"I'm glad I caught you! You got any glass noodles?" I asked, as I went into the Chinese to order food at two minutes to midnight.
"Glass...noodle?" the woman blinked.
"Glass noodles. I have a houseguest looking for glass noodles. You know? Rice noodles, the white ones?"
The woman shook her head.
"You don't have thin rice noodles?" I asked, surprised. "That's ridiculous."
Offended, the woman came from behind the counter and escorted me outside in one fluid, graceful movement.
"Look, you want glass noodle, you take photo."
"What?" I asked.
She pointed at the patch of dirt in front of the Chinese.
take photo of grass. You tell house-guest want glass noodle,
this best match in front of Chinese takeaway building right here. You take photo NOW!"
I took out my phone and snapped a picture with the flash on.
"You tell houseguest grass look like noodle," the woman explained. "Grass
sound like glass. Houseguest look at photo, see similarity. Everyone a winner."
The woman went back into the takeaway and closed the door. I tried to follow. I could see her looking through a pane in the door as the key turned in the lock from the inside, my hand just reaching for the handle.
Still looking out, she flipped the sign from Open to Closed, turned off the lights, and disappeared from view, leaving me in the hungry darkness.