After parking the car, Xiao Luo and Zhang Dashan walked into a hot pot restaurant.
“Welcome. Please come in, gentlemen!”
A waitress enthusiastically led the two of them to a window seat on the second floor.
When Zhang Dashan saw that the waitress was a beautiful woman, he became playfully teasing. He raised the pitch of his voice and said excitedly, “Oh, it’s you? So you’re working here.”
The waitress was startled by his bluff and seriously examined Zhang Dashan, thinking, “This person seems to know me.”
She carefully asked, “Excuse me, you are?”
“You’ve forgotten me? I’m crushed. We met recently, and you even called me bro. Remember?”
Zhang Dashan put on a sad face. His expression suddenly went from excitement to joy to dismay.
The waitress was quite embarrassed now, thinking she must have been careless to forget an acquaintance. She went through her memory over and over again, but when she couldn’t find any information about the person in front of her, she became even more panicked, “I’m sorry, I … I’ve forgotten where I’ve seen you….”
Zhang Dashan covered his heart and said with a bitter and distressed expression, “How hurtful, I feel hurt. Forget it; just put down the menu. We’ll take our time ordering.”
“Sorry, but I honestly don’t remember where I met you.”
The waitress was totally in panic mode. The person in front of her didn’t seem to be joking at all, which meant that she must have known him but had forgotten all about it. Oh well.
Zhang Dashan waved his hand dismissively and took a deep breath, “I’m very sad now, and don’t want to talk. It’s better for you to remember me on your own, it’ll come to you, I’m sure.
The waitress shrugged her shoulders and walked away. She looked back three times for every step she took, struggling to remember just where she had met Zhang Dashan.
Xiao Luo gave Zhang Dashan a thumbs up, “Aren’t you the number one actor!”
He made a waitress suspicious of life with just a few words and expressions. What else could this be but the work of the number one actor?
“Number one actor? What balls. This is a technique for picking up girls. Follow and learn more with me in the future,” Zhang Dashan preached to Xiao Luo while selecting ingredients on the menu.
Xiao Luo lifted his cup and took a sip of warm tea. He joked, “Don’t you usually say things like ‘oh, you look so familiar, have we met before?’ Why did you change the script?”
“Old friend, it seems that you don’t know how to pick up girls at all. Women are very savvy these days. If you ask them where you’ve met, they can be sure that you’re here to pick up girls. They’ll ignore you completely. But if you use my method, I can 100% guarantee that the girl will inquire about your information in turn. This is what I have tried on WeChat; it works like a charm.” Zhang Dashan threw the menu in front of Xiao Luo so he could pick a few more ingredients for the hot pot.
Xiao Luo couldn’t be bothered to prattle with him in this setting. Besides, he wasn’t at all interested in learning how to pick up girls.
“Do you know why women want to get married?” asked Zhang Dashan, suddenly lowering his voice.
Xiao Luo glanced at him, “When fate brings the right people together at the right time, they’ll naturally get married.”
“Wrong,” Zhang Dashan slapped the table.
“Why’s that wrong?” Xiao Luo asked.
Zhang Dashan said seriously. “It’s because marriage has balls.”
Hmm? Has…. balls?
Xiao Luo quickly understood and cursed, “F*ck you!”
(Translator note: This pun is based on wordplay. “Balls” here is not an exact or literal translation of the Chinese term. It means “useless” here but is made up of the characters for “bird” and “use.” So the literal meaning of Zhang Dashan’s statement means “There’s a d*ck that can be used in marriage.”)
Soon, the hot pot ingredients they ordered filled the entire table. There were few vegetables. It was mostly meat and shellfish, including beef, mutton, pork, shrimp, crab, and more. Zhang Dashan was a meat lover, and so was Xiao Luo. If not for the need to have some vegetables to offset the greasiness, they wouldn’t have ordered any at all.
When another waitress carried over the “Mandarin duck pot” and the hotpot base, Xiao Luo was so surprised. “You?”
Zhang Dashan almost sprayed out the beverage he had just drunk,” I say, old friend, do you have to be like this? I just used this trick. Even if you want to plagiarize it, wait until you go to another place before trying it.”
“But I do know her!” Xiao Luo said very seriously as he narrowed his eyes at him.
“Balls. You just said I was the number one film actor, but you’re the motherf*cking real deal.”
Zhang Dashan couldn’t stand it and decided to rain on Xiao Luo’s parade. He raised his head and said to the waitress, “Pretty lady, just ignore him. He’s talking nonsense because he wants to pick you up.”
But the waitress ignored him. She just stared at Xiao Luo in a daze with her round, wide eyes.
She had chic short hair and was smartly turned out in a red waitress uniform that perfectly accentuated her curvy figure. Her face was oval, and her eyes could not be considered small. With her exquisite facial features, she exuded a dignified and solemn vibe. It was Huang Ruoran, the class monitor of the English Language majors.
Xiao Luo was the last person she expected to see here. Her family was not well-to-do, so she found a part-time job. To avoid running into her classmates, she chose this hotpot restaurant because it was far from Huaye, almost in another district. But she never expected to run into a familiar face here–least of all her nemesis, Xiao Luo. How would she ever live this down?
At this moment, she felt the world spin. Three words popped into her mind: “I’m done for!”
“Oh my God, why did he come here?”
Huang Ruoan was about to break down. It would be ten times better to bump into anyone at her part-time job than this bast*rd, but it just happened to be Xiao Luo. Xiao Luo might humiliate her thoroughly. She hoped there was a hole in the ground that could swallow her up.
“Pretty lady, pretty lady?”
Zhang Dashan yelled a few times and pulled her back from thinking about her embarrassment.
“Sirs, these are the dishes you ordered, and this is your receipt. You can match the items and see if all the dishes have been served.” Huang Ruoran forced herself to calm down. She added water and the base ingredients into the pot, not daring to look Xiao Luo in the eye.
Xiao Luo was amazed. This was the Ruoran who spoke so powerfully and carried herself so valiantly in class? The contrast was extraordinary.
Of course, he knew that this was part of the regulations at the hotpot restaurant. The waitresses must address the male customers as “sir” in a friendly tone and have a respectful attitude. Otherwise, the boss would not keep the employee.
Xiao Luo also knew that Huang Ruoran was very embarrassed and stressed. He didn’t want to put her in such an awkward position, so he said, “We can do it ourselves, no worries. You can attend to other matters.”
He was not someone who would humiliate others, as Huang Ruoran thought. Moreover, he didn’t believe it was shameful for university students to work part-time. At least, they were self-reliant and understood the workings of society earlier than others. Far from looking down on Huang Ruoran, he respected her.
But Huang Ruoran didn’t think so. In her imagination, Xiao Luo had a mocking smile on his face.
She didn’t linger and hurried away after taking Xiao Luo’s suggestion.