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Noodle Restaurant: A GAP School Student Writing Feature

Da Lee, GAP School student
Da Lee

The following story was written by Da Lee. Da is from Laos and came to the U.S. in May of 2022. Da started his schooling in 2023 after a friend suggested he try the classes at GAP School and is now a part of the Construction Pathway.  


In an ESL (English as a Second Language) class taught by Laura Ott, students are asked each year to submit a piece of writing to Journeys, which is an anthology of student writing assembled by Literacy Minnesota annually. When the anthology is published in the spring, GAP School provides a copy to each student who submitted a piece of writing.


The following piece, “Noodle Restaurant,” is Da’s response to the prompt, write about a favorite place from your home country. 



Noodle Restaurant  by Da Lee


At my hometown, there is a small restaurant near me. I walk for around 5 minutes to get there. That was my favorite place, sometimes I did not want noodles. I just went to the noodle restaurant and I order something to drink, and I stayed 30 minutes or 1 hour. That was enough to make me a joyful day.  


Sometimes I called my friends to meet at that restaurant. It is our favorite place. The noodle flavor was like every restaurant, we just liked this place. We did not have enough to buy something, it was expensive. Just one bowl of noodles for a person made us feel so full at that time. It was a good place to rest, listen to music and relax with friends. We come to talk about the past with our friends and laugh together. I feel comfortable in this place and safe. After high school, I did not have any friends, but I still go to that place alone. I can stay all day at that restaurant. It is like my friend.   


One day, my brother and I went to the restaurant, but we were not hungry too much, we just wanted something to eat, so we ordered a cake and some coffee. After that there is something happening, we went to notice that there was a woman at the corner of the restaurant. She looks radiant, it is like she is throwing love at everyone who is around her. She is a waiter. She is waiting to serve food to the table of customers who enter the restaurant. She loves to smile a lot. I like her smile.   


Suddenly, the cake with coffee we had was already in front of us. It tastes very well, even if it is just a cake and normal coffee. The thing I want people to pay attention to is here. It is not about the food we eat, but it is the behavior of the waiter, who changes something that looks ordinary, more valuable than before. It is like having magic. If you did not meet her, I recommend her to you. You should go to that place.  


 This is one reason I like this restaurant is I have more fun, more energy there. When I think about my favorite place I feel happy. Many people might love her. She worked hard and she is so friendly with other customers. I do not know when I come to that place again in Laos. Is she still working at this restaurant? I will go to eat noodles at this restaurant again.  

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