There’s a cafeteria near where I live called 日全食, which means a total eclipse of the sun. Funnily enough, the three words can also be interpreted as “all-day food,” a fantastically appropriate name for a 24-hour cafeteria. Yep, that’s right. This place is open 24 hours. I’ve never gone at night, but I had a late lunch there around 2 PM, and it was like a convention of the world’s most depressing people.
Seriously. I have a tote bag with a joke that says 单身就是一个人在食堂吃馄饨. Translation? A single (unmarried/unattached) person is a single (singular) person in a cafeteria eating wonton. It’s a play on words, but it is SO TRUE. The cafeteria is like a collection of the city’s lonely rejects (with all the stereotypes), and for one afternoon, I was one of them. I won’t be frequenting that place. Not only because it was a sad, sad experience, but also because the food was kinda iffy. But I suppose that’s to be expected when you have lunch at 2 PM (after the lunch rush) so everything is basically picked-over leftovers. I had rice, 狮子头 (translation: lion’s head; what it actually is: giant pork meatball), and cauliflower with pork, which came out to a grand total of 16 kuai (about $2.50). Dude, so cheap. Then again, the texture of the pork meatball was more mush than pork-like.