I alluded to this topic in my last Asian People post. To elaborate on the topic I will use the ultimate example. Let me set the scene.
(also known as the All-U-Can-Eat, or the Smorgasboard)
[after an hour and a half long eat-fest the main characters reflect on what just transpired]
A: That was good. It was really cheap too!
B: Man I could have eaten more but I ate a piece of toast this morning, I think that threw me off.
A: Damn, that sucks. I didn’t eat anything all day today to prepare for this eat-fest.
B: I should have done that too. Oh well, I think I ate my $12.95 though.
This is the model example because the topic is grasped most easily here. The way asian people equate money to food often times gets in the way of enjoying the food … but who cares. The need to “get the most” out of a situation exists inherently in our genetic code. We must find the best deals that exist. Now there are certain ways to get the most out of a situation.
1. Don’t eat anything before going to a buffet.
– this is pretty self-explanatory because eating anything beforehand means you will be eating less able to eat –> less bang for buck (B4B)
2. Don’t eat the items that are not “money” items
– this means stay away from salad, soup, veggies etc.
3. Do eat the “money” items
– instead of roast beef with mashed potatoes, go roast beef with a side of roast beef; or if at a seafood buffet, “double money” items rank higher than “money” items
4. Do eat until you vomit
– and then eat some more, if you don’t eat some more then change Do eat until you vomit to Don’t eat until you vomit
I’d like to stress point 3. It may take a little more time and effort but this will definitely give you your best B4B. Let’s say there’s a seafood medly of scallops, clams, shrimp, and fish. Pick out items in the following hierarchy: Clams/Scallops –> Shrimp –> fish. This is the succession of “money” items. Feel free to stop anywhere along this succession. What this means is, you don’t feel like shrimp or fish? It is perfectly acceptable (actually highly encouraged) to take all the “money” items and leave the “less-money” items for the rest of the people. The meek and courteous shall starve.
So I’ve been jumping all over the place without a real concise message in this post. I’ll try sum it up.
Asians like to equate how good a meal was to the B4B of a meal. If it was tasty, yet expensive, or small portions, or BOTH (gasp!) then it was in fact NOT a good meal. However if the food was mediocre but had huge portions (or buffet) then it was in fact a GREAT meal. This seems backwards in food appreciation but sometimes you can’t fight what you are. I’ll leave you with these words of wisdom…
“The best meal, is a free meal”
– probably some Asian person