Translator:EndlessFantasy TranslationEditor:EndlessFantasy Translation
The Shao family’s restaurant was located on the streets of Yun Hua’s famous street food alley.
Street food alleys typically had their customers head in from the east and exit through the west. Every night, they would be jam-packed with people. As a result, the two streets facing north and south were gradually filled up with restaurants.
The Shao family’s restaurant was located in the northwest. It was a good location. The costs for a meal in the Shao family’s restaurant was somewhere in the middle ranges. There was an open kitchen with large glass panels covering the cooking area. Their signature dishes were late night snacks like barbecue and instant-boiled beef tripes.
Doctor Zhou walked in with Ling Ran. He carried himself with the ease of someone who knew his way in the place well. When he stepped through the door, he called out, “Boss Shao, you have two guests waiting for you!”
“Oh, old Zhou, you’re here again? I would never mistake that shout.” Boss Shao wiped his hand on his apron and stepped out of his kitchen, which was located against one of the walls of the restaurant. He walked out with a smile and said, “It has been a while.”
“Been busy,” Doctor Zhou said with a smile.
Ling Ran snuck a glance at Doctor Zhou.
Doctor Zhou shamelessly introduced Ling Ran, “This is my new colleague, Doctor Ling.”
Boss Shao had already noticed Ling Ran earlier and had politely handed Ling Ran a business card. He said with a smile, “I am Shao Jian. Since you’re Doctor Zhou’s friend, you will get a thirty percent discount whenever you come to the Shao family’s restaurant.”
“Don’t listen to him. All doctors from Yun Hua Hospital who come here will get a thirty percent discount.”
Doctor Zhou deliberately revealed the truth to Ling Ran.
Boss Shao chuckled.“All doctors who come here will receive a thirty percent discount from me.”
Ling Ran took the name card and looked around in slight puzzlement. He had never heard of a restaurant that specifically gave such a warm welcome to doctors and even gave them discounts. Doctors worked themselves down to the bone, and they never had any time to go outside and eat. The senior doctors had pharmaceutical sales representatives who paid for their meals, and they would never come to small restaurants like these.
They exchanged a few customary greetings before Boss Shao had Doctor Zhou and Ling Ran sit at a table near the window. They could watch the scenery outside, and the interior of the restaurant itself was very bright and spacious.
Doctor Zhou ordered his food before he poured some tea for himself.
Then, he sat down again and said a few words to provide an answer to Ling Ran’s unspoken question. “Boss Shao is our patient.”
“What illness is he down with?”
“All sorts. He frequents multiple departments.” Doctor Zhou twiddled with his fingers as if he was making casual conversation. He went on and said, “When Yun Hua Hospital started providing treatment for those inflicted with congenital heart diseases, Boss Shao was born. He was born with a ventricular septal defect. You can say that it’s the most standard of congenital heart diseases. When he was in elementary school, he participated in the high jump, but during the process, he landed outside the mattress and broke his ankle. At that time, Yun Hua Hospital’s Orthopaedic Department had just started providing stainless steel internal fixation as a form of treatment. Again, he was among the first to use that treatment. Later on, he got into a fight, and had a kidney removed as a result. He might have been the first kidney removal case our Nephrology Department performed the moment they became an independent department in the hospital.”
Doctor Zhou spoke again with great familiarity on boss Shao’s condition, “Needless to say, he is a regular visitor in the Endocrinology Department. When the Rheumatology Department was created, he was already diagnosed with rheumarthritis. During the past few years, right after we bought laparoscopes, he was down with appendicitis. Later on, the Cardiology Department launched their interventional cardiology programme. He had a stent put in his artery after he developed arteriosclerosis. Once we bought CT scan machines, he had liver cysts and gallstones. On the first week after we adjusted the MRI machine, we found a tumor. Fortunately, it was only a benign tumor”
Ling Ran listened with his mouth opened and said, “How can a person be diagnosed with so many illnesses?”
“We performed a huge medical check on him before. Two hundred people from about ten departments once studied him for the entire afternoon, yet they were not able to come out with any conclusions. He simply contracted most of his illnesses because he was unlucky. What I mean is, if a person is unlucky, he will get brain freeze even when drinking cold water. Science and medicine does not hold the answers to everything.”
Ling Ran chuckled.
