Sunday, March 15, 2009

Food: The cultural defense

Mmmmmm Tofu and Peas! You can live forever eating this!

Source: Nguoi Viet

Thiên Trần, who manages a beauty salon and nail spa, says he has been eating better and losing weight since the economic downturn.

''My wife makes Vietnamese food and I take it to work,'' said Trần, who is in his 40s. ''I used to order burgers and fries or Thai noodles, but that is too expensive. My lunch went from $8 to $2 a day.''

In lean times, Thiên has returned to eating his traditional Vietnamese foods. ''It’s either rice and fish, rice and salted pork, rice and steamed chicken, with lots of vegetables,'' he rattled off his menu, laughing.

It’s a cultural defense against an economic crisis that works for many who come from Asia and other parts of the world. After all, it’s not just Thiên’s waistline that’s shrinking — his pocket book is too, as fewer customers are able to afford his services. ''They come,'' he says with a sigh, ''when the roots are really showing [for a dye job]. And instead of three weeks, now it’s six weeks for nails.''

This is a good lesson to all. Even during good times, one should try to bring lunch to work more often than eating out. $8 a day adds up and all the money could have been saved for tough times like these. I always tried to bring lunch to work, even if mocked by co-workers!

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