Bright Stove

Reflecting information risk journey

Local food, local foreign food, foreign food, foreign local food, foreign foreign food

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Dinning at a Vietnamese restaurant yesterday evening and it occurred to me that we (my family and I) actually didn’t try any Vietnamese food before while living in Singapore in the past few decades of our life. But now, living in Beijing, we have learnt to enjoy not just Vietnamese foods, but also foods from other countries as well.

Reflecting this, I rationalized that while in Singapore, we are well adapted to local foods, and our favorites are always easily available. Walk in to any food court, restaurant, or coffee shop, chances are we can find among the offers something that we like or used to. This eliminates the need for us to look for something else, except for special occasions, when we want to have something special (i.e., foreign).

In Beijing, and for the matter, any places that are non-Singapore or non-Malaysia, we are still foreign to the local foods in many ways. Even when we like the local foods, we don’t eat the same dishes everyday. At the same time, we don’t have the choices of Singaporean foods like in Singapore, even when we get to Singapore-style restaurants. This often makes us wonder into more foreign restaurants (for foreign foreign foods) than we used to while in our home country.

Living overseas, we therefore gain not just the food culture of where we live (outside of our home country), but also those of other cities around the world (where there are good foods to offer).

For the restaurant owners, perhaps this means that for those selling non-local cooking styles type of foods, it is always better to locate them nearer to the residential or office areas where there are more foreigners than the locals. Locals will always want local food, and also know where to find them (even if they are located farther away from where they live or work). Foreigners will get sick of the new local foods (i.e., foreign local foods) quickly, and would not mine trying new foreign foods (or foreign foreign foods), including foods from their home country, in order to have a change even without the special occasion to celebrate. This perhaps also explain why there are so many foreign foods restaurants around where we live and work in Beijing. This is not a new idea indeed.

Interestingly, the pattern of malware infections in China, as reported in the latest Microsoft’s Security Intelligence Report (SIR), version 5, reflects something quite similar. The top 25 local malware and spyware were found to attack mostly local applications and web tools, like locals going for local restaurants, but not in the top 25 of the worldwide list; only one foreign malware (Win32/RJump Trojan) in the worldwide top 10 list, was popular in local context—like Coke being a more popular drink in China than many local drinks, but most of the other top drinks are occupied by the local brands.

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Written by mengchow

November 28, 2008 at 4:05 pm

Posted in Food and drink

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