll definitely bring the message to you.” Zhao Zheng’an wasn’t surprised at all by what Jin Sheng said. Moreover, he believed that within a few days, many shops would definitely follow suit.
Jin Sheng stayed in the shop for a while before heading back to his home. Before he left, Zhong Ziqi packed several freshly cooked deep fried breadsticks for Jin Sheng.
Zhong Ziqi’s shop didn’t close until the sun was about to set and the traffic had died down. Today, everyone has made a fortune. Zhao Amo and Huang Amo’s mouths are full of smiles. The mousy Zhao Bao Gen had a big smile on his face for the first time, like Uncle Huang, he had come to see what was going on in the morning and after that, both of them couldn’t leave. Even the two of them had a long day of work. Fortunately, the work always pays off, and their earnings have doubled several times.
“Thanks to Qi Ge’er’s idea of drawing lots, otherwise we wouldn’t have been able to earn so much.” Huang Amo thanked Zhong Ziqi, who could even be said to be a great hero to them.
“Yes, it’s thanks to this trick of Qi Ge’er. You say, these children still hide from us.” Zhao Amo complained to Huang Amo. Previously, he and Huang Amo had never met before but yet they felt familiar at first sight,now the more they met each other, the more they felt that the other’s personality is what they like so they had become good friends who could talk to each other.
“This is merely to give you guys a surprise?” He was exhausted after a busy day yet he couldn’t stop himself from being happy.
“Although it’s worthy of celebration and today’s opening was very successful, this will not last long. I believe that in a few days, this lottery will be popular in other shops.” Zhao Zheng’an said, he didn’t mean to throw cold water on people, this was just to prepare them, not to be too happy too soon.
“Yeah, not to mention in a few days, tomorrow it will probably be implemented in other restaurants. Besides, everyone just thinks it is new and interesting but the excitement will slowly cool down after a long time.” Zhong Ziqi agreed with Zhao Zheng’an. He believed that the people who came to buy food or watch the fun today were not pure diners, there must be many spies, even Boss Jin had alerted, let alone others.
“It’s okay, even if it is, it’s fine as long as we don’t lose the money.” Zhao Sheng said, “At the very least, they won’t lose their income.
“Yes, not to mention that we can also develop some new dishes ourselves, so that our customers don’t get bored of eating the same ones all the time. So don’t be discouraged, come on! Jia you!” Zhong Ziqi made a fist gesture to encourage.
[加油 jiā yóu: literally it mean ‘to add oil’
But this term is commonly used to cheer up somebody, to give encouragement. I think this term is the same to Japanese word ‘Ganbatte!’]
“Yes,Jia you!” Zhao Ning also made a fist gesture.
They smiled at each other, tidied up the shop, and closed the store to go home.
Translator’s little corner:
This chapter’s translation is kinda rush. [~Bitter smile~]
Oh… i didn’t expect the next chapter would be… Tee hee… ≧﹏≦(〃ﾟ3ﾟ〃)
If you are interested, I also write an original story titled ‘Who says the path to the leader is not easy?’, you could read it here
It’s such a long time since I write again. The concepts and the story is not new since it’s had been in my mind around 10 years + ago. Just, now it had this danmei elements.