Accompany by a Fool to Do Farming
Chapter 5: 进镇 (Go to the City)
Seeing him coming over, he immediately said cheerfully, “Ziqi, I heard that you had moved here, so we came to help, and this is what my mother asked me to bring over.”
Zhong Ziqi was surprised: “Say thanks to Auntie for me,it’s really ‘to send charcoal in snowy weather’. I was just worried about what to cover tonight.”
[雪中送炭: Give people charcoal to warm people in snowy days / It is a metaphor for giving material or spiritual help when others need it urgently]
“What with this send charcoal?! Just tell me what you need. Between you and me,we are brothers, not strangers.” Zhao Ning complained.
Zhong Ziqi knew that being too polite would be like being unfamiliar, it was rare to have such a friend, so he had to cherish it: “Sure, then I’ll ask you and Brother Sheng to help me clean up.” From his memory, he knew the young guy was Zhao Ning’s big brother, Zhao Sheng,who was now engaged and would be married after the autumn harvest. Like his father, he was an honest man.
The four of them work faster than the two. Zhao Zheng’an may look silly, but he works so fast that Zhong Ziqi can’t match. He is amazed.He clicked one’s tongue in wonder when he saw it, even Zhao Ning said it was a pity.
[啧啧称奇; to click one’s tongue in wonder (idiom) / to be astonished]
After busting all morning, he was finally able to sit down. Zhong Ziqi wanted to go to the Zhao family’s vegetable patch to pick some vegetables for cooking, but was embarrassed to find that there were no spices and even the cooking utensils were incomplete.
In the end it was Zhao Ning who didn’t care and said, “Forget it! today, you’ve just moved in, have to clean up, we’ll come back and dine when you’ve got everything ready.”
“Alright then, thank you so much for today.”
“You’re being polite again aren’t you? Come on! Let’s go and eat at my place!”
“No, we have rice at home, so we’ll just have to cope with it for a bite today. Tomorrow I’ll go into town and buy something.” Zhong Ziqi didn’t want to bother people,they were giving him a quilt and helping him out, so he refused Zhao Ning’s kind offer.
After sending the two away, Zhong Ziqi closed the door, turned his head to look at Zhao Zheng’an, who was following him out, then he asked with a smile, “Are you hungry? I’ll go and cook.”
Zhao Zheng’an rubbed his stomach and said honestly. “Hungry, it keeps calling all the time.”
Zhong Ziqi thought that was funny and smiled, then he went inside to lay out the blanket, in order to let Zhao Zheng’an rest for a while while he went to the kitchen. The kitchen was tidied up, looked emptier, so he poured out the brown rice, washed it carefully, put it in a pot, put in some vegetables and a little salt. He made a pot of vegetable porridge.
Zhao Zheng’an ate heartily, since his father and mother did not give him enough food at home, after all,still the wife was better, let him eat as much as he wanted.
The busy day passed so quickly, at night when he was resting, Zhong Ziqi thought that he didn’t have to squeeze in with Zhao Zheng’an because he has two rooms now, but as soon as he discussed it with Zhao Zheng’an, he was met with a strong reaction “Wife, I want to sleep with you, don’t you want me?” Zhao Zheng’an said this while his eyes were red again, his hand clutching Zhong Ziqi tightly and not letting him go.
Zhong Ziqi, taking a deep breath, said in his heart, Your tears are priceless, aren’t they? Say drop then the tear just drops like that, you definitely could become an actor.
Moreover, I didn’t say I didn’t want you ah! don’t be so sensitive, okay?
It makes him feel uncomfortable.
“Wife, wife, sleep with you.”
Zhong Ziqi shot a glance at him and said, “If you don’t call me wife, then I will sleep with you. ” After saying this, Zhong Ziqi felt that something was odd.
But he didn’t expect Zhao Zheng’an to be stubborn: “You are my wife,want to call you ‘wife’.”
Zhong Ziqi does not know whether to laugh or cry, “Do you know what a wife is for?”
