Recently, for lunch I have been going to this little restaurant right by our school. Every time I get the same thing, soup and bread (tong and bing). The soup is a tofu and tomatoes combination that is really simple but really good. I always add some chilly pepper sauce (similar to the charif you get in Israel) to the soup to make it a little spicier. I also get this delicious bread they make but it is not the traditional type of loaf bread we are use to in the States. It is a flat-bread, similar to a lafa, and it is perfect for mixing with the soup.
Since I have gone so often the woman who runs the restaurant recognizes me and is always warm and friendly. She always invites me to sit down making sure I have a place to sit even if the place is packed. Every time I go I have learned a little more Chinese so our conversations have moved from basic greetings like ni hao (hello) to more basic conversation topics.
The problem with trying to talk with Chinese people is that they don’t understand the concept of someone trying to learn a language. Instead of talking slowly so I can understand what they say they talk a mile a minute. So when I say some of the few Chinese words I’ve learned they get really excited and start jabbering away as fast as they can in Chinese. I end up feeling like an idiot. I stare at them with a blank look on my face and all I say back is wo tim budong (I don’t understand what your saying). But they are really nice and I enjoy going there.
For a bowl of soup and bread it costs me a whopping 3 yuan/RMB. That is less than 50 cents. It just goes to show, you don’t need to pay a lot to get a good meal.