Bringing Good Luck to your Husband in the '70s

Chapter 11 - Selling Mooncakes

Before dawn the next day, the fourth son of the Han family came to Su Yue.

Han Aimin was only twelve years old this year [1]. He reached only to her shoulders when standing in front of Su Yue and was very thin. From Su Yue's perspective, he was just a child.

Su Yue felt guilty from using child labor.

Han Aimin didn't feel he was being used as a child laborer. On the contrary, he had been pleasantly surprised. Yesterday his mother had told him that he would run errands for Su Zhiqing to sell things in the commune and get 20% of the profit. He thought he had heard it wrong at first, but after making sure he had not, the happiness was so great he wanted to jump.

He didn’t like going to work the most. It was not that he was afraid of being tired, but that he was too young. The brigade only assigned the work of mowing grass and picking up cow dung for children. It wasn’t fun at all and the number of work points was too low, not even enough for him to eat, but if he didn’t go the second and third sisters-in-law would think he was an idler and there would be no peace at home.

In fact, his favorite work was helping his mother sell eggs in the commune. It was very interesting. Even if it took more than two hours to walk back and forth, he didn’t feel tired at all. Unfortunately, they would only send him to sell things in the commune to subsidize the family occasionally, which made him very regretful.

That’s why he was 100% willing to help Su Zhiqing sell things, not to mention he would also make money along with it. Last night he ate the mooncakes given to his eldest brother by Su Zhiqing. He had never seen or eaten them before, but they were so delicious it made people want to swallow their tongues. It was simply absurd to think no one would buy such mooncakes.

He was convinced that this mooncake would sell well.

Because of the deliciousness of mooncakes, Han Aimin admired Su Yue very much, scratching his head while boasting to her: "Sister Su Yue, the mooncakes you make are so tasty. I have never eaten such delicious mooncakes."

Su Yue laughed, taking out two mooncakes from the basket and handing them out to him, "Take these with you to eat, they are your breakfast. Coming out so early in the morning, you must have not eaten anything yet. You can’t walk with a hungry belly."

Han Aimin shook his head quickly and took out two wotou from his small shoulder bag to show her, "Sister Su Yue, mother gave me hot wotou in the morning, so I have breakfast to eat. This mooncake is too good to be wasted, keep them for making money."

Unexpectedly, he was so sensible. Su Yue liked this kid more and more. After thinking about it, she said: "Alright. Then you sell it first. If it can’t be sold, when you return we will eat it ourselves."

Han Aimin immediately disagreed and said, "Why won’t it be sold! Don't worry, Sister Su Yue, such delicious mooncakes will definitely be smoothly sold out."

Seeing him so confident, Su Yue rubbed his head, "Alright, When you return after selling them out there will be a reward for you. Sister will make you something good to eat."

Han Aimin's eyes brightened. He secretly swallowed, forcing down his greed, and asked, "Sister Su Yue, how do we sell these mooncakes? How much for one?"

There was only one kind of mooncake on the market now. The filling was green and red silk with rock candy [2], and there were also some melon seeds and peanuts. No matter what people here thought, Su Yue felt that both the visual and the taste of this filling couldn’t be explained in a few words. Even if you gave her one, she couldn’t eat it.

Even like this, mooncakes were still a rarity. Generally, you couldn’t buy them because having money was not enough. You also needed coupons, otherwise they wouldn’t be sold.

It wasn’t that she was boasting, but the mooncakes made by her were definitely miles better than the ones sold at the supply station, not to mention they could be bought without tickets. That’s why she wanted them to be a bit more expensive than the ones available here.

Su Yue asked Han Aimin, "Aimin, do you know how much is a common mooncake?"

This Han Aimin was really clear about prices in the commune. “Nowadays, you can buy four mooncakes with one coupon, but each mooncake needs an extra 10 cents. Those who don’t want tickets when selling it privately generally add five cents."

