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Sunday, October 27, 2013

Little Adventures in Chinatown

I woke up on a recent Sunday morning (today) with a feeling of urgency: I needed Chinese rice noodle rolls as soon as possible.  I quickly dressed and boarded my slide (I had a slide built which takes me from my bedroom window and "dumps" me out on the street).  From there it's only a few short blocks to where my friend and sidekick, Riddlesworth, so-called because he likes to ask riddles, lives.  And then, it was only a few short blocks to the Number One New York City Metropolitan Transit Authority Subway.  We were in Chinatown very quickly.

Before I proceed on the narrative of our finding and acquiring rice noodles, I must mention that while Riddlesworth loves asking riddles, he's not very good at it.  He usually botches his attempts and gets very frustrated.  This is quite a humorous spectacle, I must say, because Riddlesworth is rather short and very scrawny, and his glasses are so large and thick as to make him look like he's not much more than a pair of walking glasses dressed in a red-and-white striped shirt. 

To return to the matter at hand, we exited the Subway Train at Canal Street and headed for Sun Hing Ling, a small tofu factory that also serves rice noodles out of a storefront window.  What are these rice noodle rolls of which I speak?  They are absolutely marvelous, sumptuous, delicate sheets of chewy and slightly gummy noodles made of rice flour.  There is a faint taste of rice.  When they are fresh, they come out steaming and smelling of rice, and they soak up any flavors and sauces you may garnish them with.  On this day, I got mine with egg, roast pork and scallion, and douses on some soy sauce and Sriracha sauce. It is a simple delight, these rice noodle rolls.  And they are amazingly cheap, at $1.75 an order at Sun Hing.

Once we had our rice rolls, Riddlesworth and I went to a nearby public square and sat.  I noticed Riddlesworth looking at a woman who sat on the next bench, and I knew what was coming.

"What is black and blue and red all over?"

"Excuse me?" said the woman. 

"Hehe.  What is black and blue and red all over?"

"Ahem!" I interjected.  "Excuse my friend and I for a moment."

I grabbed Riddlesworth by the arm and forced him to walk away with me.

"What is the meaning of this?" he started.  "I was telling a really good riddle!"

"Riddlesworth, it was completely wrong.  It's what is black and white and red all over!"

Riddlesworth stood in silence for a moment, then his gigantic eyes sitting on the other side of his gigantic glasses turned red.

"Gosh baby!" he said, shaking his head angrily.

"It's all right, Riddlesworth," I said.  "Let's just find another place and eat our rice noodles."

And so we did, but not before Riddlesworth launched into a cursing bombardment which I will not repeat here.  Let's just say that by the time it was over, I think every bad word in the book had been used in more ways than I ever thought possible.