Author's Notes:

This shot was taken from the Cermak/Chinatown El Station.

The restaurant Kate and Mike walk into is, in reality, called Hong Min. It was an excellent place. Sadly, I can no longer recommend it if you ever visit Chicago’s Chinatown. It burned down not long after this book was first printed, and never reopened.

As for the authentic calligraphy, I had the good fortune to find Mrs. Tang, who orginally came to America from Hong Kong, was willing to translate my script into actual Cantonese. My friend Ris worked with her daugther, who put us in touch, and much to my delight, Mrs. Tang was happy to help. She once won a calligraphy contest before immigrating and I can see why. She did a wonderful job!

See transcript for translation.


Hostess: Hello Mike. How many?
Mike: Only two, and would you put us in the back? Could you please send Kuan out? He’s expecting me.

Hostess: Such a pretty girlfriend Mikey!
Mike: She’s not my girlfriend, auntie*.
Hostess: She should be.
Mike: Auntie!

*She’s not Mike’s real aunt. Every old lady is your auntie in China, and he’s just a regular diner.