Well, if there was no need for a ticket, each mooncake would cost about 15 cents, which was quite expensive.

So Su Yue decided: "Aimin, then our mooncakes will cost 20 cents each, and no tickets are required. Of course, if they offer one you can accept it, be it an oil ticket or food ticket. You keep your eyes open when people hand you the money, ok?"

Han Aimin nodded sharply, "No problem, Sister Su Yue, you can leave it to me. It's not too early now, I have to hurry and go."

Su Yue saw that he was more anxious than her and laughed. She then hurriedly stopped him from leaving and gave him sister Jiang’s address who had bought the cakes last time, asking him to go there first.

Last time Sister Jiang had asked to remember her if she made something delicious.

After Han Aimin remembered the address, he ran away carrying the basket. Su Yue was stunned seeing his speed, feeling she was far worse than a child.

This kid was too intense.

Han Aimin didn't come back until evening. As soon as he came back, he ran to look for Su Yue without even returning home. The whole face was flushed, and his eyes were particularly bright. It was a very refreshing sight.

Su Yue estimated it had sold well.

Sure enough, before Su Yue could ask, Han Aimin took the initiative to whisper in excitement: "Sister Su Yue, all mooncakes were sold! Look!"

With this, he dug out a large lump of money with all kinds of tickets mixed in, including food tickets, postage stamps, and also many non-staple food tickets.

"Oh, we earned so much." When Su Yue saw the money she was fine, but seeing those tickets really made her thrilled. The main reason was that the number of tickets was very limited now. You could have money in your hands and be unable to buy anything, but with a ticket anything could be bought. The last time she went to the commune she ran out of the few tickets she had, but now she suddenly has so many more. How could she be unhappy?

Han Aimin: "The first place I went to was the address you gave me. I asked their family to try it first, and everyone said it was delicious and immediately bought it for eight yuan. Later, they didn’t let me go. Well, Sister Jiang told me not to sell it elsewhere. She said she would help me ask if there was anyone else in the factory who wanted to buy it, and then several people wanted to buy it after they tasted it. All the mooncakes in the basket were sold out just there. I didn’t even have time to go sell it elsewhere."

Han Aimin got more excited as he said, "Sister Su Yue, there are still several families in the textile factory compound that were late and couldn’t buy them. They asked me if there were any more, and asked me if I could go to their factory to sell them tomorrow."

"Well, that's great." Su Yue didn't expect moon cakes to be so popular. She thought that the price would be too high to sell.

Su Yue went into the house right then and took out all the mooncakes she had just made that day, "Aimin, I made another batch today, you sell it there tomorrow. By the way, ask each household if there are any relatives who want to buy. You can reserve the quantity and deliver them the next day."

Han Aimin took the basket excitedly, as if he had seen a huge pile of money waving at him.

Su Yue counted the money and tickets in her hand. There were twelve tickets, plus five yuan and thirty cents. She took out three tickets together with one yuan and handed them to Han Aimin, saying: “You’re losing money."

Han Aimin naturally knew how much he had earned today, so he immediately shook his head, took out a ticket and 20 cents and returned it to Su Yue, saying, "Sister Su Yue, the oil, flour and sugar to make mooncakes use a lot of money. You should buy them first and only give me the money after. How can you give me so much? You are the losing one."

Su Yue had not deducted the cost, but directly given a share of 20% based on the total income. She did not expect this child to be so upright. Were anyone else they would have accepted it happily.

Su Yue couldn't help liking this little kid even more. His character was really good. Such people were also good partners.

Su Yue was not polite, accepting the tickets and money he returned. Instead she took out a bag of food wrapped in oil paper and gave it to him, "Then you take this. This is what Sister Su Yue made today to reward you. You can’t refuse it."

Even though it was wrapped in oil paper, the scent still relentlessly came out of it. Han Aimin took in a deep breath, his mouth already watering. He smiled, took the oil paper and said, "Sister Su Yue, then I won’t be polite to you. Thank you, sister."