Doctor Zhou said, “Old Shao is Yun Hua Hospital’s model patient. Even though he has contracted more illnesses than what you’ve ever seen in your life, he still keeps his head high with a smile on his face. When he’s sick, he would head to the hospital, and once he’s discharged, he would resume his business. When he’s sick, he would stay in the hospital if it’s necessary, and he would undergo surgeries if they are necessary. When he is discharged, he will conduct his business, if he can. If the Health Department temporarily closes down his shop due to him contracting infectious diseases, he will deal with it accordingly…”
“Your beef tripes are here!” Boss Shao brought out a stainless steel cone. There were twenty or thirty bamboo sticks stuck in his homemade, thin peanut sauce. Ling Ran could vaguely see two curled up pieces of beef tripe in the sauce.
Ling Ran cast a few uneasy glances at Boss Shao. The latter smiled, not surprised. He asked Doctor Zhou, “Are you telling him the story?”
“We’re just at the beginning,” said Doctor Zhou.
“Don’t listen to old Zhou’s nonsense. I’m just unlucky, and I run into accidents easily. My body is all fine.”
Boss Shao laughed boisterously. He told them to enjoy their food and returned to the kitchen.
Ling Ran suddenly understood why Boss Shao was so generous to his doctor customers. Those doctors had higher chances of becoming returning customers for Boss Shao. Regular patrons who heard his stories were often too scared to eat his food.
“Try this. Boss Shao’s beef tripes are very tasty. This is their restaurant’s secret recipe…”
Doctor Zhou grabbed two pieces without thinking twice.
Ling Ran also took some after hesitating for a couple of seconds.
Indeed, it was tasty.
The beef tripes themselves had a very chewy texture, but they were tasteless. After the beef tripes were dipped in thin peanut sauce, the savory flavor of the beef tripes was brought out to the surface.
“Each table has a bucket of sauce. After we finish eating the beef tripes, we can just add more beef tripes.”
Doctor Zhou continued, “The leftover sauce will be thrown away, old Shao is good at this.”
Ling Ran made a little grunt of acknowledgment, but he did not seem too eager.
Indeed, he was quite the introvert.
Doctor Zhou searched for a topic to make small talk. He said, “Why did you come to the resuscitation room today? Are there no more patients with flexor tendon injuries?”
“I wanted to try using barehanded bleeding control,” Ling Ran answered bluntly.
The doctor nodded in understanding. “Skills need practicing. If you don’t, your skills will become rusty. But I didn’t see you use them today.”
“There weren’t any suitable patients.”
“True. We might have patients throughout the day, and while you think you see some illnesses or injuries every day, they end all disappear into thin air when you need them the most.”
Doctor Zhou chuckled.
“It’s fine. Shao family’s restaurant is a great place. Last time, when I was looking for certain medical cases but couldn’t find them, I would sit here for a bit. Sometimes, I will run into another doctor here by coincidence, and he will have the ideal medical case that I was looking for.”
“Many doctors hang around here, right?”
“True. Besides, there’s Boss Shao. He reveals everything to everyone.”
Doctor Zhou cracked a joke, causing Boss Shao, who had just brought out a barbecued dish for them, to shake his head.
“Old Zhou, if you make jokes about my restaurant again, I will not give you a discount anymore,” Boss Shao said.
“Here, tamarisk barbecue. If you don’t have enough, please take more.”
“In your restaurant, it is pretty easy to encounter people with all sorts of illnesses. Do you remember that time when the doctor from the Gynaecology Department came by and said it had been a really long time since he ran into a transverse baby case? On that day, on that street itself, a pregnant woman had her water broken. He did a Caesarean section on the spot”
“That was a special case”
“And there was this other time”
Doctor Zhou was having a good time talking, when there was a sudden cry from the crowd outside the window.
Boss Shao, Doctor Zhou, and Ling Ran craned their heads and looked outside. They saw a few people running wild with knives, and others were chasing them.
A police on duty at the junction brought out his baton. He pointed it at the group of people as he shouted something.
At the same time, a man wielding a knife crashed into the policeman’s bosom, unable to stop himself. When he turned around to run, a red patch of blood could already be seen at the policeman’s chest and abdomen.
Ling Ran, Doctor Zhou, and Boss Shao stared at each other in stunned silence.
Three seconds later, Ling Ran and Doctor Zhou’s nervousness had vanished. They rushed out of the restaurant.