Updated: Jan 13, 2021
INTRODUCTION: This was a dream I originally had in 2019. While the dream was about a deceased person, he was only mentioned in name and did not appear in the dream itself.
Kow-Kow was the most beloved Chinese restaurant in the neighborhood I grew up in in West Rogers Park (Chicago). The restaurant was owned by Tai-On "Don" Moy, who sadly passed away late last year (2018) after closing his family restaurant in 2015 after 65 years. The Moy's children all attended the same elementary and high schools that I did.
After closing their flagship restaurant in Chicago, the Moy family opened up a Chinese restaurant in Valencia (the Spanish city where I lived for 13 years).
Going back to visit my older children, who were studying at university there, I was excited to try the new Kow-Kow and made a reservation.
I arrived early and was the first diner to show up for dinner service.
I entered the restaurant, which was beautifully appointed in white marble and leather.
As I rode my bicycle to the restaurant, I walked it inside and parked it next to the booth that I had reserved for me and my children.
Just then, a male employee approached and politely informed me that I wouldn't be able to leave my bike in the restaurant and that he'd be more than happy to put it in a secure place for me.
I became slightly annoyed at his suggestion insisting that my bike remain with me at my table adding that I lived in the Netherlands where everybody cycles and takes their bikes with them everywhere.
The discussion took a nasty turn as both the maitre'd and I became loud and incensed and the restaurant manager and members of the kitchen staff all came to see what the fuss was about.
I began a long rant repeating how Don Moy was turning over in his grave knowing how one of his old customers was being treated. The restaurant staff stood in utter dismay.
At one point, I approached two men in clean white chef's uniforms and was face to face with the bald-topped older of the two men and said, "if you can't work in service to your customers, maybe you're in the wrong business and should just close your doors."
I continued expressing my ire at the chef by saying, "I was a teacher for 25 years and when I felt I was no longer making a productive contribution to my profession, I just walked away. Just like that and completely changed professions." Calmly, he looked at me and said, "To become a barber."
I was astonished that he seemed to know who I was and immediately changed my demeanor and quietly took my bicycle and left the premises just as a flourish of dinner guests were arriving.
I went to sit on a park bench in the River Turia park just outside of the concert hall when the man with whom I was first arguing walked up to me and noticed I was crying.
He apologized about what had happened and insisted I returned to the restaurant with him. He said my children had just arrived and that he prepared a nice table for us in a private dining room. And that I would be very welcome to bring my bicycle with me.
Then I woke up.