That evening, after I settled the accounts and calculated the utility costs more than a dozen times, I really felt that we could do it.
As I lay on the recliner and soaked my feet, I began to recall the West Lake Boat Festival (1) that took place a month ago. At that time, Black Glasses, Xiao Hua, me, Poker-Face, and Fatty had all been crowded onto a boat on West Lake. There was a lot of muscle between us, so the boat was almost flush with the waterline. The other boatmen had rowed towards the lake pavilion in trepidation.
We had been discussing our retired life at that time, and Xiao Hua questioned my business abilities.
I didn’t know why I cared about it so much. I was fine if people said that I wasn’t good at anything else. But ever since I was a child, people had often said to me, “You can’t even manage Wushanju well. What else can you do?”
Facts had proven that I really did do some great things, but when it came to serious business, I really couldn’t have made it if it weren’t for Uncle Two helping me a lot of the time.
So, although the profits were once huge, it all depended on support from Uncle Two’s people and the underground business. After going legit, the shop later failed.
But this time, I want to prove myself, I thought passionately.
When Fatty came to soak his feet, he was too lazy to get his own basin and just stuck his feet in mine. He then showed me some animal mascot costumes that he was looking at on the internet, saying that the three of us could wear them and hand out flyers when we were open for business. I told him that the main thing was to go online. Online celebrity food stalls had become popular and the business definitely wasn’t bad.
But the key was to have a signature dish, as well as a signature face.
The face wouldn’t be any problem—I was also pretty good-looking myself— but what would our specialty dish be?
Fatty said that our best dish was actually instant noodles. If we didn’t find another way, it might be an interesting gimmick. Or we could just cook Little Brother’s favorite dish: white cut chicken. We could even sell instant noodles and white cut chicken together.
At this time, a steaming Poker-Face had finished exercising outside and walked into the room. I didn’t know why Fatty and I suddenly stopped talking, but it almost felt as if we were doing something bad behind his back. He looked at Fatty and me soaking our feet in the basin of water and then went and got his own basin.
I had a nightmare that night. I dreamed that Xiao Hua came to bankruptcy court to help me pay a fine. When I woke up, it was already dawn. I looked outside and saw a man standing in the yard, acting very sketchy.
When I got dressed and went out, I saw that it was the village head. He was smoking a cigarette and furtively looking around our door.
The weather looked like it would be nice and the morning fog was already starting to fade, so I was in a good mood. As a result, I didn’t make a face at him.
“No widows here, village head,” I knew him quite well, so I could make this kind of joke with him.
“Hey, Old Wu,” the village head said to me. “I heard that you’re going to open a farmhouse?” He had a good command of Fujian Mandarin.
“What’s wrong?” I asked him.
“I have something to discuss with you.” He hooked his arm around my shoulder, and I glanced at my watch. It was just past seven in the morning so I knew it couldn’t be good.
“Li Dahu next door also wants to open a farmhouse,” the village head told me. “I had to come early; otherwise, he’d beat me here. I’m here to remind you that Li Dahu (2) has opened three or four restaurants in town. He heard that you’re going to open a farmhouse and already made a preemptive move to buy the land you want. He outbid your twenty thousand and offered them thirty thousand. Now he wants to negotiate with you.”
“Why bother?” I was a little annoyed.
“And you. Why didn’t you talk to me first before you started planning to open a farmhouse? If I had known, I would’ve helped you clear the way so there wouldn’t be as much trouble. It’s harder to do now, so you’ll have to hurry up. Let’s go sign the contract now.”
“Why are you being so nice?”
“Li Dahu is going to run for the next village head.” The village head showed a very solemn expression, which made it obvious that this was a big problem for him. “If you make money, you have to engage in politics. Have you not read a history book?”
I grinned while internally cursing, shit, I’m involved in a political struggle now.
At this time, I saw a white-faced fat guy in his early thirties come into my yard. He scared the chicken next door so much that it started running around. This person was Li Dahu. The hair on both sides of his head was clean-shaven while the hair on top looked oily. He looked at me and smiled.
“What a coincidence, Boss Wu. Are you going to have breakfast in town? I know a breakfast shop where the food is delicious. Let’s go eat together. The village head can also join us.” There was a thin man trailing behind the white-faced fatty who looked at me and smiled. It was a little threatening.
But before he had finished speaking, someone else came into the yard—it was Poker-Face. He always got up very early, so he must’ve been coming back from his early-morning workout. He wasn’t wearing a shirt when he came over, so his whole tattoo was on display. He had obviously had a hard workout today. He glanced at the visitors, put on his hoodie, and asked me what was going on with his eyes.
I lifted my sleeves and nodded, “Ok.”
Li Dahu’s face twitched as he turned to look at the person beside him.
<Chapter 1><Table of Contents><Chapter 3>
(1) Hangzhou has an annual Dragon Boat Festival so I’m sure it’s something like this. It’s basically a boat race.
(2) “Dahu (大戶)” means “rich and powerful person” in Chinese. Tiffany and I think it’s a nickname. It’s supposed to mean “That rich person whose surname is Li”, but that’s just a mouthful.
4 thoughts on “Chapter 2 West Lake Boat Festival”
… and asked me what was going on with his eyes.
The beauty of PingXie is they communicate with stares 😂
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Xiao Hua doubting Wu Xie business ability is justifiable, but still funny nontheless.
And then there is Xiao Ge, running around the village shirtless.
This series is a gift. Thank you translating!
Adoro al triángulo de hierro ❤️