In our monthly series 'Getting Moderately Deep With... ' we ask a food vendor tough questions. Well, sort-of tough.
This month we meet Mr. Zhang, who is the father of a convenience shop owner (and a regular customer of his, a little boy named Xin).
What is your idea of the perfect day?
Z: For me, a perfect day starts off with some cleaning of the store and having customers come soon after the opening hour. I think of this as a sign of good sales that day. As a store manager, I think high sales can make a perfect day.
What's the first thing you thought when you woke up this morning?
X: Eat! I ate fried eggs today.
Who is your best customer?
X: Me! I hang out here every night!
Who is your worst customer?
Z: This little guy for sure... [laughs].
Which living person do you most admire?
Z: I admire myself, because I have created my own set of values.
How are you feeling today?
Z: I'm feeling happy today.
When and where were you happiest?
X: I will answer this one for you! Whenever and wherever I'm playing video games.
Which talent would you most like to have?
Z: I wish to have better communication skills. I don't necessarily mean being able to speak in many different languages, but being able to learn as much as possible from a simple conversation and conveying logic. I believe this will result in personal growth.
What do you consider your greatest achievement?
Z: My family.
If you could change one thing about your life, what would it be?
Z: I wish I could live in my hometown, which is in Hebei. It's only an hour car-ride there, but still, living at home is different from a rented apartment.
What is your most treasured possession?
Z: My son and my family. I think a father will always treasure his family members.
What trait do you most value in a person?
What is it that you most dislike?
Z: People who can't be trusted – I cut them out of my life.
What is your motto?
Z: As long as you are alive, you should always strive for more. I believe effort is the most important element to growth as an individual.
What makes you laugh?
Z: When I'm happy, which is anytime I'm around these fellas [points to his son and Xin, who are wrestling]. Also when I accomplish something challenging.
What's the most surprising thing that's happened to you?
Z: It hasn't happened to me yet, but if it were to happen, it would be achieving my dreams.
Which era of Beijing's history would you most like to have lived in?
Z: The early Qing dynasty – there were many people and it was very prosperous. I also feel like the Qing government administered the dynasty very well.
Who is your hero?
Z: My father is. He was a very ordinary man, but the things he accomplished and the way he approaches things make me think that he's very outstanding as an individual.
[Cover photo via Yuka Hayashi/That's]