In our monthly series 'Getting Moderately Deep With... ' we ask a food vendor tough questions. Well, sort-of tough.
This month we meet Yu, the owner of a liangpi shop.
How are you feeling today?
I feel happy! My children are outside playing, and I was with them before coming here to look after my shop. It’s a nice day when I can take care of both family and business.
What is the first thing you thought when
you woke up this morning?
I thought about my business and how to be better at my job today.
What is your idea of the perfect day?
A day on which I can rest. You know, I work hard every day, and I also feel a lot of pressure from society. I would just like to rest for once.
Who is your best customer?
The best customer is one that purchases a lot, but also one that is not in a hurry, who lets other people go first without complaining.
Who is your worst customer?
One who finds any excuse not to pay the bill. Some eat the whole plate and then call me and complain, “Sir, what is this on my plate?” Whatever it is, they're the ones who put it there.
Which person do you most admire?
The person I admire the most is Mao Zedong, our great leader. I also like him because the year that he died was the year I was born. It’s as if we have a special connection.
When and where were you happiest?
When I was a student. I had no worries then. I could wake up in the morning and just think about how to enjoy myself.
Which talent would you most like to
I’d like to have a stronger business sense, to be able to make my shop grow even more.
What do you consider your greatest
Having had success in Beijing. I’ve been able to sell liangpi for 10 years now. Now I do not need to do anything else – all I have to do is focus on my shop and I can live a secure life.
What is your most treasured possession?
All the experience that I’ve accumulated over the years.
What do you most value in a person?
Honesty, reliability and kindness.
What is it that you most dislike?
Hypocrisy. What is your motto? ‘You always have to rely on yourself.’ I may not be well-educated, but this is something I was always taught. The road we have to walk in life keeps getting longer, and in the end we have to rely on our own strength to walk down it.
Which era of Beijing’s history would you
most like to have lived in?
I do not deny feeling a certain nostalgia for the Mao era, but I still prefer to live in today’s Beijing, which is much more developed and prosperous. In the 50s and 60s, Beijing was quite backward. I long for the past, but enjoy living in the present.
Who is your hero?
I am my own hero. I really think there’s no one as dedicated as me!
You can try Yu’s liangpi at 134 Jiaodaokou Nandajie.