The noodle had disintegrated.
That much I’d hear by the time we met on a Beijing street corner that was coincidentally occupied by a hand-pulled noodle shop. I proposed that we talk about the noodle in question over noodles, my mouth watering at the thought of strands stretched magically thin by hand and bathed in a spicy beef broth. My companion declined, saying he’d already eaten. “But next time, I’ll treat you to a bowl!” he said, expressing courtesy typical of Chinese.