Monday, February 13, 2006

Fried rice or steamed rice?

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Last night I had some errands to run. I really didn’t feel like cooking last night, which is pretty much how I feel most nights. Plus, I had already done my cooking for the day. Misty was over earlier in the day, and we made 48 cupcakes for the Wave Valentine Day Dance Party.

I was driving around town trying to decide what to bring home, and decided to stop by a Chinese Take-Out that I’d never been to. The place was in Great Neck Shopping Center; about 2 miles form my house. It’s in a nice part of town, and I figured trying it wouldn’t be too daring. The name of the place gave me the needed encouragement, and so I pulled up to No. 1 Chinese.

I walked in and placed my order:

1 large order No. 703 – General Chicken
1 large order No 245 – Szechuan Chicken
1 large order No. 325 – Vegetable Lo Mein
1 small order No. 407 – Pepper Steak

The place was hopping. I knew I had made the right decision. As far as the food was concerned…

The place was small. There were three booths, two small tables and a bench. I sat on the bench, and decided to get in my people watching dose for the day.

A woman sat alone at one booth, munching on fried rice and sipping a Diet Coke. A middle-aged, greasy-looking guy sat at another booth with his daughter, who might have been twelve-years-old. She was wearing way too much black eye liner and blue eye shadow, which did nothing to serve the purpose she intended it to do; to make her look older.

As I was people watching, I began to notice the other things in the dining/ordering area. In one corner there was a portable crib with big puffy quilts. There was also a stroller, a big wheel and some other toys. Two Chinese children, between the ages of three and six played on the floor. On the dirty floor. I watched as the youngest child, a boy, got up and started messing with the magazines that the man and his daughter were reading. They would turn a page, and he would turn it back. I could see the annoyance in the man’s face. Less than a minute later the boy began to shriek for no apparent reason. Then he got up, and moved to the booth the woman was sitting in. He sat across from her, and with a piece of paper rolled up like a horn, blew air at her about two inches from her face, while making a loud honking noise. The woman just sat there stunned.

As if that weren’t enough for the woman to deal with, the girl then decided to join in. She grabbed a small 3-inch toy, a plastic figurine of some sort, and hurled it at the boy’s head, which was already covered in bruises, just missing the woman’s face. The boy reached across the table, and lodged it back at the girl. Since this toy wasn’t big enough, she picked up another, larger toy and threw it. This went on for a few minutes, until they tired of the game. No one said a thing. The children were loud, and the woman behind the counter obviously heard them, but no one said a thing. I sat there holding the laughter in because it was funny, they weren’t my kids, and the adults that were eating at the booths just sat there as these kids played practically on top of them. It was funny.

A few minutes later, my food was ready. The kids continued to ride big wheels, throw toys and yell as I walked out the door, and other people walked in. As I drove home I couldn’t help but have mixed feelings. Should I call social services and report these people for keeping two young children confined in a small area from morning until night? Or should I pat them on the back for caring so much for their children that they were willing to find some a business where they could bring their young children to work with them? Or should I just forget about them until the next time I pop into No. 1 Chinese? Which I will, because the food was damn good.

dena at 2:55 PM



at 5:11 PM Blogger NaeNae said...

Funny story! I love Chinese food! Your post made me hungry for it. Now I'm going to have to go back out and get some! Thanks!

at 10:24 PM Blogger Alisha said...

The creativity children possess to meet their own needs never ceases to amaze me. Those kids were obviously starved for attention, and you know, any publicity is good publicity.

That being said, I'm leaning towards leave well enough alone and go for some General Tso's!!!

at 11:08 PM Blogger Ditsy Chick said...

When it comes down to it, they probably don't have any choice about what to do with their kids. It is sad, but there are a lot more children who are going with a whole lot less. Of course, if the kids were bugging me.....well, then, that is a different story.

Oh, I have not had Chinese in forever.

at 1:52 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

That is so weird!
You would almost have to wonder if you were being Punked sitting there with the kids throwing things at you!

You asked about the skating...I dance skated too!
I did couples with the cutest little boy named Lee.
We were pretty good, won a few trophies.

at 5:37 AM Blogger OldOldLady Of The Hills said...

Funny and Sad too...I can see the dillema you were in...and I think I would be you suppose the people who come in there are used to this stuff with these kids?

I'm glad the food was GREAT!

The name Great the name of the town I grew up in on Long Island, N.Y. In fact I mentioned it im my post today about Valentine's Day!

at 6:32 AM Blogger The Mistress of the Dark said...

What I find odd is that some Chinese places seem to have teenagers working for them, but the teenagers never seem to go to the local schools...

at 9:27 AM Anonymous deana said...

I love the noodles! I think their kids start working with them at like 12. I guess they go to school???? you'd hope.

Happy Valentine's Day, hope Ethan is covered in Valentines today.

at 9:40 AM Blogger soapbox.SUPERSTAR said...

I say you find one of Ethan's old toys - the noisiest, most annoying one you can find - and bring it to them the next time you are up there!

at 3:17 PM Blogger zazzafooky said...

Now you know where to take your kids for playtime!... bring a trombone! :-)

at 9:34 AM Blogger Kimmy said...

Is it a daycare? Do they have the "Monday for Mommy" program? I'll have fried rice with that.

at 1:14 AM Anonymous Claude said...

Mmmm...New York Chinese Food. It doesn't get the press that the pizza and the bagels do, but there's no equal to it.

And yeah, I know it isn't "authentic." I have a friend who's from Taiwan and she finds it too funny what we consider to be "exotic" Chinese food. "What's the big deal with the beef & broccoli? We eat it all the time!"

at 11:12 PM Blogger Nabeel said...

steamed when at home .. fried when outside


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