Thursday, October 08, 2009
Noodle Man Part 2
The other day, I had been doing a lot of errands, walking to and fro my apartment to the back street at least 3 times in 3 hours. I was finally on my last trip home for the day, when the noodle lady noticed that I had been running back and forth and invited me to stay awhile and drink some corn starch porridge. Under the effects of the kind lady, and the generosity of a simple bowl of corn starch porridge, I sat down and opened up to the kind auntie. At first, I just talked about the different friends who had come to visit me during the 8 day break. Then, the auntie asked me where my “dui” (my boyfriend) was. For what felt like the third time, I explained to her that he doesn’t exist, that he’s only in my dreams. She seemed to be confused and also doubted that I was telling the truth. Her flirty husband thought this would be a good time to join the conversation, so he added in disbelief, how could such a pretty girl like me not have a boyfriend? I rejected their compliments in traditional Chinese fashion and explained my most recent guy frustrations. That’s when the husband explained to me what my problem was: “Si Wen” he said (my Chinese name), “your problem is that boys are looking for someone who is a little below them in quality. If he can find someone who is a little lower than him in character, he will be happy.” I think I was feeling a little witty from the cornstarch porridge, so I asked him why his wife wasn’t lower than him in quality. I heard a few students who were eavesdropping at the next table stifle their laughter—I had made a joke…perhaps a rude one, but I didn’t care. Noodle man pretended to ignore my comment. I looked over at his wife; her back was turned and she was diligently chopping vegetables. Feeling awkward and rude, I figured I should probably go. As I left, the wife came over to me with a big smile and a warm farewell, and I knew she had heard the compliment. And her and I both know the truth—she is a notch above.