"Okay, don't thank me. Go home, there are steamed rolls in the oil paper bag, eat it after you warm it up."

"Oh, got it." Han Aimin ran away carrying the basket with joy.

When Han Aimin got home, everyone was already eating. His mother saw him come back and said hurriedly: "Why did you come back so late? Quickly, sit down and eat."

Before Han Aimin sat down, the third wife hurriedly asked, "How was it, fourth, did you sell anything today? How much did you make? Did Su Zhiqing give you any money?"

The old lady Han's face became stern, and she scolded: "It’s none of your business! What are you so energetic for? This is the hard work of the fourth child, and the money is earned by himself. Is it possible that you want to ask for it?"

The third wife mumbled: "We are all family. All money must be handed over to mother. Isn't the fourth child's income earned to aid the family?"

The old lady Han was too lazy to take care of her, so she quickly let Han Aimin eat first. Running around all day long, this child definitely didn't eat at noon. He must be starving.

Han Aimin was indeed starving, but he didn’t rush to eat. Instead, he took out the oil paper bag that Su Yue had just given and handed it over to the old lady Han, “Mother, this is the food that Sister Su Yue just gave me, saying it’s a reward for me. You warm it up to everyone, let’s eat together."

As soon as this was said, the eyes of the people at the table were all staring at the oil paper bag. Especially the children, whose eyes lit up.

"This Xiao Su is too polite, also giving you food." The old lady Han cheerfully opened the oil paper bag, revealing three white twisted buns inside, with folds of red fillings on top making it look like a flower, beautiful and neat.

Han Aimin explained: "Mother, Sister Su Yue said this is called red bean paste steamed roll."

The second wife smiled and praised: "Mother, this steamed roll is so good-looking, just like a flower. Su Zhiqing's hands are really clever."

The old lady Han glanced at the silent Han Aiguo and said with a deep, genuine smile: "How can this be. This Xiao Su is really a wonderful person ah. I have never seen such a capable girl. I don’t know who can be blessed to marry such a good girl in the future."

The third wife, however, didn’t care whether Su Yue married this one or that one. She couldn’t wait anymore: "Mother, hurry and warm it up to give us a taste. It’s so fragrant."

Old lady Han gave her a white look, "You only know how to eat. I haven’t seen you so energetic in your work."

The third wife didn't care about being scolded. She would smile as long as she had something to eat.

The old lady Han went to the kitchen to heat up the steamed rolls and divided it into several portions, so that each family member could have a taste.

"Mother, this steamed roll is so sweet, it tastes better than those big white steamed buns [3]!" The third wife ate hers and wanted to swallow her tongue.

Even the second and third brothers, who had never spoken much, were satisfied and praised it.

As for the children, it was needless to say. They were so busy gobbling it up they couldn't even speak, wolfing it down as if they had not eaten in eight lifetimes.

The old lady Han looked at Han Aiguo and asked with a smile: "Aiguo, what do you think it tastes like?"

[1] Twelve is actually Aimin’s nominal age. You start at one year old the first year you’re born and change every Chinese New Year, so Han Aimin should be 10~11 (if I’m getting this right).

[2] Green red silk with rock candy is this:

That's dyed orange peel. Apparently, this filling wasn’t so popular because the dye (although natural) made people feel disgusted. The orange was later changed to radish, wax gourd and other not so tasty stuff which obviously tasted bad and made this poor mooncake filling even more unpopular. It seems to be a collective nightmare. Also I wasn't sure if the melon seeds and peanuts mentioned were sold apart or part of the filling, but from the pictures it seems like they just chunk everything available in this filling... No wonder it's so unpopular.

[3] The big white steamed bun is a mantou:

T/N: I check discontinuity errors like five times to make sure it’s not me mistranslating something (like 8+ yuan somehow becoming 5). I guess I could correct them, but… I'll just stick to translating.

By using our website, you agree to our Privacy Policy