Tis The Season For Baozi

, , , | Right Working | July 4, 2016

I am living abroad and going to school in China. I am flat broke, and skip meals regularly to save some money for something special for Christmas. It’s a week before Christmas and I have learned that my exams are on Christmas Day. I am heartbroken and homesick.

I go to my favorite place to pick up pork baozi where I am a regular. (Think of baozi as dough filled with meat and veggies, then steamed.) The owner there speaks a thick dialect so it is hard for me to understand her but she regularly makes me smile.

Me: “I would like five pork baozi, please?”

Baozi Lady: “I am so sorry. Pork not ready yet. You wait? Only 10 kuai if you wait a little.”

Me: “I will wait.”

At this point, it started to snow so she invited me to stand next to the steamer where it was warm. We talked a little and I asked things about her while she made more baozi. Our laughter and talking caused a lot of people to stop and stare. They would ask why I was standing out in the cold and I would always tell them that this was my favorite place for baozi. They would promptly buy a few then head on their way.

When the pork baozi was finally done, I pay her 10 kuai and she hands me a bag filled with eight baozi! They were hot, fresh and helped me save enough for a small Christmas dinner. That lady may not be able to speak English but she made my Christmas season that year. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. She would always give me a discount or an extra baozi after that and I would always send new students and friends to her shop. They were really the best.

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