When I was three or four, there was a time when it was just me and my father at home. My mother was staying at a hospital with my baby brother, who had a special heart condition to be looked after.
My father was capable of cooking, but he wasn’t into cooking, so when it was just the two of us at home, he opted to eat out for dinner. Luckily, we lived near a university campus, and as such, there were many cheap restaurants designed for college students right next to our apartment.
Once, my father and I tried a tiny Chinese restaurant across the street. The inside of this restaurant was very dark, dimly lit by an orange light. We sat at the counter table and ordered some basic dinner menu.
I don’t remember what we ate that night, but while eating, I dropped my bowl of hot miso soup on the table, and it made a big mess not only on the table but also on my clothes. When we left that restaurant, my father declared that we would never go back there again.
“It was dark, and you dropped your miso soup. That place is no good!”
The next evening, we went to another, more casual diner just a few blocks down the same street. Its name was Full Stomach Diner. What a good name for a diner – a full stomach was exactly what my father and I were looking for!
When we walked in, there was nobody else in the diner. It was a very basic diner with white lighting and square tables. My father and I sat at a table by one of the walls, and somebody came to offer us glasses of water and take our order.
“Which dinner plate would you like?” the lady asked us.
“What do you have?”
The lady pointed to the wall, where the menu was written in a large lettering: A-plate, B-plate, C-plate, it was written. She then explained to us the content of each plate, and we placed our order.
As soon as she was gone, I exclaimed to my father how amazing this diner was.
“I like the names!” I said eagerly to my father. “They call their food A-plate, B-plate and C-plate. I’ve never seen any restaurant like this before!”
The food was also fresh, and to our hungry stomachs, it was delicious, too. No soup was spilled during our stay, and we both came out of the diner full, happy, and content.
“Let’s go there again tomorrow!” I shouted, skipping next to my father as we walked back home.
And so did we. We ate our dinner every night at this diner until my mother and brother came back home from the hospital.