The Noodle Stand

This story is a loose continuation of The Train Speaks.

Another unique thing about this local train ride to my grandmother’s was that just before we got onto the train, there was a tiny noodle stand on the platform. It was the size of a regular kiosk one would find on a station platform, but this one only sold noodles.

How curious, I thought to myself each time I shuffled past it with my mother. The noodle stand was so tiny, but just like any proper restaurant, it had a wooden counter table and a kitchen behind it. One old man seemed to be operating everything by himself.

One winter day, we were on our way to my grandmother’s again when my mother suddenly stopped by the noodle stand.

“Let’s try some noodles here,” she said, her voice full of unexpected enthusiasm. “You’ve never tried a noodle stand like this one, right, Sweetie?”

No, I had never tried anything like that. In fact, I had always dreamed of eating here whenever we passed by it a few times a year.

The two of us stood by the counter table – there was no chairs, of course – and my mother ordered two bowls of plain udon noodles. The old man with a twisted towel on his head quickly turned to his big cauldron to start boiling the noodles for us.

While waiting, my mother handed me chopsticks from a little box on the counter. I was impressed that this small table was equipped with everything necessary.

A few commuters brushed past us on the platform. They didn’t seem to notice us, and I watched them as if watching a TV. How interesting was it that now every happening around us felt far, far away!

“This place is quite special,” I told my mother. “I like it.”

When the noodles arrived, we both dove in right away. I hadn’t realize how hungry I was! And the noodles – they were the best udon noodles that I had ever had in my life! I sipped the soup eagerly as the cold winter wind blew through the platform.