|President Xi Jinping at a steamed dumplings restaurant in Beijing on Saturday. (Photo by Sihaiweichuanbo/weibo.com)|
Chinese leader's drop-in surprises restaurant's patrons and staff
The public hailed President Xi Jinping after a man-of-the-people appearance at a steamed dumplings restaurant in Beijing on Saturday.
It was a normal, busy day when Guo Xueqin, a cashier of the Qing Feng Steamed Dumpling Shop's Xicheng district branch, welcomed a group of customers lined up in front of the counter to order.
Suddenly, a middle-aged visitor in a dark coat entered the restaurant with a few followers and joined the line.
Guo recognized Xi at first glance but tried to stay calm when the president approached her to order.
"It's unbelievable that the president would drop by an ordinary restaurant without a huge number of retinues and security guards. He seemed humble but dignified and didn't stop people from taking photos of him," said the 19-year-old, who has worked at the eatery for two years.
Xi ordered six traditional steamed dumplings filled with pork and green onion, a Beijing snack and some vegetables. The total was 21 yuan ($3.50). He paid cash and then chatted and shook hands with patrons, Guo said.
Restaurant manager He Yuanli hailed Xi's affability.
"He seemed like every ordinary customer. He was polite and gracious to everyone, and came up to say hello to people," He said.
It took about 20 minutes for Xi to finish his food while taking photo requests, and he urged the restaurant to pay attention to food safety, He said.