quinta-feira, 26 de outubro de 2017

104 ~

Pag. 104

Of course, we didn’t always have to steal leftovers to fill our stomachs. Sometimes our performances ended early, giving us the chance to wander through the park, spending our bus money on the wide array of goodies available. Of course, this meant that we would have to walk six miles back to the academy—but for the treat of a sweet bean bun or sugar rice cake, it was worth it.

One day, one of our more friendly instructors, a hearty middle-aged man who taught us martial arts, told us a secret: his son worked as a driver at the bus company. If we ever found ourselves in need of a ride, we could say that our father was “Tsui Luk, employee number 1033,” and the ticket vendor would let us on the bus for free as a family member.

We looked at one another in glee. All the snacks we wanted, and we’d never have to walk again!

The following afternoon we gorged, confident that we would ride home in luxury, courtesy of the bus company.

“You sure this is going to work, Biggest Brother?” I asked, a little dubious.

“Of course, dumbass,” he said. “Teacher wouldn’t screw us over. You just make sure you remember what to say.” And when the bus arrived, Yuen Lung stepped smartly into the stairwell, nodded his close-cropped head at the ticket taker, and told him that his father was Tsui Luk, employee number 1033.

The vendor looked up and down at Biggest Brother, appraising him. Finally he nodded back and sent him into the interior of the bus.

It worked. Our hearts leapt in our chests. Free fares, anywhere we wanted, anytime we chose!

Then it was Yuen Tai’s turn. “My father is Tsui Luk, employee number 103.” He, too, was allowed in.

But the ticket taker was beginning to get suspicious. By the time Yuen Biao, last in line, stammered his “father’s” name and number and boarded, it was clear that something was wrong. No driver as young as Tsui Luk could have so many kids, all boy, and all with their heads shaved clean!

Cursing his own gullibility, the ticket taker stomped toward the back

Pag. 105

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