The man asked me politely:“My we sit down here?”
Me:“Sure.” I was sitting alone at a 4-person table, and had no reason to say no. He looked and talked nicely enough, accompanied by his young wife holding a 2 year old boy.
Mother: “Let us order 腸粉 for the boy.”
The man ordered 腸粉, and then 艇仔粥 for himself.
The boy reached for the bottle of 甜醬 (sweet source).
Father: “No, it is dirty. Let me give it to you.” And he splashed a big glob of 甜醬 on the 腸粉.
The mother started feeding the baby, after dunking the 腸粉 in the 甜醬, making the 腸粉 completely reddish-brown.
They took turns feeding the boy.
Boy (pointing to my plate of 炸兩): “I want that.”
Mother: “Let us order it for him.”
Father: “What about the 腸粉 then?”
Mother: “I will eat it.”
The 炸兩 arrived.
The boy insisted that the 腸粉 wrapped around the 油炸鬼 be taken off. It turned out he only wanted the 油炸鬼.
The mother removed the 腸粉 from the 油炸鬼. Just when she tried to put the piece of 油炸鬼 in the boy’s mouth, the 油炸鬼 dropped onto the table. The mother picked it up with her chopsticks. Just when I thought she was going to throw it away, she put it in her own mouth. She picked up another piece, removed the 腸粉, and fed the 油炸鬼 to the boy.
Boy: “More.” pointing to the 甜醬.
Father squitted another big glob even though the plate was already half covered in 甜醬.
The boy was squirmming continuously on his stool. Finally, he fell off. He didn’t cry. In fact, he climbed back up quickly. He seemed quite resilient. But the father sat the boy on his lap and put his arms around the boy.
Mother, to the boy: “Do you want some of daddy’s congee?”
Mother: “OK, OK!”