soup vendors

there was a particular kind of tofu soup that my father craved. my cousins and i followed him from vendor to vendor. "tofu soup?" he'd ask, before being invited to sit down at one of the small tables.

"sorry, we're out of soup already."

this went out all up and down the street. "i can't believe it," he lamented. "how can everyone be out of soup?"

after a while, my cousins couldn't take it any more. "look, uncle," one of them said, gently. "they all have tofu soup, but no one wants all four of us to take up a table just to sell you one bowl of soup. you have to sit down and order other food, and then ask for a bowl of soup."

"i only want soup," my father said, frustrating rising in his voice. "i only want soup."

we passed a turtle soup shop, where you could pick out a turtle from a live tank and have soup served in the shell. we passed steamed dumpling shops that would finish cooking in bamboo cases on the table. we passed candy shops, and i remembered my father telling me a story from his childhood when he convinced his youngest brother to eat sheep droppings by saying they were candy.

later, we settled on having a full lunch just so my father could have his tofu soup.

29 March 2018 16:33

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