Chinatown

They walked down the street from the Met, finding another Subway that led them to Chinatown. It deducted her another $2.50. Once they reached Canal Street, the train came to a halt as they made their exit. The walk over to Chinatown was not far at all. She could feel her stomach growl as the scents from the restaurants wafted through the air. They passed a stand that was full of seafood, most of which was still alive. There was crab, lobster, shrimp, and many other unidentifiable creatures from the sea. His friend suggested they buy a few lobsters and cook them back at the place they were staying. After all, they could have gotten three live lobsters for $20 but instead they continued their search for an authentic Chinese restaurant.

He was on a mission to find the perfect place to eat as they walked in and out of many restaurants before finding the one they chose. His friend was craving pork belly, looking in the windows of many markets, eyeballing the crisp chickens that hung in the window ready to be eaten. His friend held off, deciding to help pick a place instead and vowing to go back to the market after they ate. He only chose the place they ended up at because he felt bad for dragging she and his friend around for forty minutes. He was looking for a place that looked delicious but was priced just right.

It was brightly colored with red and gold, covered in oriental decorum. The entire back of the restaurant was filled with a large Chinese family, their tables decorated with “Happy Birthday” balloons. She thought this was somewhat ironic since her birthday was the next day, Thanksgiving Day. He initially liked the place because it was referred to as Dim Sum. She had no clue what this meant until an older Chinese woman came to their table side with a cart of baskets. In the baskets were three of whatever the basket contained. There were shrimp and pork dumplings, pork rice, and two types of pork buns. They were given tea in a tea pot as they feasted on dumplings and buns. She was a picky eater at times and wasn’t sure how she felt about the meal but her hunger overcame any distaste with what she was about to consume. He, a big fan of all Chinese food, wasn’t a fan of this restaurant. The old woman tended to get on his nerves since she neglected their table and their request for soy sauce. Something that got on all their nerves was the constant repetition of the “Happy Birthday Song” that blared loudly from the restaurant speakers. “I am good with the birthday song now. No need to sing it tomorrow.” She begged sincerely. They laughed, just as sick of the classic song as she was.

They began to walk back to the market where his friend had seen the pork belly and duck cooked to his liking. “Don’t stay in one spot for more than ten seconds or else you’ll start to hear, ‘Watches? Watches? Watches?”‘ His friend explained in a very good rendition of a Chinese accent. She was confused at what he meant by this, since he and his friend had both experienced it days prior when she was back home.

Just as soon as his friend had said it, they heard a quiet whisper from a Chinese woman in a long black winter coat. “Watches? Watches? Rolex?” The Chinese woman walked right toward them expecting some form of transaction. The fact that it happened just as his friend had mimed it a second earlier, made her burst into laughter. “Watches?” The woman repeated.

“No, we were just making fun of you.” He said though she had already passed them to ask other tourists. The instance made them cry out with laughter. It was technically illegal for her to be selling such things in such a matter but they heard it many more times after, she chuckled at it every time.

They finally made it to the market. The place was filled with foods she had never seen before. All together it made the place reek of urine. His friend waited in line for ten minutes before finally getting his pork belly, BBQ pork, and roasted duck. Though they had all just eaten, his friend discussed how his mouth was watering due to the wondrous food he had just purchased. He and she had walked around the store, holding each other around the waist as they discussed the possibility of living in New York someday.

Leaving the market, she was relieved to breathe in fresh air as were they all. The three of them needed to head back to Greenwich to put his friend’s food in the fridge before they went out that night. Her Metro card was emptied on the way home but since his friend was leaving the next morning, he decided to give her his unlimited pass. They were all getting along, something he and she had hoped for as they got on the Subway to the Christopher Street stop.

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