In our monthly series 'Getting Moderately Deep With... ' we ask a food vendor tough questions. Well, sort-of tough.
This month, we meet Mr. Si at a dumpling shop in Beijing, where he sells jiaozi to hungry workers coming in from the office towers above the shop.
How are you feeling today?
I’m doing good! It’s nice to meet you. I’m pumped for this interview!
What's the first thing you thought when you woke up this morning?
I thought, oh, I gotta get to work, can’t be late ’cause don’t ever want my salary cut! [Laughs.]
What is your idea of the perfect day?
A day in which I can head to bed straight after work and just sleep.
Who is your best customer?
People who are loyal to our restaurant, who always come here to eat.
Who is your worst customer?
People who always complain, no matter what.
Which living person do you most admire?
Me, myself! I mean, if you don't admire yourself, how can you admire someone else?
When and where were you happiest?
I think I had my happiest time back when I was traveling in Shanghai. The city had this energizing vibe, and everyone was super fashionable. Also it wasn't dry like it is here in Beijing, and I like that.
Which talent would you most like to have?
I’d like to have strong management skills, because that’s important for almost any job.
What do you consider your greatest achievement?
Simply being able to enjoy my life.
If you could change one thing about your life, what would it be?
I’d like to be a little more punctual, like one of those super career-driven employees. I’ve aways felt that a habit like that is good for one’s inner self, and one’s well-being. But I don't think I’m a career-crazy dude.
What is your most treasured possession?
A souvenir from the Beijing Olympics in 2008. It’s a cute little golden coin with panda on it.
What trait do you most value in a person?
Their morality. Having a strong sense of morals is important to me.
What do you most dislike?
I hate fighting, verbally – it can really mess with your head. That’s why I’m always the one who apologizes first.
What is your motto?
Achievement is everything. You can make any change that you are dreaming of.
What always makes you laugh?
Family reunions over Chinese New Year. I’m very attached my family, and I miss them a lot because I only get to see them once or twice a year.
What's the most surprising thing that's happened to you?
When I went to Japan and was surprised by how clean everything was there! I loved it.
Which era of Beijing's history would you most like to have lived in?
The Ming and Qing dynasties, because Beijing was very prosperous then, and that was when Tiananmen and the Forbidden City were built.
Who is your hero?
My father. He’s aways been very strict, but also very caring. When I was little, he taught me calligraphy and manners – and all sorts of things that I could have never learned in school.
Read more from our 'Getting Moderately Deep With... ' series.