Friday, January 05, 2007

留學生的故事: 銀龍奨學金 (二) / Visa Student Story: The Silver Dragon Scholarship (Part 2)

話說台山阿伯年輕時,單身來加投靠親戚,節衣縮食,歷盡艱苦,終於用「企枱」賺來的錢,又經父母之命,媒妁之言,回港娶了一個「工廠妺」妻子,帶回楓葉國,兩口子又生了一個女嬰,生活也頗愉快。数年後,他親戚年過半百,也想返鄉下落葉歸根,就半賣半送那小歺館給阿伯。起初時,他不懂生意之道,「頭厨」又和「二厨」不和,有一次險些兒鬧出六國大封相,「二厨」拿箸菜刀由後面冲出來, 嚇得那些在歺房進食的「墨叔」和「麥田鬼」(企枱術語,即黑人和農夫) 雞飛狗走,也有一些顧客籍這机会,拒絕付賬和「黑頭」(即不給花利貼士)。經此一役,阿伯和「頭厨」講数,年尾不止双糧,歺館利潤,做厨的也有好几個「巴仙」,「二厨」也被攆走。自此之後,生意也逐漸回復正常,但真正來說,歺牌仍是北美式的所謂唐歺,客仔大都是普羅大众西人,唐人客就少之又少了。

究竟在這北美華埠,阿伯的歺館、家庭、生活、和前途会怎樣,請聽下回分解 ...... Part 3

From our last episode, Albert our main character had come over to Canada and started working for a close relative in the Chinese restaurant business. With determination, he saved all his wages and tips working as a waiter and managed to have enough money to bring back a HK "factory girl" through his parents and a match-maker. Upon return to Canada, they gave birth to a baby girl. Life for Albert and his family was hard but joyful. Several years later, his relative who was by then a half-century man, decided to return to his root, his village in China. He half-sold, half-gave the restaurant to Albert. At first, Albert had no clue about operating a business. To make things worse, #1 Chef and #2 Chef never got along well. It was so bad that at one point, #2 was chased out of the kitchen with a cleaver in his hand. That scared the heck out of the customers in the dining room. Of course, some took advantage of the commotion and either took off without paying or refused to leave any tips behind. After the incident, Albert negotiated with #1 Chef to make sure he stay by offering him double wage for the last month of the Chinese Lunar Calendar plus a percentage cut of the restaurant's year-end profit. He then fired #2 Chef and from then on, things seemed to have settled down and business was back on track. But let's face it, the restaurant was still your typical greasy spoon serving North-American type Chinese food. Most of the clientele were regular neighbourhood customers and there were not too many Chinese people eating there.

Stay tuned as to what was going to happen to Albert's restaurant, his family, life and future in Canada in our next episode.

.... to be continued Part 3

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