Wontons…

wontons

I made wontons this morning. I was, actually, hungry for dumplings. However, it would take more time/work to make dumplings since I prefer homemade wrappers. Store-bought wonton wrappers, on the other hand, taste all right for me.

When I was in high school, a lady we knew started a wontons stand near our house. She was well educated and had a good job, but her husband owed a lot of money (gambling? I don’t remember), so she was selling wontons at night trying to pay off the debt.

I felt heartbroken for her. She was a nice, soft spoken lady. She wasn’t supposed to stand on the street selling wontons at night, I thought. For months, I avoided walking by the wonton stand; I didn’t want her to see how sorry I felt for her.

One night, a friend asked me if I would go eat wontons with him. Since there were two of us, I figured it would be easy for me to hide my feelings, so I said yes. After all, I was a little curious how tasty those wontons were.

While waiting for our food, we watched her two daughters making wontons. They use a bamboo stick applied a thin layer of pork fillings on each wrapper and then folded it to a wonton. When I finally bite into one, I could only taste the wrapper.

After we paid the money, when we were far away from the stand, my friend said, “There wasn’t any meat in those wontons!” I agreed. We were not happy; we said we would never go back again. And we didn’t.

I have forgotten this incident until today. Thinking back, I realize how “wrong” I was back then. If I can go back to that time of my life… instead of feeling sorry for her, I would admire her courage for getting out of her comfort zone, selling wontons on the street to save her family; instead of focusing on my unsatisfied stomach, I would focus on finding something to do to help.

It’s interesting how we change the way we think. Sometime, I wish I could turn the clock back.

Thanks for visiting my blog.

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About Helen C

A retired computer programmer who loves writing and photographing, and has managed to publish a YA novel "Jin-Ling’s Two Left".
This entry was posted in Memoir, Writing. Bookmark the permalink.

41 Responses to Wontons…

  1. Such a touching story, Helen… I am sure, you feel much relieved after sharing this.

    Here in south India, there is a Tibetan settlement with a big monastery and a university. I tried this

    dumplings there for the first time a few years back. It was called ‘Momo’.

    There are both veg. and non-veg varieties and I really like to taste both, whenever I get a chance 🙂

    Thank you so much for sharing and have a beautiful day 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Helen C says:

      Thank you, Sreejith. So nice hearing from you. I am glad you like dumplings. Now that I started study Buddhism, India means a lot more to me. Hope I can visit one of these days.
      Back to dumplings… if you use store bought wrappers, it is very easy to make. I bet you can use curry meat inside. Hmm… maybe I will try that one day 😉
      You don’t blog as often nowadays, I think. Hope everything goes well for you. I am always happy to see a new post from you 😉
      Take care.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Yes Helen, I am doing great 🙂

        The interesting thing is, I managed to make a career switch from ‘Software Professional’ to ‘Sustainable Tourism’…

        Quite an interesting job, where I need to travel a lot and meet different kind of people and interact with them.

        Due to all these, I am not getting enough quality time for blogging.

        But, trying to balance things and planning to get back on track with full steam 🙂

        Have a beautiful day ahead 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

        • Helen C says:

          Sreejith, what a career change you have made. I always admire people who have guts to make a change like this. For me, those are the people who know how to live this life. Hopefully other than seeing wonderful photos,we will read some stories from your experience and learn something too. I am looking forward to it.

          Like

  2. Mabel Kwong says:

    I love dumplings, from the ones you showed in the photo and from those you have at yum cha. There is a dumpling place next door to my work, and it is so tempting to go and eat there every day.

    The woman and her daughters who sold you and your friend wontons sounded like they were very hard workers. I am sure that they appreciated the two of you stopped by. And I think they would be flattered that today you still remember that experience 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    • Helen C says:

      Thanks for your comment, Mabel. My dad was from northern China. Noodles, dumplings, pancakes… are my type of food ;-). It took my husband a while to get used to it. Even now, he would only eat it once in a while.
      The woman and her daughters were hard workers indeed. I was aware of that, but was totally surprised at how little fillings they put inside of each wonton. They really needed money.
      Take care.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Elizabeth says:

    Hi Helen, sad story, sometimes I want to go back to the past, so I could do things differentelly, but there is no way, what was done can’t be fixed. The only comfort I think off is that I didn’t have the knowledge I have today at that time, I was another person, so what was done was the only thing I thought was right, so we shouldn’t punish ourselves. I’ve never had wontons, seem delicious. Enjoy!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. carol1945 says:

    I know exactly what you mean in this entry. Often, something will spark a memory that takes me back to a thought pattern or even an action (horrors) from my youth. Now my view point is totally different.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Helen C says:

      Thanks, Carol. You always know what I mean. I told you we were twins in our previous life, didn’t I? 😉
      Is it true that you haven’t posted for a while? I am not pushing. I just don’t want to miss it..
      Happy Holidays.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Amy says:

    Thank you for sharing another well-written story, Helen. So true, we change our thinking as we grow into adult life. Btw, I enjoy dumplings, noodles, breads, and pasta dishes. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Helen C says:

      Thanks, Amy. Me too!!! I enjoy all of those things on your list!!! 😉
      Happy Holidays! And thanks for the tips or taking holiday decoration photos! I will try to take a couple of photos with my iPhone next time I see a pretty house.

      Like

  6. joannesisco says:

    I’m still distracted by the plate of perfectly wrapped wontons. How do you do that?!!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Cee Neuner says:

    It is strange how we change so much over the span of our lifetime. I think especially for women over 50. We tend to get a wisdom and understanding that we didn’t have earlier. Maybe call it a stronger sense of knowing or intuition. She was a brave woman that is for sure.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Sue says:

    Experiences of our youth make us the wise women we are today. 🙂 I have often wanted to turn back the clock and handle situations with the experience I have now, but then I would never gain the experience in the first place I guess!

    I have never had wontons – they look yummy!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. What a difference time and perspective make, Helen. Thanks for the post and merry Christmas.

    janet

    Liked by 1 person

  10. restlessjo says:

    Sometimes the first response is the wrong one, and I don’t suppose mine would have been any better. It can’t have been any fun trying to make ends meet on the streets like that. I walk past countless people selling, with scarcely a thought. A privilege I don’t fully appreciate.
    I hope you had a good Christmas, Helen, and best wishes for 2016 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Helen C says:

      Have a wonderful 2016, Jo. You brought up a good point. I, too, walk past many people selling and usually I don’t buy anything because I don’t need anything. Once or twice I did buy something, and only throw them away when I got home (and I wasn’t happy 😉 Hmm… you taught me to have compassion for them even though I may still not buy things I don’t need. 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  11. prior2001 says:

    Hi Helen – I want to taste one right.now!!!

    Like

  12. prior2001 says:

    Helen – I also enjoyed your story about the way we change – I am drafting a post right now and mentioned how about 8 years ago we were in a store going out of business and all I did was shop – ignored the soon to be jobless employees – and this time when we were in a store closing I chatted with workers and had empathy!!!!

    Like

  13. Yes time and experience can certainly change our perspective, perhaps these moments happen for a reason… Hope you have a very Happy 2016 and continue eating dumplings, I LOVE THEM TOO!!

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Dalo 2013 says:

    Not a better meal than dumplings, although wontons come close 🙂 Great photo ~ the heart of good food. Wish you well Helen in the New Year of ’16.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Helen C says:

      Have a great 2016, Randall. Haven’t made dumplings yet since that day, but I made some bao-zi, and I am quite satisfied.
      Wish there is a magic wand to stop world hunger!!!

      Like

  15. rommel says:

    I think that’s acceptable to complain if you get duped with your food. 😀 But yeah, me, I never complain about things like that anyway. I am just always happy I get food in my stomach when I eat, taste is just subsidiary.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Helen C says:

      Happy 2016, Rommel. I am sitting here, smiling. Not sure what to say. 😉
      I like to think all of our senses are equally important… the taste, the smell, what we see… In that way, life is full of treasures. Ha.

      Like

  16. Edward Tan says:

    Beautiful article, it reminds us things what we own are not taken for grant…

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Time and distance can really change our perspective. With luck we grow wiser with both. Thank you for sharing your story….and wisdom.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Even later with this comment… I love fresh wontons. I’m unsure it served much purpose to look back and feel how ‘wrong’ we might have been. I prefer to focus on looking forward and contributing to constructive change.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Helen C says:

      Thanks, Eric. I totally agree with you. I was hoping it would help younger people to see that we do change our minds in our lives. We may change our minds even for those things that we firmly believed in. I didn’t think that could happen when I was young 😉

      Liked by 1 person

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