I just had the most unique lunch. I decided to get out on my bike. The journey took me about 12 minutes by bike away from home in a familiar direction. I parked the bike, walked another 10 minutes or so until I saw a few words in English, “Dumpling house.” I walked in to see no more English. I waited in line to order some food with the lady behind me literally grinding against me. There is no concept of personal space here. It’s a hoot! My turn meant that I pointed and smiled and shook my head side to side. After pointing at three (two too many) side dishes the young attendant pulled a menu out with some English on it. Whew! I ordered and paid for 6 large dumplings, a huge bowl of black bean soup, and three large side dishes of vegetables. Next I walked my little slip (after paying nearly $4.75) 12 feet to the kitchen window and waved it until the young lady with a face mask on took it and poured my bowl of black bean soup. If I did not wave the slip I would still be standing there. Here I must speak up to get attended to. It appeared that the onion and pork dumplings that I ordered were still cooking. While waiting I thought about how difficult it would be to go back and get my sides. I also enjoyed the view of the three young men making dumplings from scratch behind the young lady filling orders. Everyone wears masks and hats in the kitchen.
The line never seemed to get smaller or larger. The folks waiting to order were standing 10-14 deep. All of the three rows of 4 tops seemed to be full. Each row had 5 or so tables in it. The folks waiting for their orders to get filled – along with me- always seemed to be three deep. Once I received my steaming hot dumplings and bean soup I went back for my sides. They were gone so with a smile and a bunch of pointing I received them again. I took my food to a table that had not been cleared. I straightened up the two trays and then they were quickly taken away. I was not sitting for five minutes before an older gentleman sat with me. My soup needed salt but I did enjoy it. Because I ordered enough food for two people I took half of the soup and four dumplings home. The young lady at the food window neatly packaged my extra dumplings and soup for me after I had finished my greens and two of the tasty breaded dumplings.
My first Chinese lesson begins in 75 minutes.