At night, my dinner was personally served to me by Sang Shixi himself. As soon as the door opened, a faint and gentle aromatic sweetness filled the room. When he set the bowl on the table in front of me, I pushed away, “I’m not having that.”
He didn’t get angry or impatient. Instead, he simply looked at me, “Then what would you have?”
“Give me something meatier, with a heavier.”
He nodded, “Done. I’ll let the kitchen know.”
After about 15 minutes, when the door opened again, this time a sharp and tangy spicy scent invaded the room. In the bowl was a large coil of noodle, submerged entirely in oil that gleamed crimson red under the light, topped generously with a small mountain of hard fried mince, and sprinkled with fresh chopped garlic.
Today, this was the first thing that I ate. As soon as the bowl touched the table in front of me I began wolfing it down. As I did, I felt Sang Shixi putting a hand on my back and patting it lightly, “Easy now, you keep that up and you’ll eventually choke on it.”