Now, has ERSG even stayed for a month in other countries such that he can so confidently say that others would be bored if they stayed eating cuisine from other countries for a month?
Who am I to assume they would be bored if I haven't stayed somewhere for a month.
Ok so this comes down to how I travel.
Since a few years back, we've stopped taking tours. We believe it is a waste of time cos the pace is not to our liking and we visit places which we don't really like.
When I go to a country, we don't go with the mentality of tourists. We go with the mentality of, "so how would it be like if I lived here on a long term basis?". I keep a very tight budget as though as I am a local who has to eat food there on a regular basis. Cos locals can't afford to be eating out all the time. Same as we, Singaporeans, don't eat out all the time, unless it's just at the food court.
So when we travel, we do not visit tourist spots. We don't do much shopping. We visit local spots. We like wet markets, train stations, super markets, watching people do their daily lives. It's just what I... (we?) are interested in. (I'm not very sure if my wife is really interested in these, but she hasn't really complained.)
We look for cheap food wherever we go, we try to eat what the locals eat, we hardly dine in restaurants and any other fancy places. So we don't walk past some nice place and go, "hey this looks good, let's go." We'll be looking around watching people and thinking, "where do these folks find their food during lunch? or after work for dinner?"
And we'll be trying to hunt down these places. Cos that's what the locals do. They can't be affording to eat out everyday, they go to economical places to get their groceries and food, very much like us.
And if you follow what they do for 3-5 days, YES, you WILL be bored of their food. But that's just life, everyone in every culture lives like this. Fancy restaurants are just treats for special occasions.
Stuff I've discovered in Japan, well, we all know the usual 800 yen soba/udon places. That's their basic food, the typical office worker just drops by and eats a fairly cheap meal. I've found a 250 yen outlet just focusing on take out bento of quite crudely fried breaded stuff, so they have a variety of bento sets, some with breaded fish, another maybe breaded chicken cutlet, and in the outlet, the bento boxes are stacked up. Local cab drivers or delivery drivers stop outside, jump into the outlet, get their bento and jump back into their vehicle to find a place to consume their food. It's not a classy meal. Nothing we'd see in any restaurant. But that's the stuff they eat. They need to make a living, pay rent and eat. The stuff tourists eat... well... they aren't for your everyday meals. Those are treats for occasions and weekends. Same like in Singapore, we don't eat Sushi Tei every 2 days right?
We ate that bento for 2 lunches, by the 2nd lunch, my wife was grumbling. Even though we bought different bento sets.
Looks not bad. And it isn't. It's quite crudely done though, so don't expect it tastes as good as those in the restaurants.
OK thing I'm trying to point out is these are the kinda stuff locals eat not...
<=Kobe beef is not normal food.
So yes, we got bored of the really frugal food that people buy regularly for their daily lives and had Kobe beef and other good stuff as well.
It was our honeymoon anyway.
Moving on to the UK. This was a much harder trip to find out about locals and their lifestyles. I was in London and EVERYTHING is expensive. So what do people have for lunch? Sandwiches, all kinds of sandwiches, and they have those nice soft white bread which we're so used to, they use wholemeal bread or those with grains, so it's pretty rough but filling. Cheapest deals we found?
3 pounds for a set at Tesco, you get a sandwich OR pasta, a drink and a pack of chips.
And once again, living like a local, we ate this many many times.
I'm not trying to show off that I've been to Japan or London. Most people have already been there. Probably more times than me.
I'm trying to put across that what we see is usually only a fraction of what their lives are. Their lives are very much similar to ours. They earn, eat, pay rent, etc. And usually everyone in every country, they don't always eat the stuff we see on travel blogs and TV, they eat whatever they deem as local daily food.
(1) For us, local daily food is probably economic rice, bee hoon, ba chor mee, wonton mee, etc.
(2) For the Japs, it's a simple bento set, or soba or udon.
(3) For the Brits, it's a simple sandwich.
So to me, travel is to understand the lives of other countries. I prefer to avoid the touristy places. I go to places where they go on a daily basis to see their lives. And their lives as pretty much as mundane as ours here in SG.
And for a light tie back to my previous post... Singaporeans have access to all (1) , (2) , and (3) anytime any day at a reasonable price. For the Japs or the Brits or any other country, they only have their own cuisine easily accessible.
Can you imagine having only option (2) OR option (3) for consumption on a regular basis?
(Keyword : regular)
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