Monday, 27 January 2014

Friends and Values - a Reflection

Say you have a friend. Who is a vegan. And for the purpose of this illustration, you are not a vegan. And like friends sometimes do, you sometimes have heated arguments with your vegan friend. Maybe about veganism. Or how the world can/cannot sustain carnivorous human lifestyles. And in the heat of the moment, in exasperation, your vegan friend will call you the worst name he can possibly imagine to insult you: a Carnivore. And sometimes, if he is particularly pissed off at you, he may even call you a Cannibal.

Thursday, 9 January 2014

Why hawkers are a dying breed.

Two stories about hawkers were in the news recently.

The first was a story about "Robo-cook". This machine could be programmed to fry Hokkien Mee, and many other recipes. However, most of the comments were that a machine could never replace a hawker with experience, intuition, and passion for food-craft. And then comments veered into laments about how the hawker trade is dying out and there must be some way to keep these skills and traditions alive.

The second was a story about NEA asking for not-for-profit or social enterprises to run 4 hawker centres. The intention was that social enterprise or not-for-profit organisations managing these hawker centres could mean lower prices for customers and a better deal for the hawkers (lower rent).

Both these desires - keeping the hawker tradition alive, and creating a conducive environment for hawkers to ply their business fail to consider the key issue or criteria: who wants to be a hawker?