“For sleeping.” Zhao Zheng’an said with a straight face, full of confidence and proud of himself, but actually he also heard it from others.
Well! It completely makes sense! Since it’s already like this, then there’s no way to get away from it. Zhong Ziqi was speechless, fell straight onto the bed, throwing a pillow to the silly man sitting there, glaring at him, “Sleep!” After saying that, he turned on his side and closed his eyes.
The only thing that could be heard was the sound of a fidgeting figure behind him,a short while later, a warm body was pressed against him,an arm was placed around his waist.Zhong Ziqi frowned, took the arm away, but in a moment it came back,so he took it away again, Zhong ziqi finally warned, “Don’t put it on me.”
Zhao Zheng’an gave an aggrieved sound, ‘oh’, then he did not dare to put his hand on again. When his wife was angry,it was so scary.
When Zhong Ziqi saw that it had stopped, he went to sleep with peace of mind, tired from a long day.
When Zhao Zheng’an behind him saw his wife asleep, he carefully put his hand on his slender waist. After he saw that he didn’t react,he went to sleep, very happy entering the land of dreams.
The next day, when Zhong Ziqi woke up, it was already dawn. He stretched out comfortably, got up, got dressed, then he saw Zhao Zheng’an sleeping soundly, so he didn’t wake him up. He went out alone to fetch a bucket of water, washed up and cooked the rice.
When the meal was ready, he heard a few urgent cries, “Wife? Wife?”
Zhong Ziqi rushed out to him as soon as he saw Zhao Zheng’an looking for him in a hurry, his eyes red: “I’m here!”
Zhao Zheng’an immediately ran over and hugged him.
Zhong Ziqi was not adapted to this,moved uncomfortably, a little awkward and embarrassed but after realizing that he was a fool as he should not care about this, he reassured him in a soft tone: “Didn’t I say that I will not abandon you, right? I’m cooking right now. You smell it, the rice is ready. Go wash your face then we’ll eat. I’ll take you to the town after we finish eating.”
Zhao Zheng’an was immediately distracted and looked like he was looking forward to it.
Zhong Ziqi sent him to wait in the hall before bringing the porridge over, thinking that Zhao Zheng’an was different from the other fools, at least he was obedient and not disruptive, like a seven or eight year old child, curious about everything, mixed with a fear of being abandoned.He doesn’t know if he will recover or not,maybe he should find a doctor to check it out, but then again, if he does…(Cough cough) Forget it,forget it! There is no need to worry in advance, the problem can always be solved at the time. (The original one used this idiom,船到桥头自然直;You will cross the bridge when you get to it)
After eating, Zhong Ziqi locked the gate. He took Zhao Zheng’an towards the town. The town they were going to was called Qing Shui Town,it took half an hour to get there from the Zhao Jia village. Zhong Ziqi felt the coins in his pocket, he didn’t know how long the money would last so he had to save as much as he could before the family had any income.
“Zheng’an, usually at home, do you – do you still have a headache? Do you feel dizzy?” Zhong Ziqi remembered that Zhao Zheng’an seemed to have stopped taking his medication before he got well, so he wondered if there were any after-effects.
Zhao Zheng’an tilted his head to look at him, “I don’t feel dizzy, but occasionally, my head hurts.”
It seemed better to go and see what the doctor had to say ba! Although the money was not much, at least he could feel at ease.
When they arrived in Qing Shui Town, Zhong Ziqi held Zhao Zheng’an’s hand tightly, urging uneasily, “Be sure to follow me closely, understand?”
“Got it,wife.” Zhao Zheng’an shook his clasped hands, but his eyes were drawn away by the dazzling array of goods around him.
Zhong Ziqi was also a little curious, looking around and stopping to ask about the prices of the goods, which were unexpectedly cheaper than he had expected. But these were only small things, food and clothing had to go inside, at this moment,in front of him there was a medical center as they walked there,so Zhong Ziqi hurriedly pulled Zhao Zheng’an inside.
