Could eating from a hot pot be like sipping from the Fountain of Youth? A 73-year-old waiter who daily serves up this Northwestern Chinese specialty is living proof that this connection may indeed exist.吃火锅和喝不老泉水相当吗？一个每天上这道中国西北特色火锅的73岁服务员就是活的证明，吃火锅和长寿也许的确有关系。
Born in Tianjin, Wang Fuchang worked in textile factories from his youth until he retired at age 60. Although he loves to drink and play mahjong, these hobbies weren’t enough to keep this active senior from feeling bored. At last several Hui nationality friends suggested he try working part time at a Muslim restaurant. For eight years, Wang has happily waited tables at YiLiDe.
Wang regrets that he is illiterate but has learned to write down customers’ orders. Fortunately YiLiDe’s menu is a simple two-page affair. Hot pots restaurants usually serve shaved, frozen meat. For nearly 20 years, YiLiDe has featured fresh lamb, beef, chicken and seafood, thinly sliced to order behind glass on the scrupulously clean, pleasant premises. Wang recommended ordering seasoned, minced fish, lamb, and beef so we could roll our own meat balls. Our Chinese tasters rated the wanzi (meatballs) excellent; two laowai families found them delicious and fun to catch with chopsticks.
Wang credits his superb energy and stamina to healthy routine. He wakes at 6:00 a.m., breakfasts at 7:00 a.m. and practices taiqijuan at a park until 8:30 a.m. At 10:45 the spry senior boards a bus for the intersection at Pukoudao and Huchang Lu and begins work when YiLiDe opens at 11:00 a.m. “Uncle Wang is our supervisor,” the young waiters joke. While mopping the floor after the lunch crowd, they insist the aged waiter rest upstairs. He naps and watches TV from 2:30 p.m. until 5:30 p.m. After the crew eats together at 10:00 p.m., but before the restaurant’s final cleanup at midnight, Wang heads for home.
Every Friday morning, Wang worships at the mosque on Shaoxing Dao and Guangdong Lu. By 1:30 p.m. he is back at work. Since Muslims do not accept cremation, Wang’s greatest concern is his future burial. Because Wang and his wife live with their three sons, and he earns over 1000Ұ monthly, this devout elder soon plans to realize his dream– buying a burial plot in Beichen district. Wang Fuchang hopes to continue serving until he passes away, so we may yet long enjoy his charming smile and service.