I was tired and felt like a lead weight when my merciless alarmclock woke me up this morning. I tried to read but fell asleep again. I should not write these blogposts every night.
It turned out to be a chilly day. Very unusual. I was shivering when I went out at noon to get some fresh cash from the bank and buy bread. So I didn’t mind to stay at home today and try to continue my story. Tuesday is not so far ahead anymore and three critiques, a scene in two different points of view and 5-15 pages of a story are to be delivered.
Soh-Ang called me at bout half past five. She is a colleague of Kim, Chinese Singaporean and had offered to take me to Chinatown for a Singaporean dinner.
A 4 express train was waiting at the station when I got there and I ran for it. I would have to change to the local at Union Square but it would be much faster. It did not move though. After a while we were informed that due to an emergency this train was no longer in service. All passengers were to get out. So we did all get out and squeezed into the approaching 6 local train. On the 6 it is a long way to Chinatown.
Soh-Ang had suggested to meet me outside McDonalds on Canal Street. It’s close to the subway we both came on and an easy place to meet. Our cellphones helped us find each other.
She first took me to dinner in a Malaysian restaurant on Grand Street. She just asked me if I like spicy food, then she ordered. We shared two appetizers, Satay and a thin leave of dough in a curried sauce, then fried seafood noodles with chili sauce and fried rice with pineapples and chicken. All very good. The leftovers are now sitting in Ettice’s fridge. Soh-Ang had insisted in me taking it home – I would need a lunch tomorrow. She was amazed about what I am doing. Like traveling on my own. She would be too shy for that, she said. To me she did not appear shy at all.
After dinner she took me through Chinatown. We bought scaly red dragon fruit (tastes like nothing she said), small nashi pears and finally Chrysanthemum tea. I learned there are old and young leaves – grandfathers and babies the vendor explained. I started with the cheap grandfather. Soh-Ang told what to look for, what to be careful with and always to bargain in Chinatown shops. She showed me a place to buy Vietnamese sandwiches – real French bread with delicious and spicy stuff in it -, one for pork buns – can easily be reheated in the microwave in 25 seconds -, one for Chinese icecream and one for Bubble Tea (all on Bayard Street between Elizabeth and Mott). Two foodies had found a match, both being happy about that. We agreed on meeting for food once a week. And I will show her Brownstones in Brooklyn next month.
What I learned today:
A lot about food in Chinatown