The doctor who in charge was an old man in his fifties, when he saw Zhao Zheng’an, he was visibly surprised, after that, he averted his eyes, looked at Zhong Ziqi: “You are Zhao Zheng’an’s…?”
“Er …… I’m his …..Fu Lang, doctor you know him?” Zhong Ziqi said calmly and smoothly, this doctor obviously knew Zhao Zhengan.
(Fu Lang :how they address the male wife)
The doctor stroked his long beard: “How do I not know him, this head of his was examined here by me.”
“Then, Doctor, how is his condition? Is there any chance of recovery?” Zhong Ziqi asked anxiously.
“To be honest, I’m not sure. I think he has a blood clot in the back of his head that has caused him to become what he is today, whether he will recover or not, I can’t say for sure, maybe tomorrow he will suddenly get better, or maybe ……”
Zhong Ziqi was silent, maybe he would never recover, that was his worst prediction, but hearing it from the doctor himself, he was still a little disappointed: “Then doctor, does he need to take some medicine?”
The doctor shook his head, “He has been off the medication for so long,since there are no after-effects, which means that the medication is no longer too useful to him, it all depends on his fate.”
Zhong Ziqi thanked the doctor and pulled Zhao Zheng’an out, walking forward in silence.
“Wife…don’t be unhappy! this fool will behave.”
Zhong Ziqi turned around, showing a smile, “I’m not unhappy, didn’t I tell you not to call yourself a fool? Come on, let’s go shopping!” Anyway,for now it’s good to be like this, he would just treat the other party as if he was raising a kid or a little brother, not being able to recover also nothing bad about it, since he can accompany himself,so what is there to be disappointed about? It must be a nerve in his head,Tsk.
When he came to the street where the groceries were sold, Zhong Ziqi scanned around and decided to start with the important things. When he entered a shop selling rice and noodles, one of the staff immediately came over to greet him: “What does this Fu Lang like to order? Our shop has everything and the prices are cheap.”
Zhong Ziqi saw that the shop was doing well. Most of the people who came in and out were poor people like him, so he knew that the shop was not expensive. He went to see the prices of rice and noodles, brown rice was cheap at 2 wen a catty, while the white rice he wanted was 5 wen a catty, and the even more expensive one was 10 wen a catty.
After thinking about it, Zhong Ziqi bought ten pounds of white rice and white flour for each, after paying the money, Zhong Ziqi realized that it was not a wise choice for the two of them to come empty-handed.
Fortunately, there is a backpack basket for sale on the street. He spent four wen, to buy two baskets, then they put the white rice and flour on the baskets. Zhao Zheng’an and him each carried one,they went to the spice shop and bought ten catties of salt.Salt was expensive enough at ten wen a catty, since salt is a very profitable commodity, no one could live without it,that’s why the state forbids it and expressly stipulated in writing that more than the price 10 wen was a criminal offence. The rapeseed oil is five wen a catty,Zhong Ziqi bought ten catties of the oil,he also bought some pepper, Chinese herbs, soy sauce, vinegar and the very expensive sugar.
After buying these, Zhong Ziqi went to the meat stall, since they had come here, they had to bring some meat back.
The owner of the meat stall with a loud voice, asked, “What kind of meat would this Fu Lang like to have? This is all fresh meat.”
“How do you sell the meat?”
“Fatty meat for five wen, five wen for pancetta (streaky pork) , four wen for lean meat, and three wen for bones and ribs.”
“Two pounds of fatty meat, two pounds of streaky meat, three pounds of ribs and bones each.”
“Okay,please wait a moment.”
Zhong Ziqi counted the money, swept his eyes to the pork intestines and livers that had been left aside, and asked the boss, “How much are these pork offal?”
“This stuff it’s to be kept, if you want it, you can have it for free.” The meat seller said rather openly.
Zhong Ziqi thanked him happily, “Thank you so much, then wrap it up for me.” After paying the money, Zhong Ziqi bought some more needlework and dishes and planned to go home.he had already spent more than half of his money today, and at this rate, it was not good.