A Video That's Good for the Soul

(AP Photo/Richard Drew, File)

A lot of Americans have faced hardships due to the lockdowns and restrictions of the pandemic.

Perhaps no segment of the business population has had it harder than restaurants who often are normally are running on a margin. Many have gone under as a result.

But some are hanging in there and trying hard to make a living through all this, as the NY Post reported.

Youtuber Xiaoma, whose real name is Arieh Smith, is known for being white and from New York but speaking Chinese like a native. He decided that he wanted to go to his five favorite Chinese food places and restaurants in Manhattan’s Chinatown in New York City and give them $1000 each to thank them for their hard work and for the New Year.

It’s a video that’s good for the soul.

“Not only do they provide great food to the people in the neighborhood, but they also support a lot of employees and they’re all family-run,” he says. “They’re just really amazing and great people.”

One of his first stops was Spicy Village on Forsythe Street where he orders a spicy chicken dish. If you look at the menu for that place, everything looks amazing. And they’re proud to say they come “from the Chinese region of Henan, right on the Yellow River, which is regarded as the country’s cradle of modern capitalism.” Their food looks hearty and mostly homemade noodles and stew meats, the favorite and the most shareable dish is “spicy big tray chicken,” “a humongous pile of poultry enriched with mouth-numbing Sichuan peppercorns.” Terrific-looking comfort food.

“They work nonstop for 12 hours a day,” Smith said so they “definitely deserve a little something.”

Wendy who works there gives him tea (free) while he waits for food, giving him extra tea (free) to take home to his wife, then adding candy for the New Year, all the while truthfully telling him that it’s been very tough and they face the real threat of going under. “We’re just hanging in there, honestly,” she says.

Her humbleness when she realizes what he just gave her is just something to see.

In typical Chinese fashion, she almost fights him to give it back to him as he refuses.

But then, as he finally convinces her to take it for her employees if not for herself, you can see how grateful she truly is.

And every single one of them tries to give the money back to him, despite how difficult their situations are. One man, another person he obviously knows well, doesn’t realize what’s in the envelope when he gives it to him and calls him to come back and take the money back, figuring it must have been a mistake. This is a guy who stands out with a cart on the street all day long in the cold. Again when he realizes it really was for him, that it’s out of true appreciation for his food, you can see how grateful he is.