Fatty’s so-called “stove dragon” was just seven stoves connected together, but I actually thought that it was a good idea.
Since everything cooked on a stove was a little tastier than when it was cooked using industrial gas, this gave the ingredients a smoky flavor. Plus, the sense of ritual was a lot stronger. The earthen stove heating a big pot actually made one feel that they had returned to nature.
Unfortunately, where was I supposed to find firewood? I’d probably have to go to the furniture factory and collect the scraps. It was fine to use rotten bamboo reeds to heat the stove at home, but there would be environmental problems if you did it for your business.
Fatty felt that he had a solution to this problem. If smoke was the issue, then he could make a water chimney so that the smoke wouldn’t be discharged into the air. That way, it would be a smoke-free environment. But after thinking it over for a long time, Fatty changed his mind and thought of another way: build several large coal-burning kilns. We could even make small cups for tea and wine sets. I told him to drop it. Not only was this extremely unreliable, but we didn’t have the talent, either.
This setback was quite big, so we were all very depressed as we ate.
The auntie next door had a son who bought a house in town. Once his wife gave birth to a child, the auntie seldom came back here to live. Her uncle raised chickens for her, but there weren’t that many left. She also let us rent her house which was next to ours. Anyway, our yard was relatively clean now.
I made a bathtub out of yellow mud and wood in that house, so when I was cooking, I could also heat water at the same time. Fatty was especially skilled at this. The water was usually covered with a wooden lid so that we could take a bath after eating and relaxing.
Truthfully, it was very annoying to go back and forth. In fact, after I finished making that bathtub, we barely even used it. But Fatty had put some water in it this morning, so I figured he thought that we would be tired by the time evening came.
In the end, I really didn’t want to soak, but Fatty dragged Poker-Face in first. I thought about it and figured that if you couldn’t eat Tang Seng meat, then you could still stay healthy while soaking in Tang Seng broth (1), so I also got in.
I had heard that a cold current was coming, so I told myself that I needed to maintain my internal heat.
As it turned out, it really did start snowing lightly while we were soaking.
We opened all of the windows and filled the window sills with all kinds of old wines. Fatty spread his legs out and started telling us how to conduct a wine business.
“When it comes to wine, the profits are all in the wine itself. This bottle can be sold for at least eight thousand yuan, but if it isn’t sold, then it’s placed in a cupboard. We’ll claim that it’s part of a collection and is worth a hundred thousand yuan. If there are regular customers in the future, we’ll secretly give them a mouthful to make them feel closer to us. For the others, we’ll give them beer and charge them eight yuan every time they have to go to the toilet. This pee money will be enough to pay the land rent.”
These were all local wines, so we wouldn’t be able to get any new bottles as we drank on. In fact, when Fatty said this, we had already gone through two and a half bottles. It seemed like his plan was already doomed to fail.
Poker-Face was looking out at the snow. Since the wind direction was wrong, the snowflakes kept drifting in and his hair quickly turned white. I couldn’t help but wonder what his hair would really look like when it was white.
At this time, I suddenly had an epiphany and thought of a unique direction our farmhouse could take.
“Can we have dishes for all four seasons? You know, like each season has a different dish?”
“Nonsense. Do you think restaurants always have the same dish all year round? They’ll have new dishes every once in a while, right?”
“Ah, you have a point.” I felt aggrieved again, and told myself that maybe I was the one who ate the same food for decades.
There were so many things to do in order to open a farmhouse, so we all fell silent and began to think. The water began to cool to such an extent that Poker-Face’s tattoo faded. Fatty streaked to the kitchen to add more wood to the fire.
The snow outside was falling harder and harder. A few stray flakes landed in the hot water, but turned into wisps of smoke before actually touching the surface. It was actually quite beautiful.
Just like in Tibet, it was hard to find anything tacky in this place.
I kind of missed that snowy mountain. If we could go back together, I wonder if we would experience boundless emotions?
I picked up my cell phone and looked at plane tickets before putting it down with a sigh. Then, I continued to think about the farmhouse.
Concentrate, idiot. Otherwise, your nightmare will become a reality.
At this time, I suddenly thought of Motuo.
Hey, I seem to finally have a direction.
<Chapter 4><Table of Contents><Chapter 6>
(1) Tang Seng (aka Tang Sanzang) is the monk from “Journey to the West”. Monsters and demons try to eat him b/c there’s a legend that says one can attain immortality by consuming his flesh (since he’s a reincarnation of a holy being).
4 thoughts on “Chapter 5 Business Direction”
Love the images! Thanks for the translation ❤
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At this time, I suddenly thought of Motuo. Hey, I seem to finally have a direction. Snake dish?
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Most of Wu Xie’s inspiration is Xiao Ge.