The Tofu Man (3 of 3)
It was my second day in the mountain village of Dazhai and I had very quickly gotten used to randomly walking into houses with none of the usual pesky repercussions (such as being thrown in jail or chased away with a cleaver). This particular house was owned by the Tofu Man. When my guide, Bart, and I walked in we just made our way through the massive three-story wooden house into one of the smaller rooms where Tofu Man was already hard at work cooking the tofu.
He had been expecting us, and when we entered the steam-filled room, he beckoned us to sit down on the tiny wooden stools next to the little fire pit. I sat down and he looked at me with all seriousness and suddenly burst out a mad cackle before going back to work. The light from the fire danced on his face as he intently stirred the pot, looking like a mad scientist working on his Franken-fu. When he was done cooking, he took the pot into another room and poured the content into a large white mesh and hand-strained the water out of the tofu until it was a solid white mass. When it was all done, he produced a bowl out of one of his pockets, looked at it inquisitively and decided it was clean enough for this interloper and served me up some yummy tofu. Mmmm.
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