One of the results of hanging about a place long enough is not just seeing the changes, but also in seeing what stays the same. When I first came to China one of my favourite breakfasts was ‘jia bing’ – a crepe with egg, veges and a crispy wafer on top – and my particular favourite place to buy this was from the ‘hoppy lady’. This lady and her husband ran a mobile stall specialising in jai bing. What made her special was she was always happy and this happiness translated into a little hopping dance she did as she cooked the food. Her husband worked with her and as a couple they had the process down to a fine art, smooth and easy working. The fact that they were both deaf and had very limited speech had no impact on either the quality of their food or the enjoyment they had from serving their customers.
This weekend I returned to the area where the ‘hoppy’ lady worked, and was so happy to find her and her husband still there. I indulged in their fine jia bing for breakfast each day, and although our chatting was limited, we managed to work it out and she was quite happy for me to take their photos, and for me to ‘help’ her make the jia bing while her husband took our photo.
Nice to go back and see some things haven’t changed.