Student - February 1, 2013

Tofu in Wageningen

As a cook for a Dutch family, I love making typical Chinese dishes to this adorable eating club. Tofu is one of my favorites. But I'm not gonna talk about food, but a story of tofu buying.

Tofu, the versatile ingredient for creativity
Do you know where to get the best tofu in Wageningen? Not in Toko or Albert Heijn, but the household Eastern Express. I've been there three times. Every time encountered I different cashier.
The very first time was an afternoon when no one was behind the pay desk. After I said 'hello' three times to nobody, a man came out of the kitchen and asked: 'what do you want?' By his accent, I guessed he may be Cantonese. 'Ngoacuteh yiu dauh fuh,' I said in Cantonese, which means 'I want tofu'. He was taken aback until I repeated again. 'I didn't expect any Cantonese in Wageningen,' he explained. After an amicable chat, I took home a fresh tofu block. It cost only one euro.
One month later in my return visit, I was greeted by the female boss, who is not Cantonese. She charged me 1.5 euro. 'Isn't it 1 euro per stuk?' I asked. 'Don't you know the price has risen?' said she impatiently. However I grumbled, I accepted the deal reluctanly.
Last Monday I met a third guy when I went there again. 'You only want tofu?' From his fussy expression I understood how queer he felt I was. In a second he went back from kitchen with a tofu in a cheesy plastic bag. When I was about to give him 1.5 euro, he said: 1 euro please.' I didn't ask him anything about the price; I just paid and directly went home with a downsized tofu with some sour smell.
I told this story to the Dutch family. As unsure if they had fully got the story, I was about to summarize the oriental culture behind it. But they said it unnecessary. I thought they were right, after all they are from a country shrewd in money. So do you get it too?
Vid of the Week: To think out of the meat, what you need is just a block of tofu

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