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Thread: Attention Span

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    Rexedgar's Avatar
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    Attention Span

    I try different foods from around the world. One thing that was impressed upon me at a young age, was to at least try something that I was not familiar with. Consequently, I am always trying something new in the kitchen. Examples: perogies, okonomiyaki, and other international dishes. My problem is that I lose interest after a few iterations of whatever recipe that I try. On of my flaws is that I will sample whatever I am cooking so that by the time the meal is ready, I am stuffed.......on to the next good recipe....
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    Professor Xelor's Avatar
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    Re: Attention Span

    Quote Originally Posted by Rexedgar View Post
    I try different foods from around the world. One thing that was impressed upon me at a young age, was to at least try something that I was not familiar with. Consequently, I am always trying something new in the kitchen. ...
    I was invested with the same "try it before you pan it" ethos. I have not, however, taken the maxim to the point of myself preparing a dish with which I have zero familiarity. "You" cook the "strange" dish and and I'll try it, and if I like it, I may later cook it myself.

    For example, I got to try bird's nest soup. I and a friend were at a PRC restaurant, and I saw it on the menu. What struck me was that it was priced at several times more than the cost of the entire rest of the meal we both had ordered. ("Gourmet/foodie grade" restaurant meals in the PRC will run about $50 (more often far less) for two people.1) I went ahead and ordered it just to discover what on Earth it was. It was literally part of a bird's nest made by a bird from bird spit. It tasted like tapioca. I'm no fan of tapioca, but it's not bad tasting. Similarly, I don't need to have bird's nest soup again, but if someone served it, I'd eat it.



    Note:
    1. Because labor and local produce is priced by the domestic currency unit (economy), the price numbers one sees on comparable grade indigenous foods in various countries works the same way wherever one goes. For example:


    Just as in the U.S. a, say $30 entree is considered pricey, so too is it in the PRC. The restaurant shown below presents the menu shown below. (One'll sometimes see very English menus like the one below in the expat parts of Beijing, Shanghai, Shenzhen, and Guangzhou, perhaps other places too.)




    Suggestion:
    If you ever go to the PRC and don't speak Mandarin/Cantonese, go to mid=grade and high end restaurants. The menus will have photographs of each dish offered. If it looks like something you're vaguely familiar with -- as in it doesn't look like it comes from a strange body part of an animal -- it's going to be absolutely delicious. In most high end and mid-range restaurants, there's someone on staff who speaks enough English to help you.

    It's pretty much the same for food everywhere. The locally/domestically produced stuff that costs you $10 in the U.S. will cost you about ten of whatever is the currency in the country.

    • $10 buys a cheap meal in the U.S., ¥10 (RMB) buys a cheap meal in the PRC, £10 buys a cheap meal in the UK. If one earns one's money in dollars, the Chinese meal will seem like ~$1.50, whereas the English one will seem like it costs ~$15.

    The exchange rate, however, makes such things "cheap" for people with strong currencies.

    Of course, not all domestically produced goods and services scale as does food, but because what constitutes "high end" or luxurious is pretty consistent across cultures, one will still come out ahead traveling to places where the exchange rate is favorable to the dollar. For instance, in the PRC, a hotel room roughly on par with a Red Roof Inn or Fairfield (it'll be smaller and have a double bed, and you'll have to find them once you get there because they cater to locals) standard room can be had for about ¥30-50/night (that's less than $10). Similarly, a high end hotel like the Grand Mercure (it's very much like a Four Seasons) will run you about $80/night.

    Grand Mercure Oriental Ginza -- This is what the bedroom of the room I had there looks like (I paid ~$88/night; that was a few years back). The view out the window is the bay that partly separates the mainland from Hong Kong. The point being that if one "goes local," one will, for huge amounts less, get the same grade of service, qualities and amenities one'd obtain get the same things one'd expect in the U.S. for a comparable grade "whatever," and pay a lot less for it. That often makes the airplane ticket be most expensive part of going to places like the PRC, Southeast Asia, certain parts of Central Europe, South America, Central America and Africa.




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